The Pennsylvania Association of Rental Dealers [PARD] will hold its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 30, at the Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg, PA. The event will feature educational training; vendor sessions; presentations by 2018 RTO World speakers Jim Corter, Corter Consulting, and Mike McDowell, Social Joey; a Pennsylvania Legislative Overview by John O’Connell, PARD Lobbyist; and an election for 2019-2020 board of directors. The event is open to PARD members and anyone who would like to join and become a member.

The meeting will include a day of networking, vendor sessions from some of the industry’s finest and an afternoon of managers’ training. Vendor presenters include Al Benson, Central File Marketing; John Blair, PTS Financial Services; Ed Cohen, Technical Pro; Mike Dour, D&H Distributing; Dan Fisher, Majik Rent To Own; Joe Hickey, Audit Advantage; David Kaye, Benefit Marketing Solutions; and Bruce Manning, RentDirect Nationwide.

“We would like to thank TRIB Group, PTS Financial Services, RentDirect Nationwide, and Benefit Marketing Solutions for sponsoring our meeting and their continued support of the Pennsylvania Association of Rental Dealers,” says PARD President Sandi Frye.

For more information and/or to RSVP for the 2019 PARD Annual Meeting, contact PARD President Sandi Frye at 814/949-2300, or email altoonapremier@gmail.com by April 5. Don’t forget to reserve your room by calling the Harrisburg Hilton Hotel at 717/233-6000 and mention promo code “PARD30” for the special PARD negotiated rate of $149 a night. The deadline is April 1.

Click here to see the 2019 PARD Annual Meeting agenda.

2018 APRO scholarship recipient Lillian Snyder

Lillian Snyder is involved with community activities inside her high school community and the greater community. “Someone once told me to make the most of high school because it’s free,” says Snyder, a member of both the National Honor Society and an officer in the Hispanic Honors Society. The incoming freshman at the University of Central Florida was a leader improving her school community by tutoring other students in Geometry, Algebra II, and Precalculus; working as part of a school beautification team and organizing food drives for events ranging from natural disasters to the holiday season.

Outside of her school, Snyder supports her local community in a bevy of roles, working with Rise Against Hunger, the Special Olympics Bowling tournament, the local library, and Save-A-Pet Rescue. Snyder appreciates the joy these activities bring, while also being cognizant of the fact that these activities are learning opportunities. For example, Snyder’s work with her local library’s “Soundsational Storytime” interactive program has provided her with direct experience dealing with young children and the importance of patience in dealing with them.

The RTO-industry figures prominently in enabling Snyder to be such an important member of her local community. “My mother was able to continue going to college, and my grandparents were able to continue to take care of me,” explains Snyder, the daughter of a single mother. The financial challenges facing her family from a young age have underlined the importance of the RTO-industry in providing opportunities for struggling families to acquire basic household appliances that provide the breathing room to seek new opportunities. RTO continues to play a vital role in Snyder’s development, with the APRO scholarship assisting in Snyder’s college education.

Snyder is a member of the 2018 cohort receiving funding from the APRO Education Foundation’s Scholarship Fund. She is among a group of 47 students given over $110,000 worth from APRO and state rental dealer associations in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. The APRO Education Foundation Scholarship Fund’s mission of helping futures leaders take ownership of their dreams is only possible thanks to the generosity of our donors. Thank you for your continued support, and we hope you will take a moment to support the next group of emerging leaders from our RTO-family by donating today.

Rent One Region 2 from Southern Illinois took home the first-place trophy at Trivia Night

St. Louis-based Rent One held its Annual Meeting & Vendor Showcase last week at the Ameristar Casino & Resort in St. Charles, MO. The three-day event included general sessions, roundtable discussions, breakout educational sessions, a vendor session, trivia night, door prizes, a silent auction, and an awards banquet. With more than 200 attendees from the SKC Enterprises’ Rent One and RNR stores, vendors and guests; this year’s “Ignite the People” meeting had the biggest turnout in Rent One history.

As a salute to this year’s “Ignite the People” theme, Rent One had its store managers select the topics they wanted to learn about during the breakout sessions that included: growing in the summer, retention not collections: an intentional culture in account management, and hiring top talent. “It was the first time we asked for manager input on the educational sessions, and it led to extremely high engagement,” shares Kelly Martin, Rent One Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Culture.

