ATLANTA, July 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, today announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of its largest franchisee, SEI/Aaron’s, Inc., in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $140 million, which was paid with cash-on-hand. Aaron’s expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings in 2017.

SEI was founded in 1995 and currently serves more than 90,000 customers through 104 Aaron’s stores in 11 states, primarily in the Northeast.

“We’re excited to bring the SEI team and stores into the Aaron’s organization,” said John Robinson, Chief Executive Officer. “Founder Charles Smithgall, CEO Chas Smithgall and SEI’s President and COO, Dave Edwards, have built an outstanding business over the last 22 years, with a deep leadership team and strong profitability,” concluded Mr. Robinson.

“The acquisition will strengthen Aaron’s presence in highly attractive markets,” said Douglas Lindsay, President of the Aaron’s Business. “I am especially pleased that Dave Edwards, who has led SEI’s operations for over 15 years, will be joining the Aaron’steam. SEI has consistently been one of our top performing franchisees. Our omnichannel platform should benefit from added scale, and we believe there are opportunities for revenue and cost improvement as we leverage our existing competitive advantages and apply SEI’s best-in-class operating strategies.”

“In addition, we expect the purchase will enhance our ability to drive inventory supply-chain synergies between the Aaron’s Business and Progressive Leasing in markets that SEI currently serves,” concluded Mr. Lindsay.

“We have been a proud and successful part of the Aaron’s family for over 20 years,” said Dave Edwards, President and Chief Operating Officer of SEI. “Aaron’s has an exceptional culture and long history of providing customers access to quality products for their homes and families. We’re confident the legacy we have built together will continue as the organization executes on its long-term strategy.”

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), is a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. The Aaron’s Business engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its more than 1,770 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada, as well as its e-commerce platform, In addition, Progressive Leasing, a virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 24,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through federally insured banks. For more information, visit,,, and

“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this news release regarding our business that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “may,” “expect,” “expectations,” “outlook,” “forecast,” “guidance,” “intend,” “believe,” “could,” “project,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “should” and similar terminology. These risks and uncertainties include factors such as risks associated with our acquisition of SEI’s store operations, including risks that the SEI business does not achieve the financial performance we expect or that we do not achieve our integration plans and objectives related to the SEI business; changes in general economic conditions; competition; pricing; legal and regulatory proceedings; customer privacy; information security; customer demand; the execution and results of our strategy and expense reduction and store closure and consolidation initiatives; risks related to Progressive Leasing’s “virtual” lease-to-own business,  and the other risks and uncertainties discussed under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 as updated in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2017. Statements in this release that are “forward-looking” include without limitation statements regarding: the expected financial and operational performance of the SEI store operations we have acquired; the revenue enhancement and cost-reduction opportunities that may be created by that  acquisition ; the benefits expected from, and importance to our business of, the geographical markets in which the SEI business operates;  the benefits expected for our omnichannel platform from the  scale we expect from the SEI acquisition; enhancements to our ability to drive inventory supply-chain synergies and improvements between the Aaron’s Business and Progressive Leasing within the markets in which  the SEI stores operate; long-term growth; and the outcome and results of our strategic investments and objectives, including the outcome of our acquisition of the SEI store operations You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances after the date of this press release.

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SOURCE Aaron’s, Inc.

AARON'S, INC. LOGOATLANTA, July 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, today announced financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017.

“We’re very pleased with our second quarter results,” said John Robinson, Chief Executive Officer. “Strong growth at Progressive Leasingand disciplined execution in the Aaron’s Business drove increased revenues and improved profitability in the quarter.”

“Progressive had an exceptional quarter driven by a significant increase in total invoice volume and strong lease portfolio performance. The business has impressive momentum across a diverse mix of verticals and we expect to continue to drive long-term growth with our leading virtual lease-to-own model,” Mr. Robinson stated.

“The Aaron’s Business outperformed our expectations primarily due to higher lease margin and strong cost control,” continued Mr. Robinson. “We’re making additional investments in the Aaron’s Business to improve our direct-to-consumer platform, and our long-term confidence in the business is also demonstrated by the accretive acquisition of Aaron’s largest franchisee, announced in a separate press release today.”

