Fuse 2017, Day 2: General Session, Fuse Trade Show and APRO’s Awards Reception & Banquet

IRDA President Casey Pristou auctioned the cutting of his hair for APRO’s Education Foundation Scholarship Fund. They raised $7,000.

The second day of Fuse 2017: APRO’s National RTO Convention & Trade Show’s ignited with General Session and Business meeting held in the Galveston Island Convention Center’s ballroom bright and early and Wednesday, May 10th. APRO’s President Mark Connelly welcomed attendees and went over the schedule of events for the day. Richard May went over APRO’s 2017 statistical survey results that will be fully explained during RTO Education Day’s session with Industry Insights Greg Manns on Thursday, May 11th.

Dennis Shields and Sandi Frye honored the 2017 Continued Excellence for sustained high performance among State Rental Dealer Associations and awarded the 2017 Legislative Achievement Award to the Missouri Rental Dealers Association. MRDA President John Cleek Jr. accepted the award on behalf of the state association.

Larry Carrico went over APRO’s Education Foundation Scholarship Fund and Society for Tomorrow. Texas A&M’s Liz Lytton spoke on behalf of scholarship recipients and extended her gratitude to the membership and to all of those that contributed and continue to do so in efforts of building a better future. Larry then called Casey Pristou to the stage and auctioned the opportunity to cut Casey’s hair on stage. Casey grew his hair out for two years to specifically have the cut at Fuse auctioned to raise money for the scholarship fund. The de-mane-ing raised $7,000.

APRO’s Executive Director Bill Keese, President Mark Connelly and Upcoming Executive Director Jill McClure cut the ribbon to open the Fuse Trade Show. Attendees spent the afternoon meeting with vendors and rental professionals that were exhibiting at this year’s convention.

Click here to see more photos of Fuse 2017 General Session.

Click here to see more photos of Fuse 2017 Trade Show.

APRO President Mark Connelly introduces Sally Sims to recognize Chuck Sims and new APRO’s Chuck Sims Rental Dealer of the Year Award.

Day two of Fuse 2017 wrapped with honoring some of the rent-to-own industry’s finest at APRO’s Awards Banquet. Attendees waltzed into the cocktail reception and caught up with colleagues and friends before enjoying an elegant dinner as trophies were bestowed for State Association of the Year, Norm Smith Vendor of the Year, Heritage Award, President’s Award of Excellence and the Chuck Sims Rental Dealer of the Year Award. APRO’s President Mark Connelly paid tribute to Bill Keese and wished him a fond farewell and then introduced APRO’s upcoming Executive Director Jill McClure to the membership. Jill spoke to the membership and shared her sentiments about coming in as APRO’s Executive Director, “I feel as though I just married into a big extended family and I’m so thrilled to be here.”

Another very special moment of the evening was when Sally Sims took the stage and shared memories of her late husband, Chuck Sims, and their close relationship with the RTO industry. The Rental Dealer of the Year award has been renamed to honor him and is now called The Chuck Sims Rental Dealer of the Year award.

Click here to see more photos of Fuse 2017 Awards Banquet.

Stay tuned for the last day of convention tomorrow, RTO Education Day. We are looking forward to opening session with Jay Baer and our closing session with Matthew Dowd.

2017 Hall of Honor Inductees

  • State Association of the Year – Illinois Rental Deals Association, accepted by IRDA President Casey Pristou
  • Norm Smith Vendor of the Year – Marty Smith
  • Heritage Award – Dan Fisher
  • President’s Award of Excellence – Chris Kale
  •  Chuck Sims Rental Dealer of the Year Award – Gary Ferriman

2017-2018 APRO Executive Committee

  • David Kraemer, APRO President
  • Louis Garcia, First Vice President
  • David Harrison, Second Vice President
  • Trent Agin, Treasurer
  • Jonathan Rose, Secretary
  • Mark Connelly, Immediate Past President