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

State RDA Presidents Hold First-Quarter Meeting

APRO recently held the first quarterly State President Meetup of 2024, bringing about 15 state rental dealer associations (RDAs) together. The quarterly meetups are a chance for these industry leaders to network with each other, discuss upcoming RTO events, plan for the upcoming year, and learn more about issues important to the rent-to-own industry.

APRO CEO Charles Smitherman kicked off the call by discussing APRO’s new Legislative Conference Fellowship program, designed to help develop RTO employees into champions and advocates who can educate elected officials and the public about the benefits of rent-to-own. Fellowships – valued at $1,000 each and sponsored by state RDAs and Ashley Furniture Industries – will go toward selected Fellows’ expenses to attend the APRO Legislative Conference, scheduled for April 24-26, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

“There’s no more important job than telling the story of rent-to-own and its benefits to our customers, and this is the opportunity,” said Smitherman. “APRO is committed to training new leaders in our industry, and I encourage all our members to join us.”

Next, APRO General Counsel Ed Winn III provided a legislative update, reviewing several upcoming bills with the potential to affect RTO businesses. Winn also offered a series of Political Action Committee (PAC) do’s and don’ts. APRO’s PAC is working to raise $50,000 to ensure industry support of or opposition to political candidates, ballot initiatives, or proposed legislation.

The state presidents also discussed their vital support of educational scholarships through the APRO Charitable Foundation. Thanks to greater support from state leaders – from five to nine state organizations – APRO and state RDAs provided nine more scholarships during 2023-2024 than the previous year. State RDAs are now considering how they will support the 2024-2025 scholarships.

Lastly, APRO shared information about its upcoming Social Media Hacks webinar on January 25, 2024, at 1:00 PM CT, encouraging as many members to join as possible. The APRO team also requested ideas for upcoming quarterly educational webinars.

The next State Presidents Meetup will be held on April 11, 2024, at 1:00 PM CT.

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