“We remain conservatively capitalized, with a proforma net debt to capitalization of approximately 14.5% following the acquisition. We’ll continue to look for ways to leverage our unique set of assets to serve more customers and create value for our shareholders, associates, franchisees and retail partners,” Mr. Robinson concluded.

  • Total Revenues $815.6 Million; Diluted EPS $0.51
  • Non-GAAP Diluted EPS $0.68, Up 15%
  • Progressive Revenues Up 25%; Active Doors Up 37%
  • Increasing 2017 Outlook for both the Aaron’s Business and Progressive

Click here to view complete Financial Summary

Full-O-Pep Appliances Inc., dba American Rental celebrated their 36th Anniversary by hosting their annual trade expo and Kent Hoffman memorial charity golf tournament followed by the company’s annual Hog Roast party on July 21st and 22nd. The trade show was held at The Season’s Lodge & Conference Center in Nashville, IN, the Hog Roast was held on Full-O-Pep’s owner and former APRO president David P. David’s property also located in Nashville, IN.

This year’s trade expo theme was “Embracing Technology” with the idea of introducing new technology to work with rather than against Full-O-Pep’s current systems. The belief is by introducing new pieces to their employees they will remove the fear of technology and instead embrace it.  “The vision of the future has unlimited automation possibilities – from having customer electronically sign a contract to an automated touch screen attendant,” shared Full-O-Pep Chief Technology Officer/Chief Information Officer Raouf Bishay. “From back office to front office, inventory and warehouse, we showcased some of the possible implementations. With that said, not all technology is suitable to our RTO environment but we must test all that is available and choose what is practical.”

Everyone was invited out to David’s property for the much anticipated annual company hog roast where vendors, employees and their families enjoyed hot air balloon rides, inflatable water slides, go-carts, a dunk tank, live music and food. As always, David served his homemade famous baked beans that did not disappoint.

See more photos of the event by clicking here.


The Premier Companies is proud to announce the opening of our newest location in North Conway, New Hampshire!

Rent To Own veteran, Sean Young, has been in the RTO business for eighteen years. He held a variety of positions with Rent A Center during his tenure, from Account Manager, Driver, Store Manager and Trainer working in New York, Maine and New Hampshire. Sean became interested in owning his own RTO business after seeing his personal success working for someone else.  He researched his options of RTO franchise systems and found that Premier was more flexible in their procedures, which made it a perfect fit for him. “Having the ability to order the products that I see will personally benefit my customers in my market, is very exciting for me,” said Young.

North Conway Premier Rental-Purchase owner Sean Young

The North Conway area now has a new choice! Young looks forward to being part of the community and seeing his former customers as well as meeting new ones.  “North Conway has a huge sense of community and I am excited to be a new local business,” commented Young.

Premier Rental-Purchase offers a better way for their customers to buy name brand furniture, appliances, computers, and electronics at affordable prices.  Premier offers flexible payment options for their customers who do not wish to tie up their credit or for those who have not yet established credit.   The people at Premier are the people you know and trust.

North Conway Premier Rental-Purchase Mascot

About The Premier Companies
The national office of The Premier Companies is located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Premier Companies’ Brands consist of Premier Rental-Purchase, Premier Home Furnishings, and Premier Auto by Rent. Our locations are independently owned and operated. Visit The Premier Companies’ website at  or call 800/2-Premier Ext. 2  for more information.

Media Contact:
Nancy Price
Director of Marketing
The Premier Companies
5248 Olde Towne Rd
Williamsburg, VA23188

From rent-to-own colleagues to “blood sisters,” these courageous women have more in common than most best friends.

By Kristen Card | Photographs by Beau Brand

Alexa Kehl was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was nine years old. Genetically linked type 1 diabetes happens when the immune system destroys the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Not only do type 1 diabetics have to monitor and adjust their blood-sugar levels continually, but over time, the disease can damage nerves and blood vessels in their eyes, kidneys and heart. And that is what happened to Kehl. In 2003, 24-year-old Alexa wasn’t feeling well, so she went to her endocrinologist.

