The annual Route 66 meeting and tradeshow for the Oklahoma Rental Dealers Association will meet September 10 and September 11. The 2019 event will be held at the well-known Tulsa Hard Rock and Casino and room blocks are available to book now! Final details on a guest speaker are still being locked down but will be announced soon.
These two days will be action-packed with the association meeting, the vendor exhibits, and the hot show. Moriah Eberhart, membership manager at APRO, will be in attendance to speak on behalf of the association. She comes to the association from the hospitality industry. Eberhart’s experience includes sales and business development with a background in corporate training. Since joining APRO in May, she has had the opportunity to meet members face-to-face at industry events such as the Missouri Rental Dealers Heartland of America Regional Trade Show and Seminar, RTO World held a couple of weeks in Louisville, Kentucky, and most recently Nationwide RentDirect PrimeTime in New Orleans last weekend. Eberhart looks forward to meeting as many APRO members as she can and chances are she’ll greet each one with a hug!
For questions, please contact Clifford “Chip” Guy at 813/361-4086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The acquisition of Buddy’s Home Furnishings by Liberty Tax took place this summer propelled by strategic business moves for the company. In an effort to transform themselves from a tax service business to an investment company specializing in franchised and related businesses, Liberty Tax also intends to change its name to ‘Franchise Group Inc.’
With more than 330 stores nationwide, Buddy’s Home Furnishings is the third largest rent-to-own dealer in the United States. Almost 90% of their locations are franchisee operated. All outstanding shares of common stock will be $12 per share, as offered by Liberty Tax.
A special committee of independent directors of Liberty Tax unanimously approved the following terms of the transaction: New Holdco, a newly formed subsidiary of Liberty Tax, acquired all of the outstanding equity interests of Buddy’s; equity interests in New Holdco issued to former owners of Buddy’s implies an enterprise value of Buddy’s of approximately $122 million; the equity interests issued by New Holdco and the shares of Preferred Stock are exchangeable for shares of Common Stock; the tender offer for all outstanding shares of Common Stock is $12.00 per share, financed through a combination of debt and equity financing; The Buddy’s Loan was extended solely to Buddy’s and neither Liberty Tax, nor any of its subsidiaries that operate the existing Liberty Tax business, are obligors in respect of this loan.
Liberty Tax and Buddy’s will operate as stand-alone businesses with separate management teams.
Click here for more details on the acquisition and terms of the transaction.
The new school year may have started and summer vacations are coming to an end, but the Florida Rental Dealers Association [FRDA] is getting ready for its RTO Life Annual Meeting. This year’s event will be from Tuesday, September 17 to Wednesday, September 18 at the Westin Tampa Waterside in Tampa, Florida.
Tuesday night will open with the Welcome Reception at 5:30 PM followed by the highly anticipated Pirate Pub Crawl into Tampa’s Historic Ybor City. This annual pub crawl benefits FRDA’s scholarship fund and provides tuition assistance to at least three college students each year. The proceeds of last year’s efforts awarded Brandon Collins, Caitlin Miller,
Wednesday kicks off with the annual Vendor Mingle at 9:30 AM. Grab a breakfast pastry and coffee from the complimentary continental breakfast spread and chat with as many vendors as you can about their latest product offerings before settling in for the FRDA business meeting at 12:00 PM. Lunch will be provided and a more detailed agenda will be distributed to attendees soon.
For more information and to sign up, click here today as registration for this event will close August 31. Hotel rooms at the Westin should be booked as soon as possible for the reserved rate of $164 a night. FRDA attendees will not be able to book within the reserved hotel block rate after August 31.
For questions, please contact FRDA President Sharon Tomaszewski at 813/393-8971 or email@example.com.
APRO Board Member, David Harrison, and wife, Sheila, regular patrons of an Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant, told the manager they needed to speak with their waitress after their meal. Afraid of being in trouble, Maria Elena Barragan, immediately felt scared as she walked back to their table, however, was given a gift bag rather than a reprimand. Inside the bag, Barragan found a title in her name to a 2019 Buick Encore.
