Fuse 2017: APRO’s National Rent-to-Own Convention and Trade Show kicked off on Monday, May 8th on sunny Galveston Island, Texas. APRO staff greeted early attendees, most of whom planned on participating in Tuesday morning’s Annual Tom Kitchens Golf Classic but were also looking forward to wishing APRO’s Executive Director Bill Keese a fond farewell at his retirement dinner held at the historic Bryan Museum. APRO held their board meeting where President Mark Connelly introduced APRO’s new Executive Director Jill McClure to the board. Connelly and APRO’s current Executive Director Bill Keese explained the hiring process and decision making. Jill’s role as APRO’s Executive Director will begin on June 12th. Bill Keese’s last day will be June 30th. The TRIB Group also held their board meeting on Monday afternoon and presented APRO with a $14,000 check that they raised and donated to the APRO Education Foundation Scholarship Fund. This has been the highest donation TRIB Group has contributed to the APRO Foundation Scholarship Fund to date. Fuse kick off concluded with a farewell retirement dinner honoring Bill Keese at the Bryan Museum. Fuse attendees who know and worked closely with Bill over the past three decades were invited to a nostalgic evening sharing memories of an RTO industry leader who has helped protect and shape rent-to-own over the years. APRO staff presented Bill with a very special tribute book that was filled with photos chronicling Bill’s career along with heartfelt quotes from staff, rental dealers and RTO vendors. John Blair also presented Bill with a cruise package for he and his wife Debbie on behalf of the staff and various rent-to-own professionals. The night closed with shared stories of favorite Bill Keese memories, laughs and a few tears but overall a bright outlook for what the future holds for APRO. Click here to view more photos Bill Keese’s Retirement Dinner at Bryan Museum. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Fuse 2017’s Day 1 coverage. We’re looking forward to APRO’s Annual Tom Kitchens Golf Classic tournament, the APRO Hot Show and Fuse 2017 Gala at Fisherman’s Wharf.