Association of Progressive Rental Organizations | America’s Champion for Rent-to-Own

APRO Contest Runner-up Shares His Story at Legislative Conference

Joshua and Ophilia Ciesicki with their daughter Arya at the 2019 APRO Legislative Conference dinner.

APRO held a “What’s Your RTO Story?” contest in February awarding winners an opportunity to share their most inspiring RTO stories at the 2019 APRO Legislative Conference held on April 9-11 in Washington, D.C. One of this year’s runners-up was Joshua Ciesicki, owner/partner of two Great Rooms stores, and this is his RTO Story:

Joshua Ciesicki got his start with Rent-To-Own in 2005. “I was a high school drop out with some self-esteem and confidence issues,” recalls Ciesicki, who was married with four children at the time.

I never really thought I would amount to much more than a construction worker or some type of manual laborer.” Today, Ciesiciki is an owner/partner with two Great Rooms stores in Polk County and hopes to open a third store by the end of this year. 

Ciesicki, who has never shied away from hard work, says the RTO industry provided him with the opportunity to find fulfillment through his effort. He gets to know his customers as people rather than just numbers, learning their stories and circumstances to help them pay their bills. Over time, Ciesiciki leveraged these relationships into career opportunities and eventually worked his way into ownership of his own RTO business. 

Staying involved with the community remains an important part of the job for Ciesicki, whose customers have followed him from store-to-store during his career. In 2014, he held his first annual Back to School party for customers who received free backpacks filled with school supplies. His stores continue this yearly Back to School event, handing out 100 backpacks at each store location. 

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