RTO World 2021: Together – Once again! – in Tampa
RTO World 2021 – organized at the end of last month by APRO and TRIB Group – was everything the option-to-buy rental industry had come to expect over the past two years during the pandemic: a reconnection of rental dealers, managers and exhibitors across the country, face to face and sharing information, ideas, inspiration, deals and laughs – together, again, in Tampa, Florida.
The fourth annual national convention and trade show, held virtually last year as the first wave of COVID-19 swept the country, was in full swing in Florida before it even officially kicked off on Monday, August 23. While the APRO and TRIB teams worked furiously all day Sunday to perfect every detail of the event, several groups organized their own pre-match meetings: Premier Rental-Purchase and RNR Tire Express organized one-day franchise meetings; TRIB’s board of directors held a meeting; and the Georgia Rental Dealers Association have come together. On Sunday evening, the Florida Rental Dealers Association hosted a welcoming RTO Global Pre-Party – sponsored by TRIB – at the American Social Bar & Kitchen, while RNR Tire Express hosted its own networking event and after-party, featuring a live band, live gator, and a pirate’s proposal (if you know, you know).
The formal convention kicked off very early on Monday morning, with the meeting of state association presidents, a meeting of TRIB group members, and four peer group meetings: buyers, owners / dealers, regional / district directors. and store managers. Everyone gathered at the APRO Awards Luncheon and Business Meeting, sponsored by LG Electronics Corp., United States. The following individuals were celebrated for their recognition and achievements within the industry:
Inducted into the 2021 Hall of Honor
Tiger RTO Award: Paul Davis, Nations Rent-To-Own Sales and Rentals
Emerging leader of APRO: Allison Manley, Showplace Inc.
APRO President’s Award: Robbie Kamerschen, Greenberg Traurig LLP
APRO Heritage Prize: Bill Howard, RNR Kentucky LLC, dba RNR Tire Express
APRO Steve Kruse Award: Frank Rotert, Ace Furniture & TV Inc., dba Ace Rent-To-Own
APRO Supplier of the Year: Michael Helton, Rivero, Gordimer & Company PA
APRO Rental Dealer of the Year: Chad Fosdick, CR Fosdick Ent. Inc., dba Premier Rent-Buy
The event’s first individual prize, the RTO Tiger Award, was specially presented by John Cleek Jr. of Cleek’s Home Furnishings / Rentals & Sales. Cleek Jr. provided his peers with an update on his father’s health, Tiger John Cleek, who is a past president of APRO, an RTO icon and the namesake of the award. Tiger revealed earlier this summer that he is living with ALS, a degenerative, incurable and fatal neuromuscular disease.
Although Tiger was unable to make it to RTO World in person, he did speak to his fellow tenants via video, thanking them for their work for the industry, their friendship over the years, and their generous contributions to recent Columbia, Missouri, Walk to End ALS; “Team Tiger” raised nearly $ 66,000 for ALS research, in large part thanks to professionals in RTO. Tiger’s brief but moving video elicited a long, loud standing ovation from the RTO World crowd in appreciation of a true rental with option legend.
Following lunch, participants chose from a dozen educational sessions to attend. From the Advocate General of APRO Ed Winn IIIis still popular Legal and legislative update To People Before Profits: Creating a Culture of Growth, of Social media fundamentals: how to grow your business To Exit strategies for RTO, the option-to-purchase rental professionals absorbed valuable insight, inspiration and insight all afternoon.
The first day ended on a high note with a welcome reception and a hot show sponsored by Whirlpool Corp., which has boosted more than $ 12 million in sales. Later that evening, newcomers on lease with option to buy rubbed elbows and bumped fists at Emerging Professionals Networking Social, sponsored by RentDirect nationwide.
The first meetings of the Arkansas and Kentucky Rental Dealer Associations took place on Tuesday morning, even before the general RTO training session – with a continental breakfast sponsored by GE Appliances, a Haier company – has begun. The keynote speaker, former NFL linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick brooks, spoke to the audience about TEAMwork’s RTO and exactly how “Together Everyone Achieves More”.
Mike Tissot of Countryside Rentals Inc., dba Rent-2-Own followed by a presentation specifically aimed at regional and store managers, while the president of APRO Chris Kale Sr., Chairman of the TRIB Group Chris Kale Jr., executive director of APRO Jill mcclure, and executive director of the TRIB group Dennis Shields officially opened the show with a ribbon cut. With over 400 rental dealers and nearly 260 vendors in attendance, the RTO World showroom has been buzzing the rest of the day and through to Wednesday, with initial purchase figures totaling over 28 million. dollars.
The APRO Board of Directors also met on Tuesday afternoon, electing its new Executive Committee: President David David of Full-O-Pep Appliances Inc., dba American Rental; 1st vice-president Michael bennett of Buddy Furniture ‘; 2nd vice-president Shirin Kanji of Impact RTO Holdings, dba Rent-A-Center; Treasurer Terah Vail Munstermann of Best Tire Concepts LLC, dba RNR Tire Express; and secretary Trent Agin of SKC Enterprises Inc., dba Rent One.
The Tuesday Night Tampa Experience Party – sponsored by Ashley Furniture Industry at Splitsville Southern & Social – had fun and had fun while competitive RTOs enjoyed 10 pin bowling, pool, darts, shuffleboard, ping pong and foosball as well only good food and libations.
The final morning of RTO World 2021 started with a first meeting of the APRO Supplier Advisory Committee, followed by a little final networking during continental breakfasts and some shopping concluded at the end of the show.
“This year’s RTO World was special,” said McClure. “To see the industry come together again after such a difficult time was wonderful. Holding a convention in person during the pandemic has had its challenges. Overall we were happy with the results and everyone seemed delighted to be there. And we’re already looking forward to RTO World 2022 in the wonderful Midwest – August 10-12 in Indianapolis, Indiana!
Browse the RTO World 2021 Photo Album – you might just take a peek at a photo of yourself!
Tuesday and Wednesday