There was also a high level of engagement at the company’s first Trivia night. All 12 of Rent One’s regions and RNR stores participated in the Rent One themed trivia game for various prizes and the chance to win the first-place trophy. Rent One region 2 based out of Southern Illinois were this year’s champions.

2018 Rent One award winners Sierra Garrett and Donnie Wilkins

The 2018 awards were presented by Larry Carrico, Rent One CEO and APRO board member; Trent Agin, Rent One President and APRO Treasurer; and Kevin Hollaway, Rent One Vice President of Operations. The following employees were honored: Wes Hutton, RNR Manager of the Year; Hiram Hackner, RNR Salesperson of the Year; Lori McGovern, Rent One Employee of the Year; Charles Cole, Rent One Rookie of the Year; Dennis Fancis, Rent One Vendor of the Year; Donnie Wilkins, Rent One Regional Manager of the Year; Sierra Garrett, Rent One Store of the Year; Pete Anderson, Rent One Store Manager of the Year; and Joe Tubb, Rent One Presidential Award of Excellence.

Click here to see more photos of Rent One’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Vendor Showcase.

Tampa-based RNR Tire Express [RNR], the fastest-growing tire and custom wheel franchise in the nation, is continuing to expand its national footprint and announced this week that it has identified Las Vegas as its next expansion hub. Targeted development markets in Las Vegas include Henderson, Las Vegas, and North Las Vegas with room for three RNR Tire Express locations to enter the market.

“We are committed to finding the right qualified and business-savvy franchise partners to help fill a void in the marketplace by bringing professionally installed, high-quality tires and custom wheels to the community,” says Larry Sutton, founder and president of RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels. “Las Vegas’ demographics and tremendous long-term growth potential make it a perfect fit for the concept, and we look forward to bringing a unique retail experience to the people of Las Vegas.”

Currently, RNR has 118 locations in 23 states with plans to have 155 locations by the end of 2019.

The Kansas Rental Dealers Association [KRDA] will hold its Annual Meeting on April 23 and 24 at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Airport in Wichita, KS. The event will include a breakfast, informational seminars, a Vendor Meet & Greet, a presentation by Rachel Casey, regional manager of Rent-2-Own, and a keynote presentation on Company Culture Building & Leadership Development by APRO Hall of Honor member Dan Fisher, owner of Majik Rent To Own. All state association presidents and KRDA members, as well as their staff, are welcome to attend.

The Vendor Meet & Greet will provide an opportunity for attendees to get the latest on product reviews and services. Drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres will also be included.

For more information and/or to RSVP for the 2019 KRDA Annual Meeting, contact KRDA President Angela McCool at 620/663-3556, or email angie@mikesrenttoown.com. Don’t forget to reserve your room by calling 316/945-5272 and mention promo code “Kansas Rental Dealers Association” for the special KRDA negotiated rate of $119 a night.

This year APRO has made attending meetings at this year’s Legislative Conference April 9-11 in Washington, D.C., even easier by providing the Congress in Your Pocket phone app to all registered attendees who requested the app through the Legislative Conference Pre-Event Survey sent Tuesday, March 12.

This app puts Capitol Hill at your fingertips by featuring names, addresses, and emails of key staff, as well as a wealth of campaign information and a short biography. It also features an extensive database packed with information on congressional leaders, their staff, committee activities and the minutiae of the legislative process. You can sort by Congress, Senate, House, Freshmen, and Open Seats. The app will also allow you to coordinate notes based on your calls and meetings with APRO members and Capitol Hill staff. Click here to read more about all its features.

Didn’t receive a 2019 Legislative Conference Pre-Event survey?

The 2019 Legislative Conference pre-event survey was sent to the inbox of registered attendees on Tuesday, March 12. APRO invites this year’s Legislative Conference attendees to participate so we can plan for your arrival and aid us in making the conference a productive and rewarding experience for all. The survey also included a question regarding the Congress in Your Pocket app. APRO is sending login information to attendees who requested the app through this survey. Please email legcon@rtohq.org to request access if you do not receive an email with login information.

See you on the Hill!

APRO is now partnering with Naylor Association Solutions for the distribution of our digital publications including RTO Today, the industry’s bi-weekly e-newsletter. Our rent-to-own e-newsletter is the source for what’s happening in the rent-to-own world, and we don’t want you to miss out! To ensure receipt of your communications and to avoid Naylor-sent emails getting caught in your spam filters, it may be necessary to add Naylor as a safe sender to your contacts.

