Aaron’s Inc. is reporting that a number of its businesses in the path of Hurricane Irma’s destruction have experienced significant interruptions or are temporarily closed. The company’s Progressive Leasing has been affected by the closures and interruptions of their retail partners, while 111 of Aaron’s retail stores located in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina have closed. Due to the extensive damages caused by Irma and Harvey, Aaron’s currently is unable to determine when operations will return to normal, but it expects to be in a better position to assess the financial impact of the storm in the coming weeks and will provide an update during its third quarter earnings call.

“While many of our markets thankfully avoided the full brunt of Irma, the massive storm did disrupt our operations in several important southeastern states,” says John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s. “We are continuing to closely monitor the situation as our stores and retail partners get back to normal operations. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims of the recent storms in Florida and Texas.”


Rent One’s regions 1 and 2 winning teams in the Delivery Tech Rodeo

Rent One’s seven-series Delivery Tech Rodeo continues with competitions held for the company’s regions 7 in Jackson, Tennessee; 5 and 6 in Paragould, Arkansas; 1 and 2 in Mt. Vernon, Illinois; and 4 in Carmi, Illinois on September 12-20. The four rodeos were comprised of a consistent agenda that includes a day of training, friendly competition for the title of regional winners and the chance to advance to the finals.

All participants received a Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier Kit and first-place winners were awarded a Rent One 2017 DT Rodeo Region Champion belt buckle. The first-place teams of each rodeo will go on to compete in the company-wide DT Rodeo finals on October 17 in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

The first-place winners are listed by order of event date.

  • September 12, region 7: Jonathan Bishop, Rent One store 63 in Murray, KY and Jarrett Ramagos, Rent One store 39 in Humboldt, Tennessee
  • September 14, region 5: Jarod Lung and Eric Hand from Rent One store 156 in West Plains, Missouri
  • September 14, region 6: Cameron Fuller and Gregg Lynn from Rent One store 141 in Searcy, Arkansas
  • September 19, region 1: Steve Johnson and Daniel Davis from Rent One store 70 in Mt. Vernon, Illinois
  • September 19, region 2: Wyatt Pulver and Austin Williams from Rent One store 79 in Benton, Illionois
  • September 20, region 4: Chris Reynolds and Jacob Eison from Rent One store 64 in Madisonville, Kentucky.

Click here for more photos of Rent One’s 2017 Delivery Tech Rodeo.

Click here to see Rent One’s 2017 DT Rodeo dates and locations.

RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels will hold its annual manager’s meeting October 16-17 at the Hilton Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. This year’s meeting, co-sponsored by Yokohama Tires, will include a manager’s meeting on Monday, followed by a “Ride and Drive” event on Tuesday.

Complimentary accommodations are provided; however, credit card information is required for incidental charges to hotel rooms. Click here for reservations or call the hotel directly at 800/445-8667 and mention RNR Tires Nationwide Manager’s Meeting or request RNR block (code RN1015); the hotel deadline is September 30.

For questions or more information about the event, contact RNR’s HR Coordinator/Executive Administrator Shea Stapleton at 813/977-9800, ext. 1010, sstapleton@rnrtires.com.



The Illinois Rental Dealers Association will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, October 26 at the Hilton Garden Inn Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon, Illinois. This year’s theme is “A Case Study in Legislative Success,” that will focus on the Rental Purchase Agreement Occupation and Use Tax Act, a new law that takes effect on January 1, 2018, as well as significant legislative successes achieved in 2017.

“We will inform rental dealers on what they need to know and do to prepare for the new law,” says IRDA President Casey Pristou. “The subject matter of this meeting is important, relevant and timely—it should not be missed.”

Also on the agenda are presentations by All-Circo Inc. Executive Vice President Michael Houlihan and APRO’s General Counsel Ed Winn III. For more information, contact Casey Pristou at 847/816-0106, cpristou@watersheddc.com.

Click here for more information on registration and accommodations.