“He did some tests, and came back into the room and said, ‘We’re admitting you to the hospital immediately. Your kidneys are currently working at only 12 percent; they are shutting down,’” Kehl recalls. “The next morning, I had surgery to put in a port for dialysis and began treatments later that day. Dialysis was really difficult—I lost weight quickly due to the strict diet, the site where my port was inserted kept getting infected and there were other complications. In dialysis, you sit there and watch all of your blood get cycled out of your body, cleaned and drained of excess fluid, then returned to your body. It was a three-and-a-half-hour process, and I did it three days a week for a year. A year full of tears.”

In 2004, Kehl’s mom was approved to donate one of her kidneys to her ailing daughter. The transplant was a complete success, Alexa felt great and was able to resume a relatively normal life.

A few years later, Kehl was looking to change jobs, from radio station marketing and promotions to…something else. She saw a job posting for Benefit Marketing Solutions, the rent-to-own industry’s leading provider of membership programs, and applied at their office in Norman, Oklahoma. She interviewed with two people, one of whom was her boss-to-be, Lanai Williams. Kehl began working at BMS in January 2008.

“When Lanai and I began working together, my diabetes was worsening,” Kehl recalls. “Sometimes, my blood sugar would tank overnight and I wouldn’t wake up in the morning. The first time I didn’t show up for work and Lanai couldn’t reach me by phone, she nabbed a co-worker and came over to check on me. My car was out front, so they began banging on the front door and even the bedroom window, but they couldn’t wake me. Luckily, I was staying with a cousin and she came home and let them in.”

Lanai Williams quickly learned the procedure for rousing a hypoglycemic Kehl, and was trusted with a house key. Over the next several months, this personal connection between the two women grew into a deep and abiding friendship. Kehl and Williams’ relationship evolved from professional colleagues at BMS to nearly inseparable BFFs. “We were both single and we enjoy the same things,” Kehl explains. “We like to eat out, go shopping, go to crafting shows. Lanai sings, so we go to karaoke and she performs and I pretend to be her manager. We enjoy live music, so we’ve been to several concerts together and traveled together. In 2012, we went to Japan! We just clicked.”

In 2010, a pair of eerily similar tragedies cemented the women’s bond. Both women’s fathers were killed in separate car accidents not even a month apart. “I remember sitting at the hospital and watching Alexa cry and cry and cry, and thinking that I couldn’t imagine the pain she was feeling and wishing I could do something to bring her some comfort,” Williams recalls. “Who knew that within just a few weeks, our roles would be reversed?”

“When we were at the hospital with Lanai’s dad, her family was in a meeting with the doctors,” Kehl remembers. “And Lanai came out and told me they were donating all of her dad’s organs. That was huge to me.”

Just one month later, Kehl was put on the waiting list for a pancreas transplant at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She waited only two months before a match came up, and she underwent her second successful transplant. But while Kehl now had a functioning pancreas, she suffered some subsequent complications that damaged the kidney she had received from her mom. In 2013, the kidney began to shut down and Kehl felt like she was back at square one. Several people, including Williams, tested to see whether they might be a match for Kehl, but none were.

“I was terribly disappointed after so much testing to be told I wasn’t a match,” Williams confides. “I’ve got the universal-donor blood type [type O positive], so I thought it was a no-brainer. I was disheartened, as was Alexa. So I decided to do a paired donation to get Alexa a kidney.” A paired donation meant Williams would donate her kidney to someone she matched with who had a friend or family member who matched with and was willing to donate to Kehl. It also meant more wait lists and timing challenges, but it was worth a try.

Then, during Williams’ final testing for the paired donation, she was given miraculous news. Due to some blood transfusions that Kehl had undergone, the women were now, somehow, a match. Williams was stunned. “I met Alexa and her mom in the lobby, and Alexa said, ‘You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Are you going to be sick?’” Williams recounts. “I wanted to get them alone to tell them, so I hurried them onto the elevator. I couldn’t control my emotions, I could hardly get the words out. They were stone silent and I thought, Why isn’t anyone saying anything? But then the crying and hugging started, and it essentially lasted the whole seven-and-a-half-hour car ride back home to Oklahoma.”

This incredible turn of events meant that not only could Williams donate her kidney directly to her dear friend, but it could also happen immediately—no more wait lists, no more dialysis.

