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where we work to improve the public perception of the rental-purchase industry through networking, education, and legislative vigilance. Find out more about rental-purchase.

IRDA News:

Sep 26, 2016

Rent One’s DT Rodeos Continue!

r7-jackson-group-photo

Region 7 Group Photo

Last week five of Rent One’s regions competed in three different Delivery Technicians rodeos. Each rodeo was from 9:30AM – 4:30PM and activities ranged from Loading and Backing the Box Truck, The Delivery, The Return, Vehicle Maintenance, Rent One Jeopardy and closed out with awards.

Region 7’s rodeo took place in Jackson, TN on Tuesday, September 13th and was comprised of six teams from stores across Tennessee. Winners were Delivery Tech’s from Store 32, Jeremy Smith and Roger McCormick.

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Region 5 and Region 6 Group Photo

Both Region 5 and Region 6’s rodeos were held on Wednesday, September 14th and were held in Paragould, AR. Region 5’s rodeo was comprised of nine teams from stores across Arkansas and Missouri. There was a tie for first place winners, Joshua Crowder and Hardin Vardell, DT team from store 42, and Toby Brawley and Rowdy Thomas, DT team from Store 156.

Region 6’s rodeo was comprised of seven teams from stores across Arkansas. Region 6 winners were Delivery Tech’s from Store 40, Jonathan Ewald and Andrew Spears.

r1-and-r2-group-photo

Region 1 and Region 2 Group Photo

Region 1 and Region 2 also had a dual rodeo on Thursday, September 15th in Mt. Vernon, IL. Nine teams competed in Region 1’s rodeo while eight teams competed in Region 2’s rodeo. Region 1 winners were Delivery Tech’s from Store 171, Logan Brown and Seikura Burton. Region 2 winners were Delivery Tech’s from Store 79, Ryan Moore and Devon Strohmeyer.

Regional winners were awarded branded buckles instead of a trophy which stirred a lot of excitement among participants. Region 8 winners, Bower and Carrera, will fly to Mt. Vernon to compete in the finals on October 13th.

The next regional Delivery Tech Rodeos will be held on Tuesday, September 20th in Carmi, IL and then on Wednesday, September 21st in Girardeau, MO.

Sep 20, 2016

Addison Aaron’s hosts Illinois congressional candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi

Aaron's Rents and candidate Krishnamoorthi

Raja Krishnamoorthi, candidate for the open seat in the Illinois 8th congressional district, visited the Addison Aaron’s on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. He was hosted by IRDA President, Casey Pristou, and Greg Ponte, President of ARMCO, LLC, the store’s owner. The event was part of APRO’s 2016 In-Store Legislative Conference congressional grass roots campaign.

Greg gave candidate Krishnamoorthi a tour of the store and discussed with him how the flexibility and versatility of the rent-to-own transaction meets the needs of his customers. Krishnamoorthi was able to see first-hand how the RTO business works and learn about the economic impact the RTO industry has on his district and the entire state. Illinois is home to more than 220 rent-to-own stores, serves more than 120,000 customers each month and employs more than 1,300 statewide.

“It was great having candidate Krishnamoorthi visit our store and spend time with our employees and customers. It is obvious that Raja is working hard to know his district and it shows. We appreciate Raja taking time out from his busy campaign schedule to meet with us.” related Greg Ponte.

About IRDA – The Illinois Rental Dealers Association (IRDA) works closely with the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) to provide membership and the general public with the latest information regarding legislative initiatives concerning the rent-to-own industry. The IRDA works to ensure a vital future for its industry through networking, education, political outreach and legislative vigilance.

Aug 18, 2016

2016 IRDA Annual Meeting Scheduled for 10/12

IRDAThe Illinois Rental Dealers Association President, Casey Pristou invites IRDA members, member employees, vendors and industry business partners to the 2016 annual meeting on Wednesday, October 12th. The meeting will be held at the Northfield Inn & Suites in Springfield, Illinois.

This year’s meeting focuses on the changes within the industry and will explore the future of the rapid rent-to-own evolution.

