Following three years of thwarted annual meetings – two by COVID-19, one by Hurricane Ian – the Florida Rental Dealers Association (FRDA) was finally able to hold a 2023 meeting mid-July. The two-day event, aptly themed “The Mulligan,” attracted about 200 attendees to Tampa, Florida, for a warm but wonderful time.
“The true focus of our meeting was our people,” said FRDA President Paul Metivier, who is also Vice President of Operations for Impact RTO Holdings dba Rent-A-Center. “Keeping the people we have, honoring the ones we’ve lost, and encouraging those who are next to lead the rent-to-own industry.”
Jason Winters, a regional manager with Impact RTO Holdings dba Rent-A-Center, served as the event’s keynote speaker, delivering the impactful “Jeffrey Story,” which details how one deficient associate can destroy a whole store. And Rick Gallegos, President and CEO of Dale Carnegie of Tampa Bay, presented his training seminar on “The Great Retention” – how to develop trust with associates in order to help them be their best on the job and enjoy their work.
During the meeting’s awards ceremony, the inaugural Kirk Kaye Volunteer Award – named to honor C. Kirk Kaye, the Owner of Kaye Ventures Inc. dba Gator Rents who died in late 2021 – was presented. Cecilia Kaye, Kirk’s wife of 31 years, offered a moving speech about her late husband before presenting the award to Teresa Hill, Vice President of Operational Support for Buddy’s Newco LLC dba Buddy’s Home Furnishings. Hill gave a terrific acceptance speech of her own, encouraging all present to do more for folks in need.
“It was a great meeting,” said APRO President and CEO of Buddy’s Newco LLC dba Buddy’s Home Furnishings Michael Bennett. “I’m eternally appreciative of the Kirk Kaye Volunteer Award, in memory of Kirk’s contribution to the RTO industry and to the many he touched in life.”
“It’s remarkable to experience firsthand the unity within our industry,” said Metivier. “From the FRDA Board of Directors to our vendors, to all of our members and APRO, the passion for rent-to-own is extremely high, and everyone is so generous and gracious with their time and support. I have no doubt that whenever a challenge comes, we’ll be ready to address it.”