What is safe sender?

Safe senders are people or organizations that regularly email large lists of addresses with non-spam material, such as newsletters or other digital publications.

How do I add Naylor as a safe sender?

Simply add Naylor’s email domain, naylorconnect.com, to your safe sender list or address book. You can do this by going into your email program and adding naylorconnect.com to your contact list.

What if my eNewsletters are still blocked by my firewall or my Internet service provider?

If you’re already on our mailing list but suspect your subscribed newsletters are being blocked, we suggest looking into your firewall program and unblocking Naylor’s domain within that program. If you believe the problem lies with your Internet service provider, we recommend sending an email with the Naylor domain to your ISP along with a short explanation that Naylor’s emails are part of your association’s communications and are not spam.

For more information about RTO Today, Naylor’s email servers and marketing emails, contact us at 800/204-2776, info@rtohq.org.

APRO’s 2019 Legislative Conference, scheduled for April 9-11 in Washington, D.C., is fast approaching and we need you to be a part of it! This is an important opportunity to share about the rent-to-own industry with the 100 new members of Congress and new committee chairs at our nation’s capital. Below is some good advice for your visits on The Hill.

Have fun and enjoy participating in the democratic process.

What you are doing is very special. The right to petition your government goes all the way back to the beginning of our great country. Legislators welcome you and value hearing about your concerns. Those who participated in past Legislative Conference visits report back that they felt their voices were heard and it was a rewarding experience.

There is great value to what you are doingand greater value with follow up.

Lending your voice to the efforts of others at the Capitol will make a difference in building an understanding of the problems facing those within your industry and the importance of continued legislative support. There is no question about that. But you can add greater value to your efforts if you follow up your visit with a letter and continue contact with your legislators. Your goal is for your legislator to remember who you are—to have a relationship with you.

Don’t be disappointed if you meet with a staff member instead of your legislator.

Staff members have great influence over legislative decision making. Oftentimes, having a staff member that knows you and your issues is more valuable tha just meeting your legislator.

Have a coordinator/team captain for each visit.

You may be visiting a legislator on your own, but if you are visiting in a group be sure to have a coordinator or team captain who starts and ends the legislative visit. Before your visit, you should also go over your role and the role of others in the group during the visit. If you are new to advocacy on behalf of RTO, we can partner you with a team captain.

You do not have to be an expert.

You are special and you are effective with your legislator because of what you know and have experienced. Do not worry about things you do not know. Just be prepared to say “I do not know that but I will get that information to you.”

Start and stop on time.

Be sure to determine in advance how much time you have for the visit. Watch your time and when your time is up: say “I think that is all the time we have. We want to be respectful of your time and we thank you for the time you have given us.”  Oftentimes, the legislator will say, “I have more time”.

Anatomy of the visit:

  • Everyone should introduce him or herself and state where he/she is from.
  • Thank the legislator for service to the state or nation.
  • Tell why you are there. “We are here to tell you about the rent-to-own industry….”
  • Tell at least one story that describes or illustrates the problem that needs legislation or what will happen if legislation is approved.
  • Leave a handout with everyone’s name, email, address, and phone # on it. Staple your business card if you have one.
  • Thank the legislator/staff member for his/her time.
  • Take a photo of group with legislator or staff member.
  • Sign guest book when leaving, if one is available.

Be sure to follow up

  1. Follow up with a letter to the legislators (or staff members) you met, thanking them for their time, and briefly restate what you are asking their support for. Include a copy of the photo you took and ask the legislator to sign it and send it back.
  2. Send the photo to your local paper with a short letter about the visit and issue. If it is published, send a copy to the legislator.  If you have a Facebook page, post the photo and explanation on it.

Report what you learn and what you are asked. Information is powerful in any lobbying effort.

Be sure to complete a Follow Up On a Legislative Meeting directly on APRO’s webpage for each of your legislative visits and turn it in as instructed. This will be of great help in any follow-up efforts by your organizational leaders.

Do’s and Don’ts during your visit.

  • Watch jargon.
  • Ask about opposition/concerns with your issue.
  • Tell the truth – always.
  • Keep promises-follow up on requests for additional information.

Good luck and see you on The Hill!

©joe gagen. Used with permission.

