APRO Nominating Committee Announces Slate of Candidates for 2018-2019 Board of Directors
An email with access to an online proxy ballot for the 2018-2019 APRO Board of Directors and information on additional voting methods was sent July 11 of this week from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have not received the email, be sure to check your junk mail to participate. Proxy ballots are due no later than Friday, August 10th.
The APRO Nominating Committee is pleased to present the slate of candidates for the 2018-2019 APRO Board of Directors.
Trent Agin is the President of St. Louis-based Rent One, operating more than 80 locations in 10 states. Beginning his career with Rent One 30 years ago, Agin has been a key player in the company’s growth and development since its inception of just five stores. He has held positions in various state associations, served on committees with the TRIB Group and currently serves as treasurer for the APRO board of directors. Agin fosters an environment of growth and learning in Rent One’s culture as well as a progressive approach to innovative ideas and opportunities.
David P. David is the President of Full-O-Pep Appliances, dba American Rental opening his first storefront in Bloomington, Indiana. Today, the American Rental family is 52 stores strong with 300 employees, plus three RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels franchise with plans to open two more RNR franchises. In addition, David has served on the APRO board of directors for 28 years, assuming roles such as president, past president, secretary, treasurer, chairman of the education committee and a member of the APRO government relations, ethics, public relations and communications committees. He was also the fundraising chairman for Team APRO from 1996 to 1997. David has also been active in securing legislative protection for the industry at the state and federal levels. He has served as president of the Indiana Rental Dealers Association for 12 years. In 1991, he received the APRO State Association of the Year award, was named APRO Rental Dealer of the Year in 2000 and, in 2009, was recipient of the APRO President’s Award of Excellence.
Joe Gazzo is President of Buddy’s Bi-Rite Holdings and owner of Bi-Rite Company Inc., Buddy’s Rollco, TexNMex LLC, and MMS Group. Gazzo is a 1992 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor of science in business. It was also in 1992 that he started working at Buddy’s Home Furnishings. Throughout his career, Gazzo’s contributions were integral to the success of Buddy’s. One of many accomplishments during his tenure has been the creation of the highly successful Buddy’s Franchise system. Gazzo was awarded 2010 APRO Rental Dealer of the Year, is a member of the Florida Rental Dealers Association and the TRIB group. He has attended annual conventions, state association meetings, as well as, attending the APRO Legislative conference.
Chris Kale, Sr. joined Tampa-based RTO pioneer Buddy Bi-Rite straight out of college in 1983. He began his career as a Market Manager, earning $180 a week and free personal use of a Buddy Bi-Rite van. The next year, Kale was promoted to a Store Manager’s position, and within a year, he became a Buddy’s District Manager. Over the final 10 years of Chris’ career with Buddy’s, he served as Director of Operations and worked directly for RTO legend Norman “Slats” Slatton. Chris was instrumental in helping Buddy’s grow from a small 6-store company into a profitable 28-store chain. In 1996, Kale teamed up with his two partners, Larry Pividal and Paul Schaller, to open their first RENT KING store in Lake Wales, Florida. Ten years later, RENT KING had grown into a successful chain with 20 locations. Over the past 35 years, he has attended all but three APRO conventions, has attended more than a dozen APRO Legislative Conferences, served five years as the President of the Florida Rental Dealers Association and has attended every annual FRDA Legislative Conference over the past 12 years and has served on APRO’s board of directors for the past 2 years. In 2010, Kale, his son, Chris Kale, Jr. and his brother, Rick Kale, created RTO company, Happy’s Home Center, Inc. Three years later, Kale’s other son, Jeff Kale, joined the Happy’s team. Today, Happy’s has 14 locations and the Kales expect to continue opening many more Happy’s in the future. Kale is an active partner in 18 Rent King locations, 14 Happy’s locations, and 5 Great Rooms stores.
Shirin Kanji is the President of Tampa-based Impact RTO Holdings, operating 76 Rent-A-Center franchised locations across eight states within the southeastern United States, making Kanji the largest RAC franchisee in the country. Impact RTO is part of the retail division within Kanji’s long-standing family business of Impact Properties that has owned and operated hotels, restaurants and commercial real estate for more than 30 years. Kanji earned a bachelors degree in finance & political science and a masters degree in real estate finance & development at the University of New York. He spent time on Wall Street, first as an equity trader, then as an investment analyst and later went to work in private equity at a real-estate investment, development and operating company before returning home to the family business. Kanji currently serves on the Rent-A-Center Franchise Advisory Council and is a member of the Florida Rental Dealers Association board of directors.