Click here to read more about the Rental Purchase Agreement Occupation and Use Tax Act.

RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels has launched a nationwide effort to help support Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma victims and aid in the rebuilding in Texas and Florida. RNR locations across the country will contribute $1 of each tire-and-wheel sale or rental in September to support the brand’s relief initiative. The proceeds will be donated by each franchise location to the relief organization of choice, including the American Red Cross, Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and Hurricane Irma Relief Fund, among others.

“Thousands of people are suffering, including some of our own in Houston and all across the state of Florida,” says Larry Sutton, the RNR’s founder and president. “I am proud to be associated with a group of men and women who understand the importance of using our mission to change lives, both internally and externally.”

RNR, based in Tampa, Florida, is among thousands of companies across the country that have donated time, resources and efforts to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief. For more information on how to help, contact your local RNR store.

INRDA event sponsor and speaker Al Benson of Central File Marketing

The newly formed Iowa-Nebraska Rental Dealers Association held its first annual meeting on September 14. Rental dealers met in Johnston, Iowa, to discuss the state of the rent-to-own industry—in each state and as a whole—and to elect a new board of directors.

Iowa Representative Chip Baltimore and Iowa lobbyist Doug Struyk addressed the political climate in the region, summarized the 2017 legislative session and presented an informative legal update on what to expect in 2018, after which Nebraska’s new lobbyist, Bill Mueller, explained that state’s unique unicameral legislature, one comprised of a single legislative chamber.

Additional speakers included INRDA event sponsors Al Benson of Central File Marketing, WOW!Brands’ Andrew Catapano, who also spoke at Fuse 2017 in Galveston, and Technical Pro’s Eddie Cohen, as well as Jill McClure, APRO’s executive director. McClure introduced herself to association members and outlined APRO’s current initiatives, including the national association’s role in addressing legislative issues.

INRDA’s newly elected board of directors are Brent Gregurek, president; Lyn Leach, vice president; Brian Luksetich, secretary/treasurer; and board members Tom Bernau, Mark Connelly, John Maitland, Brandon Short and Ed Spuzello.

“I look forward to serving the Iowa-Nebraska Rental Dealers Association, along with former APRO President Lyn Leach, former Iowa Rental Dealers Association President Brian Luksetich and all the other board members,” Gregurek says. “This is truly an exciting time for our two-state association.”

Andrew Schubert’s five-month-old son, Thor

Andrew Schubert loved his job as a delivery technician for Rent One in Erie, Pennsylvania. He had grown up in a rent-to-own family, with a father, Chris Paul, who currently manages a second Rent One location in Erie. Sadly, Schubert passed away on June 29 at age 19. Colleagues at Rent One are devastated, but also determined to show their admiration for their lost coworker and help those left behind—specifically, Schubert’s five-month-old son, Thor.

Since Schubert’s passing, Rent One owners Larry and Sharon Carrico have been consulting with his parents, Chris and Shannon Paul, to establish a trust fund for Thor that will provide for his education. The Carricos are working with Panoptic Wealth Advocates to set up the fund and are allowing Rent One employees to make contributions to the fund via payroll deductions from two pay periods. The Carricos have committed to matching their coworkers’ contributions up to $5,000. Schubert’s parents have also launched a GoFundMe fundraiser, “Education Fund for Thor Schubert”. You can donate online by clicking here.

“My belief is that if your kids don’t spend part of the time being mad at or upset with you, you must not be doing it right,” Chris Paul notes. “Over the past several years, Andrew really had his life together and everything was going right. [His death] was such a tragedy, one of those things that is not supposed to happen. We go through life expecting to bury parents, never expecting to bury a child.”

Thor Schubert

As the Pauls grieve for the loss of their son, they are also mindful of their grandson Thor and want to see his life flourish. “The saddest part is that while Shannon and I, along with everyone else who cared for and knew Andrew, grieves, there is a five-month-old boy left without a father. We are thankful that we have a great relationship with Thor’s mother, Alyssa. Thank you all for your thoughts, kindness and prayers.”