On January 29, 2014, the women arrived for the transplant surgery. Kehl was cool as a cucumber—this wasn’t her first rodeo, after all. Williams, on the other hand, had never even ridden a horse, figuratively speaking. “I was pretty nervous going into it,” she confesses. “I had never had any type of medical procedure; the worst thing I had experienced up to that point was strep throat, which didn’t involve anesthesia or scalpels. So I focused on how it was going to be life-changing for Alexa. It was such a huge thing for her not to have to spend her life in hospitals, undergoing procedures because her body was failing her.”

The transplant was a success all the way around. Williams went first for her laparoscopic kidney removal, followed by Kehl’s much more involved and lengthy surgery. “As I woke up in recovery, they rolled Lanai’s bed directly in front of mine and she said, ‘Friend, my kidney is doing better in you than it was in me,’” Kehl notes. “I just remember being so, so happy.”

Today, Kehl and Williams aren’t as close proximity-wise as they once were. After 13 years with Benefit Marketing Solutions, Williams moved to Oklahoma City for a career change to banking. And, just a few months after the transplant, she also met her future husband; the couple will be married later this summer.

But what rent-to-own brought together has become a relationship that will last the rest of these women’s lives. They are self-proclaimed “blood sisters” who are connected on a profound and permanent level. And of course, Kehl will be standing beside her bestie at the altar come August.

“There is something exceptionally special about your best friend being willing to give up a physical part of herself to save your life,” Kehl affirms. “That is pure selflessness. There is no way I can ever repay Lanai for her grand gesture. I just keep living life for today and taking good care of her kidney.”

“She needed something and I had it, so I gave it to her,” Williams concludes. “If a neighbor came to my house needing a cup of sugar and I had a cup of sugar, I would give it to her. I realize in some ways, it’s not at all the same thing, but in my eyes, it was. When you care about someone this much and they need something that much, you’ll move mountains to make sure they get it.”

Click here to read the original article from RTOHQ: The Magazine in digital form.

Kristen Card is a freelance business writer based in Austin, Texas.

Registration for TRIB Group’s signature roundtable event, Meeting of the Minds & Expo will be closing soon.  The three-day event is co-located with BrandSource’s National Convention at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, August 28-30, 2017.

Meeting of the Minds is TRIB Group’s signature event and is one of the most valuable part of the membership. This three-day event is centered on roundtable meetings lead by RTO industry leaders, as well as idea-sharing break-out sessions for varying management levels and plenty of networking opportunities with fellow members. Programming includes discussions on a variety of topics and issues, focused solely on the rental industry.

Meeting of the Minds is not just about meetings, this event features TRIB Group’s signature HOT SHOW, a welcome reception, and a day and a half of buying time. BrandSource also offers a full schedule of meetings, seminars, and networking events, including events with their Young Professionals and Women in Business groups. So make your plans to meet TRIB in Vegas!

A copy of the current event agenda can be found at

Registration is online through at Stay posted on these and other events by following us on Facebook and

For questions on this and other upcoming events, please call the TRIB Group staff at 770-451-4302. Or visit

The Rental Industry Buying Group (TRIB Group), based in Lawrenceville, Georgia, was established in 1983 and is currently the largest member owned, member run buying cooperative in the nation specifically for the RTO industry.  TRIB Group’s membership is currently 184 member companies strong and is proud to be a strategic alliance partner with AVB/BrandSource.

It is time to register for the annual Midwest RTO Training Expo, you won’t want to miss out on this annual event!!

This year’s event is being held at the Doubletree by Hilton Columbus/Worthington in Columbus Ohio on September 12th & 13th. The cost to attend is only $40.00 per person and that includes the social event planned for the evening of Tuesday, September 12th.

The Guest Speaker this year will be Chris Spielman, a 2-time All American from Ohio State, Lombardi Trophy winner, who played 11 years in NFL and was a 4-time Pro Bowler and Lions all-time leading tackler!!!

**NEW** This year is the first year that each company attending will receive two $250 vouchers to use to make purchases from vendors at the show. If the vouchers are used with a new vendor, they can be doubled.