“We look forward to an energetic collaboration that will be highly informative and action packed.  This year the IRDA is proud to feature as guest speakers a number of our industry’s top leaders, operators and decision makers,” says Pristou. “I encourage you to attend and to bring your employees and associates with you. This meeting is for you and should not be missed.”

2016 IRDA Annual Meeting
Wednesday, October 12th
Northfield Inn & Suites
3280 Northfield Dr.
Springfield, IL, 62702
Special room rate: $82.00 plus tax; deadline is September 26th.

Featured Guest Speakers

  • Mark Connelly – President of APRO
  • Mike Tissot – President of Countryside Rentals
  • Bill Keese – APRO Executive Director
  • Ed Winn III – APRO General Counsel
  • Michael Houlihan – All-Circo Inc. Executive Vice President

Registration is free for IRDA members and their employees.
Registration is $50.00 for non-members.
Click here for registration form.

Please contact IRDA President, Casey Pristou, with any questions at 847.816.0106 or email at cpristou@watersheddc.com.

Aug 16, 2016

You are cordially invited to attend the 2016 IRDA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at the Northfield Inn & Suites in Springfield, Illinois.  To say that the rent-to-own industry is changing would be an understatement.  In many respects our businesses are unrecognizable from just a few short years ago.  The future promises more change and rapid industry evolution.  The 2016 IRDA Annual Meeting will bring the industry's future into better focus and is recommended for all IRDA members, member employees, vendors and industry business partners.  We look forward to an energetic collaboration that will be highly informative and action packed.  This year the IRDA is proud to feature as guest speakers a number of our industry's top leaders, operators and decision makers.  The meeting announcement and registration materials are included in the PDF file titled "2016 Annual Meeting Registration" that can be found under the Resources and FAQ tab on the IRDA website.  I encourage you to attend and to bring your employees and associates with you.  This meeting is for you and should not be missed. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

 

Jul 27, 2016

Watershed Development Partners with Northern Illinois Food Bank to Deploy Mobile Food Pantry

Jul 27, 2016

Taking the Pulse

Watershed Development Corporation has partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank to deploy the Mobile Food Pantry 10 times during 2016.  “Hunger in the communities we serve is very real and the Northern Illinois Food Bank rises to the challenge of feeding our hungry neighbors each and every day” says Watershed President Casey Pristou. The Northern Illinois Food Bank provides 6 meals for every $1 of financial contribution. “We like working with the Northern Illinois Food Bank because every dollar counts. There is no waste,” Pristou added.

The food bank's Mobile Pantry takes the fight against hunger to a new level. The Mobile Pantry is a unique tool strategically used to combat hunger in what are commonly known as "food deserts."  These are areas that are either underserved or not served at all by grocery stores or traditional food retailers. Typically, the only place for residents to get food in these areas is at gas stations or liquor stores. The Mobile Pantry is an oasis of relief in these food deserts.

On a typical deployment the Mobile Pantry delivers 10,000 pounds of nutritious food, including meat, fresh produce, bakery goods and non-perishable food to approximately 200 families in need.

See more photos here.

About the Northern Illinois Food Bank
The Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) is a non-profit organization providing food to more than 600 network partners – food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and youth and senior feeding programs – in 13 counties.  More than 500,000 people each year rely on the food provided by the NIFB to meet their basic nutrition needs.  Essentially the NIFB represents a community of donors, volunteers, supporters and programs with a common goal of feeding our hungry neighbors.  NIFB is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and has received the Charity Navigator 4-Star rating for eight consecutive years.

About Watershed Development Corporation
Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa. Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America. Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception.

Jul 26, 2016

IRDA President, Casey Pristou, was named 2016 National Rental Dealer of the Year and IRDA past President, David Keen, was presented with the 2016 Steve Kruse Award of Honor. Cogratulations Casey and David.

Honoring the Rent-to-Own Industry's Finest

The APRO "Buddy" Awards are presented every year to those outstanding individuals and organizations that have raised the level of what can be done to better the industry for everyone. The "Buddys" are named in honor of APRO's founder and first president Bud Holladay.