High Touch President and CEO Wayne Chambers Announces Retirement

After 35 years, APRO Past President Wayne Chambers is ready to trade in his suit and tie for a comfortable pair of boots. Chambers announced last week he would be stepping down as CEO of High Touch Technologies to become a full-time rancher. As he steps away from the corporate world, Chambers leaves an impressive list of accomplishments.

Starting in Remco in 1975 under the legendary Chuck Sims, and rising to be the CFO, Chambers has been an important force for the RTO industry. He served two terms as President of APRO between 1991 to 1993, then led APRO’s defense of the Rent-To-Own industry from the IRS in the 1990s. As chair of the Tax and Accounting Committee, Chambers provided crucial leadership in stopping IRS efforts to reclassify RTO transactions from leases to installment plans.

APRO presidents that served in the mid-1990s: Mac Hennigan, Glen Davis, Bud Holladay, Barry Gambini, Dick Grauel, Ted Wilson, Wayne Chambers and Kevin Quinn

“But for Wayne’s tireless commitment to the cause, the RTO tax issue could easily have gone the other way,” notes APRO General Counsel Ed Winn III. “The industry owes Wayne a huge debt.” In recognition for his efforts, Chambers received the first APRO Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

Since 2005, Chambers has led High Touch Technologies, an IT solutions provider providing software vital to the RTO industry. After shepherding the company through its growth phase, Chambers believes the time is right for him to shift his focus from the boardroom to his ranch. “I’m ready to spend time with my family and raise cattle full time now,” says Chambers, as he eagerly looks to the next phase of his life.

Senator Jerry Moran visited Jim Brown, ABC Rentals, and Chambers in Wichita, Kansas, during APRO’s 2016 In-Store Legislative Conference

Although he terms his shift from the corporate world to the ranching world a “retirement”, Chambers will be remaining active in his community. Chambers will remain on the board of the Greater Wichita Partnership, Wichita Community Foundation, and the National Advisory Council for the WSU Foundation. In addition, he plans to remain involved with his philanthropic efforts with Rainbows United, Kansas Special Olympics, and the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland.

“We celebrate Wayne’s many accomplishments at the helm of High Touch, and are appreciative of the continued support he’s given APRO and the industry throughout the years. He’s earned this time to enjoy new adventures and we wish him the best,” says APRO Executive Director Jill McClure.

2018 APRO scholarship recipient Haleigh Adams-Salaberrios

Haleigh Adams-Salaberrios had to grow up quickly. Her parents divorced early in her life, forcing her mother to work full time to provide for Adams-Salaberrios and her younger sister. As a result, she found herself filling the role of primary caretaker for her younger sister, doing everything from cooking food to making sure they had clean clothes to wear to school. During this time Adams-Salaberrios coped with the post-traumatic stress of sexual assault. Rather than enjoy a leisurely childhood, Adams-Salaberrios faced some of the ugly realities of the world from a young age.

The incoming Wayne State College freshman hopes to obtain a master’s degree in Criminal Justice, ultimately becoming a criminal investigator. When recovering from her own trauma, Adams-Salaberrios realized the importance of catching perpetrators to minimize the harm they could do. She uses the trauma from her childhood experiences as fuel to motivate her in her studies and volunteer work.

Adams-Salaberrios is an accomplished student, earning a place on Kearney Catholic school’s honor roll for every year of her high school career and joining the National Honor Society. Her education has also encouraged volunteering in various capacities such as fundraising for the school through Kearney’s G.O.L.D. event and working as a frequent volunteer at local nursing homes and senior communities.

“Many people think that their parent’s place of work is just that, their parent’s place of work….to me it is our support system,” explains Adams-Salaberrios when speaking about her mother’s career at Premier Rental Purchase. Starting at Premier as a sales representative soon after her divorce, Adams-Salaberrios’s mother, Evita Gove, has worked up the ranks over the last eight years to become a store manager. “…being a part of an APRO family has also taught me how being an independent woman is possible….anything you put your mind to, you can make happen.”

Adams-Salaberrios is a member of the 2018 cohort receiving funding from the APRO Education Foundation’s Scholarship Fund. She is among a group of 47 students given over $110,000 worth from APRO and state rental dealer associations in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. The APRO Education Foundation Scholarship Fund’s mission of helping futures leaders take ownership of their dreams is only possible thanks to the generosity of our donors. Thank you for your continued support, and we hope you will take a moment to support the next group of emerging leaders from our RTO-family by donating today.