While their friendship has grown since 2006, Barragan immediately said the gift was too much and that she couldn’t accept it. Harrison told her that God led him to give her the car. Raising her children on her own, Barragan reminded Harrison of his mom. Harrison’s mom was hardworking and lived a life filled with strong Christian faith, all while taking care of him and his siblings.
The story garnered a lot of local media attention from online news websites such as arkansasonline.com and even the well-known radio show, The Bobby Bones Show. However, this was not the first time the couple has given away a car to a hardworking single mom. When Harrison was 23-years-old, his mother asked him if he could take her car to replace the tires. While driving to the shop, Harrison realized how old and unsafe the car was and then discussed the poor condition of it to his wife. His wife encouraged him to buy his mom a new vehicle, and that same day, Harrison surprised his mom and dropped off her brand new car.
That first experience, and how he felt, never left Harrison. RNR Tire Express [RNR], the nation’s fastest-growing tire and custom wheel franchise, annually gives away cars to mothers on Mother’s Day. Harrison is a partner in Rental Concepts, an RNR Franchise Group with stores in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. As part of their philanthropic mission, RNR asks communities to nominate a ‘superhero mom’ to be surprised with a free car. This past year, three moms drove home with a Ford Fusion and two Buick Encores.
The Ohio Rental Dealers Association has announced this year’s date and location for the Midwest Training Expo. Register today for the events on September 24 and 25 at the Crown Plaza Columbus North. Attendees should book their hotel rooms and register for the training expo as soon as possible.
For only $40 per person, this event includes two days of the tradeshow, training, AND the evening social. This year, the highly anticipated social will take place at Top Golf.
2019 Midwest Training Expo Schedule
Tuesday, September 24
5:00 PM Welcome – Guest Speaker
5:30-7:30 PM Tradeshow
7:30-10:00 PM Top Golf Social Event
Wednesday, September 25
8-9:00 AM Breakfast
9-11:30 AM Tradeshow
11:30AM-12:30 PM Lunch
12:30-4:00 PM Dealer Traning
Attendees can book hotel rooms by calling the hotel at 614/885-1885. By clicking the ‘Register Now’ button at the bottom of the page, register yourself and your employees to attend. Details are provided on the form and you can mail, email, or fax in your registration.
For registration questions, contact Tulisha Wendele, APRO Director of Finance, at 800/204-2776, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any questions about the event, please contact Joe Fischer, 330/503-6978, email@example.com; Keith Ferriman, 740/383-6020, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Mike Tissot, 740/634-2466; email@example.com.
The third annual Iowa-Nebraska Rental Dealers Association [INRDA] will meet Tuesday, September 10 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Des Moines, Iowa. The meeting will begin at
This year’s meeting will feature guest speakers Ed Winn III, APRO General Counsel; Doug Struyk, Attorney at Carney Appleby Law and Iowa Lobbyist; Iowa Representative Karin Derry (D–Iowa, District 39); Leonard Alonzo, RES Accessories; and Lauren Talicska,
Partner at Martinec, Winn, Vickers, and McElroy and rent-to-own in-demand speaker Ed Winn will present an industry update. Winn, comes with unsurpassed rent-to-own knowledge and is considered the nation’s foremost expert on RTO legal and legislative concerns. Winn helped found APRO in 1980 and writes feature articles and a column for every issue of RTOHQ: The Magazine.
Struyk is a former Iowa State Representative from the 99th District. In May of 2012, he was selected by the Speaker of the House to serve as his Executive Officer, a position Doug held until joining Carney Appleby Law.
Derry is the Democratic candidate for Iowa House District 39. She works to protect what has allowed Iowa employers to thrive, such as good public schools that provides both an educated and trainable workforce and an infrastructure that supports businesses.
Alonzo is no rookie to the industry as he has over 37 years of experience. At RTO World this year, he was one of the several speakers and gave a growth and revenue presentation titled, Improving Keep Rate, Revenues, and Profits: Proper Product Care and Refurbishment.