“Sharon and I understand the importance of family, and when our Rent One coworkers asked if they could help, we created a way all could make a difference,” Larry Carrico says. “We are proud of their participation and look forward to Thor’s success in the years ahead.”

Those wishing to make a contribution to Thor Schubert’s education trust fund directly, can do so by mailing a check (payable to: Chris Paul UTMA fbo Thor Schubert) to Amanda Bampton, c/o Panoptic Wealth Advocates, 16091 Swingley Ridge Rd., Suite 110, St. Louis, Missouri 63017.

Joe Fischer and Mike Tissot with Chris Spielman, right, former linebacker for the Ohio State Buckeyes and Detroit Lions who currently is an analyst for Fox NFL

The Ohio Rental Dealers Association held its annual Midwest RTO Training Expo, a multi-state regional show for rent-to-own sales staff and managers, on September 12 and 13 in Columbus, Ohio. The event featured highly informative training seminars from top rent-to-own vendors, including L2 Corp., O’Rourke Sales Co., Ashley Furniture and Symbol, plus an expo, casino night party and special guest speaker Chris Spielman, a former linebacker for the Ohio State Buckeyes and Detroit Lions who currently is an analyst for Fox NFL.

Despite recent disruptions caused by Hurricane Irma, the event was well attended, with 45 vendors—some traveling from areas affected by the storm—and 20 rent-to-own companies. This year, for the first time, ORDA provided buyers with $1,000 in purchase vouchers to be used at the expo, and the vouchers were a big success. At the casino night party, Spielman signed Bluetooth speaker helmets that were given to attendees.

Midwest RTO Training Expo training seminar

ORDA’s newly elected, or re-elected, board of directors are Mike Tissot, president; Keith Ferriman, vice president; and Amy Zeller, treasurer.

Click here to see more photos of the 2017 Midwest RTO Training Expo.

In the latest installment of RTO Insights, APRO’s rent-to-own video series on YouTube, the association’s general counsel, Ed Winn III, discusses some of the positive views on rent-to-own found in federal government studies on the industry. Winn reviews several studies and surveys conducted by government agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Defense, that ultimately resulted in favor of the RTO transaction.

APRO’s monthly RTO Insights series is sponsored by RentDirect Nationwide. For more information on RentDirect Nationwide and Nationwide Marketing Group, click here. For the entire RTO Insights series, click here.

NASA image shows Category 4 Hurricane Irma approaching south Florida

Less than two weeks after Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast, Florida residents and businesses braced themselves as Hurricane Irma hit the Sunshine State on September 10.  A total has yet to be determined for the damages that Irma caused, but the entire state of Florida, as well as parts of Georgia and South Carolina, were affected by the storm. Texas Governor Greg Abbott estimates that damage from Hurricane Harvey will be $150 billion to $180 billion—more costly than the epic Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, or Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast in 2012.

Hurricane Irma’s damages in Florida caused the upcoming annual meeting of the Florida Rental Dealers Association in Tampa, scheduled for next week, to be postponed. Click here for details.

APRO urges rent-to-own professionals to contribute to the association’s RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund so that victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey—specifically, employees in the rent-to-own industry—can get the help they need. Please encourage employees to contribute, as well. A small contribution will make a big difference and will demonstrate yet again that the RTO industry strives to secure the good of others. To contribute to APRO’s RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund, click here or contact Tulisha Wendele at 800/204-2776, ext. 111, twendele@rtohq.org.

If any of your employees have been personally displaced or suffered damages due the recent hurricanes and their aftermath, notify APRO as soon as possible. We can help. To begin the process of determining eligibility for disaster relief and potential disbursement, contact APRO’s Richard May, at 800/204-2776, ext. 104, rmay@rtohq.org, after contacting the owner of the company for which you work. Or click here to complete APRO’s RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund application.