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

FRDA Returns to Tallahassee for Annual Legislative Day

APRO members Pete Shau, Regional Manager for Buddy Mac Holdings LLC dba Buddy’s Home Furnishings, Joshua Ciesicki, Owner of Great Rooms Central LLC, and Paul Metivier arrive at Florida’s Capitol.

Fourteen rental dealers and vendors convened in Tallahassee, Florida, on February 13, 2024, for FRDA’s Legislative Day. Previously an annual event, this was the first time the event reconvened since 2020, giving veteran rent-to-own advocates and newcomers alike the opportunity to walk the halls of Florida’s Capitol to discuss rent-to-own with legislators and staffers.

APRO member and FRDA President Paul Metivier, Vice President of Operations for Impact RTO Holdings dba Rent-A-Center, kicked off the day with a briefing on several areas of concern, followed by a presentation from the association’s lobbyist, Corrine Mixon, on the Florida political landscape and legislative session.

Metivier then discussed the importance of RTO advocacy, and provided talking points and guidance for the day’s legislative meetings.

“Coming to Tallahassee to meet with our legislators, telling them about RTO and our businesses, and sharing your stories is such an important component of keeping our industry safe,” said Metivier. “As the saying goes, if you are not at the table, you may find yourself on the table.”

The group then split into two teams – one led by Metivier and the other by APRO member and fellow FRDA Board member Ruben Flores, owner of R&B Dreammakers dba Premier Rental-Purchase – and headed to the Capitol complex for a full day of meetings with senators and representatives on both sides of the aisle to discuss rent-to-own’s importance to the Florida economy, and share members’ individual stories about their businesses and positive impact on their local communities.

“Now I truly understand why we need to advocate for our industry,” said first-time participant Sachin Rama, Director of Finance for Impact RTO Holdings dba Rent-A-Center. “Every legislator we met with said it’s best to come when you don’t have an issue so that when you do, they know who you are.”

APRO CEO Charles Smitherman also participated to support FRDA and this essential event.

“Relationships form the heart of RTO,” said Smitherman. “FRDA provides a model example with of how to extend our relationships to our elected officials by showing up to the Capitol, sitting down with lawmakers to tell our stories, and becoming a known resource for legal and regulatory decisions affecting our industry.”

Members of the Florida Rental Dealers Association stop in front of the Senate chambers for a quick photo op before their full day of meetings with legislators.

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