Also in attendance as an exhibitor at RTO World 2019, was Talicska. Talicska has an in-depth background in advertising and directs those skills in the industry by creating and executing marketing plans for RTO dealers.
Sponsors for this event are O’Rourke Sales, RES Accessories, TRIB Group, and wow brands.
Don’t miss this opportunity to meet with like-minded industry professionals from Iowa and Nebraska at INRDA’s annual meeting sponsored by O’Rourke Sales Company, RES Accessories, and Wowbrands! For more information contact INRDA Treasurer Brian J. Luksetich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RTO World 2019 was a success from start to finish last week as rental dealers and exhibitors from across the country met in Louisville, Kentucky, for the second annual trade show and convention hosted by APRO and TRIB Group. This year’s event hit record numbers—from an increase in attendance to Hot Show sales reaching just under $11.5 million—and while we may have left still arguing about whether it’s ‘Looavul,’ ‘Looeyville,’ or ‘Luhvul,’ we can all agree that RTO World left us feelin’ lucky in Kentucky.
The convention kicked off bright and early Tuesday morning in conjunction with a few state association meetings as well as the TRIB Group annual Membership Meeting. Opening day brewed large groups of rent-to-own enthusiasts checking in and picking up their badges before heading to a Peer Group Meetup of choice. Starting the day with engaging peer groups gets people talking, minds percolating and ideas brewing. They serve as a catalyst to shape the RTO World attendee experience in planting the seeds for what each unique individual should absorb over the next three days. The peer group meetups included industry newcomers, store managers, marketing professionals, I.T. professionals, district managers, and owners/dealers.
Tuesday’s schedule also included the annual APRO Awards Luncheon and Business Meeting, sponsored by LG Electronics Corp, USA, that featured keynote speaker Kerry Lebensburger, Chief Revenue Officer of Ashley Furniture Industries. Lebensburger’s presentation offered a sobering look at the industry, what the future might hold and how to achieve resilience. His presentation was a crowd-pleaser on many accounts and will be available for streaming soon. The awards portion of the luncheon was a communion of rent-to-own’s finest getting recognition for their achievements. This year’s slate of noteworthy honorees include Phillip Bumbry, Emerging Leader; George and Angie Ramel, Norm Smith Vendor of the Year; Jonathan Rose, Heritage Award; Dan Singh, Steve Kruse Award of Honor; Gopal Reddy, President’s Award of Excellence; Mike Tissot, Chuck Sims Rental Dealer of the Year; David P. David, Ernie Talley Lifetime Achievement, and John Cleek, Jr. accepting the State Association of the Year award on behalf of the Missouri Rental Dealers Association. Additionally, Florida, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania were recognized in the new Presidents’ Circle award recognizing state associations with outstanding leadership, community involvement, and legislative advocacy. APRO goes the extra mile to keep award winners in the dark until the awards ceremony to add that extra element of surprise.
“I sat there thinking it was quite the coincidence how much the person being described had in common with my life,” shares Singh, recipient of the Steve Kruse Award. “As they went on describing the individual, I thought ‘hey, I did that too…and also that…wait, this is starting to get weird’ and then my name was announced! I was not expecting to win at all, and I’m honored to even be considered.”
While the APRO Awards Luncheon and Business Meeting took place, the Small Batch Managers’ Experience simultaneously opened. The store managers registered for this special track met for their very own peer group meetup before gearing up for the afternoon of education breakout sessions. These sessions were led by some of the most well-renowned individuals in the industry and boasted rooms full of insight and knowledge from wall-to-wall.
Education and professional development are important pillars of RTO World and this year’s roster of presentations sponsored by High Touch Technologies was off the charts. Brian Eckleberry of Ace Rent-to-Own presented his topic explaining that you will never be as good at promoting your business as you think you are compared to a happy customer. In her presentation, Kelly Martin, of SKC Enterprises Inc., dba Rent One, spoke about the importance of retaining a business’ most valuable asset: people. Mike Tissot of Countryside Rentals Inc. shared his trade secrets in his session titled, The Art of Growth: Building Your Customer Base.
