Slate of Candidates Announced for 2021-2023 APRO Board of Directors
An email with access to an online ballot for the 2021-2023 APRO Board of Directors and information on additional voting methods was sent Friday, July 9, from email@example.com. If you have not received the email, be sure to check your junk mail. Ballots are due no later than Monday, August 9.
The APRO Nominating Committee is pleased to present the slate of candidates for the 2021-2023 APRO Board of Directors.
Dennis Adams has a 43-year history with Full-O-Pep/ American Rental. Adams started as store manager for a few years and served as the company’s regional manager for 30 years. The company has evolved over the years with his guidance. Currently, there are 56 stores in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia.
As an APRO board member, he wants to further APRO’s commitment to educating members on the importance of marketing, which will improve the industry’s image at a store level, and he wants to continue serving as a voice for independent stores on the APRO board in order to support their operations.
“As president of the Rental-Purchase Dealers Association of Indiana for the past 11 years, I have worked closely with Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center on Indiana’s rent-to-own issues and with the small mom-and-pop stores on many issues, as well,” Adams says. “My objective is to be open-minded about the issues and hear all sides.” Adams has been involved with the Indiana association for 23 years.
Michael Bennett brings 28 years of experience in the rent-to-own industry encompassing both franchise and corporate operations. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Buddy’s Newco, LLC, dba Buddy’s Home Furnishings, and Buddy’s Franchise and Licensing. Prior to joining Buddy’s, he held a number of titles for several RTO companies and divisions such as; Regional Director for Acceptance Now; Vice President of Great Lakes Operations for Aaron’s Inc., which he also served on the National Advertising Advisory and Strategic Budgeting Committees; Director of Operations and Minority Equity Partner of Rosey Rentals LP, dba Aaron’s Inc.; Divisional Vice President and Regional Manager of RentWay Inc.; and Regional Manager at Rent-A-Center, where his career began.
Bennett has been fortunate to serve on the boards for the Illinois Rental Dealers Association and the Florida Rental Dealers Association and currently serves on the APRO board of directors. He graduated cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Webber College
Phillip Bumbry began his 20 years career with RTO in 1999 with Rent-A-Center in Baltimore, Maryland, after attending college at Morgan State University. Since 2019 he has served as President of the Pennsylvania Association of Rental Dealers. After a stellar career in the industry, in 2016 he became a franchisee as Partner and President of The Mid-Atlantic-Wolfpack, dba Aaron’s Inc. With only one year later, Phillip’s biggest accomplishment has been pulling 10 stores out of bankruptcy and transforming them into the top five franchises in Aaron’s system in 2017. Today, the stores are producing $13 million in gross revenue annually.
After finding his calling in the RTO industry and working his way through the ranks from 2005 through 2014, Chad Fosdick opened his first franchise Premier location in North Platte, Nebraska. After a successful opening, Fosdick expanded locally with the opening of his second franchise business, Mr. Appliance. When not working to grow two new businesses, Fosdick enjoys spending time with his family and giving back to his community. He and his wife, Rhonda, have two children, Gage and Tehya.
Rachel Gleason George is responsible for managing Aaron’s legal, corporate governance, compliance, risk management, safety, security, government relations, and corporate affairs functions.
Rachel joined Aaron’s in November 2020 with over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry, most recently from Navient, a leading provider of education loan management and business processing solutions. Prior to joining Navient, Rachel was a partner in the Banking Department of the law firm of Chapman and Cutler LLP, where she had a broad transactional and regulatory banking practice with an emphasis on consumer financial products, including credit and charge cards, student loans, personal loans, and auto loans and leases.
Rachel served as a member of the board of directors of the Structured Finance Association from 2015-2019. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a graduate of Covenant College and of Emory University School of Law.
David Harrison began his career in the rent-to-own industry in 2005 when he along with Geron Vail and Don Parker formed Rental Concepts LLC and signed a development agreement with SPF Management to build RNR Custom Wheel and Performance Tire stores in Arkansas. His previous career was in wholesale distribution where he serviced many traditional RTO businesses and met Geron Vail.
Rental Concepts has enjoyed steady consistent growth over the past 16 years growing to 28 locations with 4 additional markets opening this year. With over 250 employees in five states, Rental Concepts strives to provide exceptional opportunities to its employees and customers. Harrison prides himself on employee satisfaction stating, “happy employees have better production, fewer sick days, and believe in the company culture that allows them to rise from anywhere within the company to top management.”
He has formed partnerships with three other groups to allow them the opportunity to own and operate their own RNR Tire Express franchises, RNR Kentucky with partners President Bill Howard, David P. David, and two other families that will open a total of 12 locations. David speaks of the opportunity he received from his partners and feels the need to pass it on.
Bryan Pechersky has served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Rent-A-Center, Inc. since June 2020. From 2010 through 2019, Bryan served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for Cloud Peak Energy Inc., a mining and logistics supplier to U.S. and Asian utilities. From 2007 to 2010, Bryan was Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for Harte-Hanks, Inc., a worldwide, direct, and targeted marketing company. From 2005 to 2007, Bryan was Senior Vice President, Secretary, and Senior Corporate Counsel for Blockbuster Inc., a global movie and game entertainment retailer. From 2004 to 2005, Bryan was Deputy General Counsel and Secretary for Unocal Corporation, an international energy company. Prior to these positions, from 1996 to 2004, Bryan was a capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and litigation attorney for Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., a leading global law firm.
Bryan also served as a Law Clerk to the Hon. Loretta A. Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1995 and 1996. Bryan earned his Bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin and his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Gopal Reddy, current APRO board member, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Action Development Corp. He received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California and an MBA in finance from Bryant University in Rhode Island.
He opened his first Aaron’s store in Springfield, Illinois, approximately 24 years ago. Reddy currently has seven stores across central Illinois.
Gopal served on the AFA and served on the genHKids board, an organization that is fighting to eliminate the childhood obesity epidemic. He donates liberally to this local organization established in Sangamon County, Illinois. He is currently the Chairman of the board for the local Hindu Temple in the greater Springfield area.
If re-elected, he hopes to continue to bring cultural diversity to the APRO board and continue to provide assistance and guidance to this great organization.