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

Get to Know Your Board Members | Ernie Lewallen

Name: Ernie Lewallen

What is your current title/role?

I am the President of UHR Rents.

How many years have you been working in rent-to-own?

I’m coming up on 43 years working in rent-to-own next spring.

What did you do before you began working in RTO?

I worked for Penske Truck Leasing, placing trucks with fleets and placing short-term rentals with consumers. I also managed an AJ Wood Market Research regional office, where I supervised 50 telemarketers during three shifts every day.

What is your favorite thing about rent-to-own?

Early on, when I was working in the stores, it was the customers – but today, it’s my personal friendships with other RTO executives.

What has been your proudest professional moment?

My proudest professional moment was ten years ago in 2013, when I received APRO’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Why did you want to be a member of APRO’s Board of Directors?

As I reflect on industry changes from [former APRO Executive Director] Bill Keese’s period to today, I see a significant loss of much of our history. I want to help protect the legacy of rent-to-own.

What issues do you hope to work on, and what sort of difference do you hope to make, during your time on the Board?

I want to help prepare APRO members for a day when our immediate outlook may not be so rosy. I know what it means to be afraid of lawmakers taking our business away, because I witnessed it. My experience motivates me to educate others about our past.

What’s your favorite non-work-related way to spend your time?

I love photographing great landscapes and wildlife.

What’s your “happy place,” and why?

Anywhere west of the Rockies – seeing a great mountain range, the desert, or the ocean is paradise to me.

Please share a favorite quotation, lyric, or saying, and what it means to you.

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. These were the last words sung by the greatest rock band of all time, the Beatles. They came in singing about love, and they went out the same way.

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