For the Owners/Dealers Track sessions, the Kale family presented, Breaking Barriers: 5 Ideas to Create New Revenue Streams and Retain Key Employees. Chris Kale Sr., Rent King, and his sons Chris Kale, Jr. and Jeff Kale of Happy’s Home Centers shared ideas for business diversity and how to keep employees engaged, loyal and committed. The Sutton duo, Larry and Adam of RNR Tire Express, presenting together for the first time, defined generations within the workforce and how to leverage the strengths of every employee. Dan Fisher, Joe Luczak, and Scott Waltman, all from MAJIK Rent-to-Own, discussed their strengths in the company’s culture and their approach to its finesse. Brian Farrington of Cowles & Thompson provided a wage and hour legal update while APRO’s Ed Winn, III, provided his annual legal update. Michael Helton and Christopher Terrigino of Rivero, Gordimer and Company, P.A., joined Troy Garris of Garris PLLC. They discussed the many topics to take into consideration when an individual is interested in buying or selling an RTO business.
Sponsored by Whirlpool, the Hot Show Welcome Reception and Sale concluded the first day of the convention. Rent-to-own exhibitors and attendees came together to connect and bid on items in a live auction. This year’s Hot Show hit $11,446,223 in sales with 26,350 units sold.
Before the day was officially over, the rent-to-own young professionals and industry newcomers were invited to attend the Emerging Leaders Networking Social sponsored by Nationwide RentDirect. Attendees enjoyed networking over some friendly competition challenging each other in games of pool, cornhole and bowling.
Day two of RTO World 2019 opened with the RTO Education Continental Breakfast sponsored by Color Ad, Crosley Corporation, O’Rourke Sales Company, and Progressive Furniture Inc. Store Managers’ registered in the Small Batch Experience also got an exclusive sneak peek of the trade show floor during breakfast. At the Education General Session sponsored by High Touch Technologies that morning, keynote speaker JD Smith, Chief Operations Officer of Aaron’s Inc., spoke on how his experiences growing up shaped him into who he is today. Smith mentioned several pivoting points from childhood to adulthood including when he met retired Cowboys football player, Roger Staubach.
Following the Education General Session, attendees raced down to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony held in front of the exhibit hall that opened the doors to the RTO World Trade Show. This year’s tradeshow offered 53,000 square feet of products and services; a networking lunch co-sponsored by Byrider Franchising and Climatic Corp.; snacks and refreshments sponsored by Coaster, Symbol Mattress, and Tempoe; an ice cream break sponsored by Ideal Software Systems, Inc.; and a continental coffee talk breakfast sponsored by Lane/United Furniture Industries, National Coverage/NCTV, Relation Insurance, and Sealy Mattress Company.
There were also a few surprises during the trade show such as the innovative 4,000 square foot RTO Works rent-to-own store courtesy of American Rental and the APRO member lounge. This year’s APRO Member Lounge was a beautiful 10 x 20 shed graciously donated by Andrew Yoder from Russellville Rentals that was auctioned off on the tradeshow floor for $4,500. That wasn’t the only event that raised money on the tradeshow floor. Shots for Scholarships raised $12,000 auctioning shots of whiskey at $1,000 a pop. With the assistance of auctioneer Casey Pristou, APRO raised a total of $16,500 to benefit the APRO Scholarship Fund.
Next, and with a continued focus on education, another group of breakout sessions took place for the second day of the store managers’ Small Batch Experience on Wednesday afternoon. New to this year’s schedule, store managers could attend RTO World as a ‘Small Batch’ registrant. The Small Batch Managers’ Experience included special event invitations, a sneak peek of the trade show expo, and specially designed speaker presentations. Small Batch Experience speakers included Nancy Friedman, Ron Brown, Rachel Casey, Martin “Elvis” Valdez, Adam Sutton, Leonard Alonzo, Kirby Salgado, Jessica Mahon, Owen Pye, and Breanna Ratering.