  • The hotel registration deadline of August 11th is fast approaching so call the Doubletree Hilton today at (614) 885-3334 and mention ORDA/MIDWEST EXPO to get the group rate of $108.00 per night.
  • Register yourself and your employees to attend with the Registration Form by clicking here. You can submit additional pages, if necessary. You can either mail, email or fax in your registration, details are provided on the form.

If you have any questions about the event, you can contact:

Keith Ferriman at 740-383-6020 or email him at

Mike Tissot at 740-634-2466 or email him at

Joe Fischer at 330-503-6978 or email him at 

For registration questions please feel free to contact APRO Finance/Programs Director Tulisha Wendele at or by phone at 512/794-0095, ext. 111.

Retired NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda greet new St. Louis homeowner Kamerial and her children before a surprise unveiling of a home full of furniture donated by Aaron’s, Inc. and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing. The awarded home was a result of a partnership of Aaron’s, U-Haul, Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis, and Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda’s First Things First Foundation (FTFF).

Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing, contributed the furnishings for a July surprise home presentation to St. Louis resident Kamerial as part of the company’s ongoing partnership with the “Homes for the Holidays” program.

The awarded home was a result of a partnership of Aaron’s, U-Haul, Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis, and retired NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, his wife Brenda, and their First Things First Foundation (FTFF). This was the 44th family to be surprised by FTFF’s “Homes for the Holidays” program.

“Aaron’s takes great joy in joining with Kurt Warner’s First Things First Foundation and Habitat for Humanity once again to provide a safe and stable home to a family in need,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “We are committed to giving back to communities across the country and we know Kamerial and her children will enjoy their new home for many years.”

The home was presented to Kamerial and her two daughters, 10-year-old Heaven and one-year-old Spirit. Before receiving their new home, the family lived in apartments with little space for the children to play. They look forward to making new memories in their new two-story home and spacious backyard. Kamerial works as a registered medical assistant at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and also styles hair on the weekends to make ends meet.

Unbeknownst to Kamerial’s family, their new home was fully furnished, including furniture, a washer and dryer, and technology, with an approximate total retail value of $10,000 thanks to Aaron’s.

Aaron’s, Inc., a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing, contributed the furnishings for a July surprise home presentation to St. Louis resident Kamerial as part of the company’s ongoing partnership with the “Homes for the Holidays” program.

The “Homes for the Holidays” program was initiated in 1997 by former NFL running back Warrick Dunn.  In St. Louis, the First Things First Foundation teams with community organizations dedicated to affordable homeownership such as Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis to find eligible candidates who are working hard to better their lives and those of their children by taking the necessary steps to buy a new home. Nomination forms are completed by affordable housing representatives and reviewed and selected by the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation.  The First Things First Foundation has surprised a total of 44 families with a cumulative 104 children with “Homes for the Holidays” in St. Louis(20), Iowa (4), New Jersey (1) and Arizona (19).

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), is a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. The Aaron’s Business engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its more than 1,800 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada, as well as its e-commerce platform, In addition, Progressive Leasing, a virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 22,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through federally insured banks. For more information, visit,,, and

About the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation
Established in 2001, the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity serving as a vehicle for Kurt and Brenda Warner to reach out to the community and share their blessings with those in need.  The First Things First Foundation is dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities to encourage everyone that all things are possible when people seek to put “first things first.” Additional information is available at

About Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis
Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis is a not-for-profit, ecumenical housing ministry working in partnership with individuals and communities of all faiths to provide safe, decent and affordable housing in the St. Louis community. Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. With more than 335 homes already built, Habitat is one of the leading housing developers in St. Louis. Sponsors include corporations, organizations, religious groups, and individuals. According to the USGBC, Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis is the largest producer of LEED Certified Platinum single-family detached homes in the United States. Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis can be found on-line at:; twitter @habitatstl; and blog

SOURCE Aaron’s, Inc.

Rent One Director of Real Estate Steven Carrico serves on the board for KidSmart, a nonprofit organization that provides free school supplies to more than 90,000 students in St. Louis area, helped develop its first Young Friends Board. Larry and Sharon Carrico’s Great Expectations Foundation also aided in the necessary funding to launch the young friends board in 2017.

Below is the article KidSmart released announcing the Young Friends Board. You can also read it in its original format by clicking here.