Jonathan Rose is a graduate of the Business School at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, is an avid sports fan, and lives in Virginia Beach with his wife of 30 years, Sara, and daughters Emily and Olivia. Rose supports a variety of charitable causes – many are children-oriented – and has continuously dedicated time to coaching and leading girls in youth sports over the past 15 years. With 33 years of RTO industry experience beginning on the ground floor at BestWay RTO making deliveries, collections, managing stores, multi-unit management, and as a senior executive for over 20, Jonathan Rose will bring a broad perspective, experience, energy and enthusiasm to the APRO Board. In addition to RTO, Rose has experience developing a rapidly rising software start-up, as well as his own advertising publications business he started from scratch. He is currently responsible for eight RNR Tire Express stores, one BestWay Autos Lease-to-Own dealership, and a fast tax preparation service operation. Until recently, he was the operator of 18 furniture, appliance and electronics RTO stores.As he completes his second term serving on the APRO Board as secretary and as membership committee chairman, Rose has enjoyed the opportunity he has had stepping up and giving back to the industry. He humbly seeks your support and vote once again to continue his family’s service and dedication to APRO. Rose has been a very active APRO member and supporter since 1984. He is an annual participant in APRO’s federal legislative efforts, and currently serves as President of the Virginia Rental Dealers Association.
Jamie Slatton began his lease-purchase career more than 38 years ago when his father, Norman “Slats” Slatton Sr., started taking him to work at their family’s retail and rent-to-own stores. “Slats” mentored his son into becoming the driving factor in Buddy’s Home Furnishings growth across the country. As an owner of Bi-Rite Company Incorporated and the CEO of many independent Buddy’s Franchises, Slatton has helped build it into one of the industry’s leading lease-purchase companies. Slatton has been an active leader, coach and mentor to all of the associates and believes in preserving and enhancing the culture of Buddy’s while motivating employees and emphasizing growth and sustainability in the lease-purchase industry. He has earned the reputation among his peers as one who brings excitement and passion to the lease-purchase for his company and for the entire industry. Slatton was strategically involved in the development and implementation of Buddy’s Franchising and Licensing Inc. His impressive ability to network within the lease-purchase industry was a phenomenal asset to the launch of the franchise program at the franchise convention in 2006. His hands-on experience and peer recognition of leadership and sales success is a driving force in every aspect that continually guides Buddy’s Home Furnishings to be an innovative leader in the lease-purchase industry. Slatton’s lease-purchase industry leadership roles include being named APRO’s Rental Dealer of the Year in 2010, serving on the APRO board of directors and attending APRO’s annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. and actively raising thousands of dollars with his good friend Larry Carrico for the APRO Education Foundation. He is also a proud board member of the Florida Rental Dealers Association and member of Nationwide RentDirect and the TRIB Group.
Adam Sutton, born into the rent-to-own industry, credits his upbringing for helping shape who he is today and believes that the RTO industry has more opportunity than any other to become the greatest and most prosperous industry in the world. His father, Larry Sutton, “The Reverend of RTO,” was president of Champion RTO and later founded RENT-n-ROLL Custom Wheels & Tires, now RNR Tire Express. Sutton began his early career in advertising and when his father created RNR in 2000, he came on board as marketing director. In 2004, Sutton married his high school sweetheart and they started their own creative agency Red Letter Studios, working with top brands and many RTO companies, winning national awards and dozens of APRO Rental Advertising Excellence Awards. In 2012, Adam partnered his company with Thuzi, a top digital advertising company and became its chief experience officer where he led hundreds of projects every year for global brands such as Microsoft, Disney and Oprah. In 2017, Adam fulfilled a childhood dream by coming back to work for his father at RNR Tire Express as the company’s executive vice president. He hopes to continue his fathers legacy of focusing on the most important thing in the industry, its people.
Terah Vail is Director of Operations for 12 FAN Sales & Leasing, an Aaron’s franchise in Fayetteville, Arkansas serving customers in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. After receiving a masters in theology in history at the University of Edinburgh, Vail returned home and began working for FAN, a company her father started in 1996. She is a founding member Vistage group, a peer-to-peer advisory board for local business executives in northwest Arkansas. Vail is also a board member of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas, a nonprofit committed to helping single parents in the area break the cycle of poverty through education and career advancement. She currently serves as the president of the Arkansas Rental Dealers Association.
Continuing on the APRO Board of Directors for the second year of their term will be Dennis Adams, Larry Carrico, Mark Connelly, Bill French, Sandi Frye, Louise Garcia, David Harrison, Robbie Kamerschen and Gopal Reddy.