One of the many informative presenters, Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor Customer Service, spoke at two different sessions this year discussing the do’s and don’ts of customer service. When asked what her experience has been like attending RTO World, Nancy Friedman answered, “On a scale from one to ten, a twelve.”
For the rest of the afternoon, there were a few more meetings as well as attendees trickling in and out of the exhibit hall, getting exposure to all the latest industry products and trends. However, the night was not over yet as the highly-anticipated evening social was about to begin just down the street at Louisville’s premier dining and entertainment destination Fourth Street Live!
The Tavern at Fourth Street Live! was the site of this year’s offsite party sponsored by Ashley Furniture Industries which brought everyone together for an evening to remember. The derby-themed evening was a great time had by all celebrating another exciting convention week of networking, learning and buying. The night included an RTO World 2019 photobooth, billiards and dancing.
On the final morning of RTO World 2019, a Coffee Talk Continental Breakfast was hosted to give attendees their last chance at coming together for peer bonding and visiting with exhibitors before heading back home.
“The success of this year’s RTO World was made possible by the contribution and efforts of everyone involved,” says APRO Executive Director Jill McClure “Attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, board members and staff all play an essential role that makes this event shine. We can’t wait to do it all again at RTO World 2020 August 17-20 in Tampa, Florida!”
Click here to see more photos of the 2019 RTO World sneak peek album and keep an eye out for more exciting coverage and photos soon!
Nationwide Marketing Group recently announced the launch of WIN: Women in Nationwide, a group focused on supporting and developing female business leaders within the independent retail channel that includes RentDirect members. The group will hold its inaugural meeting at PrimeTime in New Orleans on Sunday, August 18 at 12:00 PM.
“We are very fortunate to have a strong contingent of talented women spearheading business development and growth within our membership, at our vendor partner organizations and across Nationwide Marketing Group itself,” says Jennifer Danko, vice president of technology at Site on Time, a Nationwide Marketing Group company, and a founding member of WIN. “We look forward to bringing these gifted business leaders together in New Orleans to share our unique perspectives and strengths, and identify new pathways that encourage women at all levels to explore leadership roles they may not have considered before.”
Sponsored by Wells Fargo, the WIN luncheon will feature a panel discussion with female leaders from across the industry that addresses topics including recent accomplishments, resources and how women can best support each other to help drive business success. Following the luncheon, Jody Urquhart, author of All Work & No Say, will deliver a humorous and inspirational presentation showcasing how female leaders can use their unique talents to influence, energize and engage their colleagues for mutual success.
“Diversity and inclusion are core to Wells Fargo, and we are honored to sponsor WIN’s inaugural event that recognizes the contribution of women and diverse members of the appliances, electronics, furniture and bedding industries,” says Chad Lyon, president E&A Group, Wells Fargo CDF. “For more than 25 years, we have supported Nationwide’s member growth and our shared vision of advocating for women’s success in the retail industry.”
The WIN luncheon is open only to PrimeTime attendees. Tickets are free, although advance registration is requested. To reserve your spot, visit http://bit.ly/NMGWIN.
STAY IN THE LOOP with the official RTO World 2019 app! See how this year’s app will help you navigate through the biggest event in the industry next week, August 6-9 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Keep up with everything you need to know by…
- Creating a personalized schedule of events and educational sessions,
- Downloading speaker handouts and presentations,
- Finding exhibitor locations,
- Connecting with other attendees,
- Receiving real-time updates and announcements, and
- Uploading and sharing pictures on the activity feed with #RTOWorld19.
Download the official RTO World 2019 event mobile app by searching for “RTO World” in the Google Play Store/Apple App Store. Once installed, enter the email address used for registration as your username and “rtoworld19” for your password (case sensitive). Only registered attendees will have access to the app. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
Don’t forget to use #RTOWorld19 for text and media shared on all of your digital and social media platforms. You can search through the content of other attendees with this hashtag as well as provide your own updates.
We are happy to work with Benefit Marketing Solutions as the sponsor for this year’s app!
We look forward to seeing you at RTO World 2019 August 6-8 in Louisville, Kentucky! We offer this guide to ensure you’re ready for a successful event.