Great Expectations Foundation provides seed funding for KidSmart Young Friends Board

Founding Co-Chairs Ashby Owens and Lauren Wendell are excited and eager to make a difference in the St. Louis community by starting KidSmart’s first young friends board.  The very generous support from the Great Expectations Foundation provides the necessary funding to launch the young friends board in 2017.

KidSmart opened the doors to what remains Missouri’s only Free Educational Supply Store 15 years ago.  The Free Store equips tens of thousands of St. Louis area kids with items such as: paper, pencils, markers, glue, and crayons… items every child must have to succeed in school.

Each and every child has a hope and dream… they have the desire and ability to achieve those dreams. They simply lack the essential tools critical for success. KidSmart kids are our kids… they are tomorrow’s doctors, teachers, engineers. It is the continued support from the entire St. Louis community who has donated their dollars, time, and school supplies that have truly the real difference in the education and lives of so many local kids.

KidSmart’s Young Friends Board will help the organization expand in 2017 by bringing an awareness of the need in our neighborhoods and getting support from St. Louis young adults looking to make a direct impact on our future generations.

“I’m excited to be a part of KidSmart’s Young Friends Board because I feel there is a need that people rarely see, especially young adults like myself. Being able to help kids with such basic needs is something I really feel will help them succeed in the their future. I think many young adults want to see our youth succeed, but are unaware of how to help.” -Lauren Wendell

The Young Friends Board Members will collect school supplies and help KidSmart deliver the items directly into the classrooms with KidSmart’s On the Go! Truck.  Each week The On the Go! Truck deliveries $15,000 in free school supplies to students in high poverty schools.

“I want everyone on the young friends board to feel the excitement a child gets by receiving pencils to use or book to read! Our goal is to raise awareness of how many kids in the St. Louis area cannot afford to buy school supplies to learn. KidSmart is such an incredible organization and I cannot wait to be a part of its growth.” – Ashby Owens.

The partnership with the Great Expectations Foundation and continued support from Steve Carrico of Rent One provides KidSmart’s Young Friends Board with a fun and exciting way to network and make an impact on the St. Louis community.


  • Make a donation at or by texting “kids” to 314-207-2448
  • Schedule a time to volunteer with your company, friends, or even by yourself
  • Host a supply drive in your company, church, etc.

If you are interested in being considered for KidSmart’s Young Friends Board, please contact us via email at


Yesterday, the Aaron’s Women’s Leadership Network (AWLN) hosted its second annual “Lead Like A Girl” program for 13 pre-teen/early teen girls from the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta’s Mimms Club (Cherokee County). The objective of the program is to expose young at-risk girls to subject matters and professional development to which they may not otherwise be exposed so that we proactively plant seeds on options they have for their futures.  

They began with an icebreaker for introductions on how to reverse negative qualities into positive qualities, followed by Paige Mamula and Jill Young conducting a session on “Goal Setting,” showing the girls that long term goals are only a set of short-term goals away. They had a pizza party for lunch, followed by a tour of The Studio by Tracy Sackellares, and a session on Information Technology led by Sarah Countryman, David Nolan, and Tracy Sackellares. “We’ve already received an enormous amount of positive feedback from the girls, and the day was a true success,” shared Aaron’s Division Lead Counsel Heather A. Calhoun.

“Aaron’s gives a special thanks to AWLN Executive Sponsor Robbie Kamerschen, graphic designer Bryon Palmer who helped brand this year’s program, CIO John Trainor and Deputy General Counsel Ted Scartz, both of whom have been actively supporting this cause during an unusually busy workload, all of the Presenters named above who volunteered their time, and last but not least, all of Aaron’s associates who sacrificed their time to volunteer and help yesterday – the day would not have been possible without you: Penny Meegan, Vera Roads, Ciara Lewis, Tyna Dao, Ashley Worthington, Becca Maloney, Steven Smith, Ann Smith, and LaDonna Nettles,” said Calhoun. “Thank you for your commitment to changing lives and changing the course.”

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), is a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. Aaron’s Business engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its more than 1,800 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada as well as its e-commerce platform In addition, Progressive Leasing, a virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 22,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through federally insured banks. For more information, visit,,, and