The Premier Companies held its 2021 National Convention recently, with many attendees participating in person at the Premier Training and Development Center in Texas City, Texas, while others Zoomed in virtually.
President and CEO Trooper Earle kicked off the event with a State of the Company address and a review of 2020. Recalling how last year began normally enough – with the 2020 National Convention held in Miami, followed by a company celebration trip to Aruba, and TRIB’s Meeting of the Minds in February. Then the pandemic hit, and all sense of normalcy disappeared. Nevertheless, said Earle, the Premier Companies “banded together, took care of business, and adapted well, finishing the year strong.”
This year, Premier intends to focus on training, offering monthly Development Training live in Texas City and virtually for franchisees, as well as launching a new and improved Premier University. Mike Lewis, Vice President of Operations, enumerated the benefits of attending Development Training sessions – such as how each month’s agenda will be customized for registered attendees. Convention participants also watched a video sneak peek of the enhanced Premier University Learning Management System, which features lots of student-video interaction.
Jill McClure, APRO Executive Director, offered some early results from a recent APRO survey about how the coronavirus crisis impacted rent-to-own, and announced Industry Service Award winners – which included many Premier franchisees who have significantly contributed to the RTO industry. John Manzari, who chairs Premier’s Owners Advisory Committee, updated his colleagues on the panel’s recent actions and plans for the year ahead. And Vice President of Direct Benefits Elise Nizamutdinova and Vice President of Marketing Krystal Black covered Premier’s new partnership with PTS Direct Benefits and the club benefits program it brings.
Finally, the general session concluded with the presentation of another set of awards – including honors for Premier franchisees who gave back to their customers and communities, who have exceptional tenure, who achieved extraordinary sales, who were extremely involved with the company, and who were Top Performers for 2020. The Franchise of the Year award went to two franchisees who stood out even among the company’s highly talented Top Performers: Chad and Rhonda Fosdick, who operate a Premier location in North Platte, Nebraska; and John Manzari, who runs a Premier store in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Both winners were attending the event via Zoom and both were stunned to receive the honor.
“Holy smokes, man,” said a surprised Chad Fosdick. “It takes a whole lot of hard work to have the success we have; our customers are very important to us.”
“I appreciate all the franchisees who have helped me along the way,” said a grateful Manzari, who named them all. “And my staff is really the key to my success; this award is just as much theirs as mine.”
Following the convention, the in-person franchisees, corporate team, and vendors enjoyed an afternoon of food, fun, and friendly competition at a local Top Golf, followed by a bigtime shrimp boil at the Premier Companies Corporate House in the village of Tiki Island, Texas.
“I feel Premier’s 2021 National Convention was indeed a success,” said the company’s event coordinator, Larkin Mott. “We celebrated our perseverance through a very tenuous year, and are moving on into this year stronger and more united than ever.”