You can also stay in the loop and start planning with the RTO World 2019 App!
You can find the mobile app by searching for “RTO World” in the Google Play Store/Apple App Store. Once installed, enter the email address you used for registration as your username and “rtoworld19” for your password (case sensitive). Only registered attendees will have access to the app. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EARLY REGISTRATION PICK-UP
Avoid the lines on Tuesday, and pick up your badge early on from 3:00 – 6:00 PM on Monday, August 5th, at the Kentucky International Convention Center on the upper concourse.
All events will take place at the convention center unless otherwise noted.
WHAT TO PACK – ATTIRE AND RECEPTIONS
What to wear to convention is one of our most frequently asked questions. RTO World meetings, APRO awards luncheon, trade show, general session, and education is business casual. We want you to be relaxed and ready to learn and connect, so wear something comfortable. We also recommend bringing a jacket or sweater as temperatures in meeting rooms can fluctuate.
- Hot Show Welcome Reception & Sale
Tuesday, 4:45 – 6:45 p.m.
Pick up your bidding paddle and enjoy a cocktail with rent-to-own colleagues, reconnect with old friends and make new ones, all while getting in on deals offered only at RTO World’s high-energy Hot Show. Business casual; complimentary bar.
- Emerging Leaders Networking Social
Tuesday, 9:00 p.m.
Industry newcomers are welcomed to come enjoy complimentary craft cocktails and tasty treats at one of the exciting Fourth Street venues while catching up with the next generation of RTO-industry leaders. Interested in attending? Email us at email@example.com for more info. Casual attire with comfortable shoes suggested.
- Louisville Experience | Fourth Street Live Party!
Wednesday, 7 – 9:30 p.m.
The Louisville Experience makes RTO World 2019 the perfect opportunity to catch up with colleagues and enjoy delicious local fare and live entertainment. Food and drinks will be provided. Host hotels are conveniently located within steps of the Fourth Street area. Derby Casual attire; Bow ties, Dresses & Hats encouraged!
SMS MESSAGING – BE ON THE LOOKOUT
To keep you informed of any important changes during the conference, we’ve added a text messaging service for your convenience. To opt in, provide us with a mobile number and you will receive an SMS (text) message. Simply reply to that with the number “1” and any updates or changes in times or venues during the conference will be communicated to you via text.
For the Marriott Downtown, RTO World attendees receive 30% off prevailing self-parking rates in the hotel’s attached parking garage, based upon availability. Regularly priced onsite parking is either $10 per hour or $29 per day.
For the Kentucky International Convention Center and the Hyatt Regency:
There are two parking garages:
- Cowger Garage is located at 4th & Market Street (directly next to Z’s Fusion Restaurant).
- Commonwealth Garage is located on Jefferson Street (middle of
blockon the left-hand
side) between 3rd & 4th Streets and connected to Hyatt Regency.
Each time a car enters the garage you will be given a parking ticket. Each time that car exits a validation sticker on the ticket in the area in the middle that says, “STICKER HERE”, otherwise you will have to pay.
$2 — 0 min to 1 hour
$4 — 1 hour to 2 hours
$6 — 2 Hours to 3 Hours
$8 — 3 Hours to 8 Hours
$10 — 8 Hours to 24 Hours
A lost parking ticket will result in a $20 charge per day.
Louisville is Eastern Time Zone.
Share Your Experience
Post photos, thoughts, quotes and comments about your RTO World 2019 experience via social media. #RTOWorld19 is this year’s official hashtag. APRO social media channels are Facebook and Twitter, @RTOHQ. Be sure to include the hashtag in all of your social media and app experiences and see your activity appear on the official RTO World app!
Details and Schedule
Click here for a full RTO World 2019 schedule of events.
Click here for the Education Session Planning Guide
We’re here to help. Contact us at 1-800-204-2776, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cutoff date for host hotel room blocks has passed, but if you need assistance, contact us at 800/204-2776, email@example.com. It’s not too late to register for both your hotel and the convention now to secure your spot at RTO World.