The recipients are named at the annual APRO Awards Banquet held during the association's National Convention & Trade Show.

2016 Award Recipients

Cynthia Baber-Strunk, Lifetime Achievement Award

Tiger John Cleek, Lifetime Achievement Award

Ron DeMoss, Lifetime Achievement Award

2016 Lifetime Achievement
Award winner Cynthia Baber-Strunk

2016 Lifetime Achievement
Award winner Tiger John Cleek

2016 Lifetime Achievement
Award winner Ron DeMoss

Sandi Frye, President's Award of Excellence

David Harrison, President's Award of Excellence

Casey Pristou, Rental Dealer of the Year

2016 President's Award of Excellence winner Sandi Frye

2016 President's Award of Excellence winner David Harrison

2016 Rental Dealer of the Year winner Casey Pristou

Susan Matthews, Heritage Award

David Keen, Steve Kruse Award

Rita Haney, Vendor of the Year

2016 Heritage Award
winner Susan Matthews

2016 Steve Kruse Award of
Honor winner David Keen

2016 Vendor of the Year
winner Rita Haney

Jun 10, 2016

Belvidere Aaron’s Hosts Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger

Jun 8, 2016

Taking the Pulse

Casey Pristou, Jessica Lodge, Adam Kinzinger, Mike Ceruzzi

Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) visited the Aaron’s in Belvidere, Illinois, on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, as part of the 2016 APRO In-Store Legislative Conference. He was hosted by IRDA President, Casey Pristou, and Watershed Development Corporation Vice President of Operations, Mike Ceruzzi.  Store Manager, Jessica Lodge, gave the congressman a tour of the store and discussed with him how the flexibility and versatility of the rent-to-own transaction meets the needs of her customers. Congressman Kinzinger was able to see first-hand how the RTO business works and learn about the economic impact the RTO industry has on his district and the entire state.

Illinois is home to more than 220 rent-to-own stores, serves more than 120,000 customers each month and employs more than 1,300 statewide. During his visit Kinzinger also had the opportunity to meet and speak with several Aaron’s customers.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have Congressman Kinzinger visits our store to see how we are meeting the needs of our customers. Our employees work hard to serve our customers well and it is great when your elected representatives show genuine interest in the work we are doing” stated Mike Ceruzzi.

In addition, IRDA President, Casey Pristou, explained “Adam Kinzinger is a rising star in American politics. He is a military pilot and decorated Iraq war veteran. Adam works hard for his district and we know he has the backs of all of his constituents. We at Watershed and Aaron’s are proud to host Adam at our store.”

About Watershed Development Corporation
Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa. Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America. Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception.

About IRDA
The Illinois Rental Dealers Association (IRDA) works closely with the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) to provide membership and the general public with the latest information regarding legislative initiatives concerning the rent-to-own industry. The IRDA works to ensure a vital future for its industry through networking, education, political outreach and legislative vigilance.

To see other visits, visit APRO's Flckr page.

May 18, 2016

Illinois State Rep Terri Bryant visits Rent One

May 18, 2016

Taking the Pulse

Rent One’s Employee Development, David Keen; IL State Rep. Terri Bryant; Rent One's Owner, Larry Carrico; Rent One’s Regional Director, Kelly Martin; Rent One’s Store Manager, Rhonda Ray and Regional Manager, Terry McLean

The Illinois Rental Dealer's Association 2016 In-Store Legislative outreach is off to a great start! Illinois State Representative Terri Bryant visited Rent One’s Mt. Vernon store on Monday, May 16th. Rent One's Co-Owner, Larry Carrico and Employee Development, David Keen gave her a tour of Rent One's store and recently remodeled Service Center.

"Representative Bryant was excited to get a firsthand look at all that went on in the service center. She was amazed and unaware at the volume of repair service that flows in and out, shipping and receiving a full range of product from Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas,” shared David Keen.

Coincidentally, Representative Bryant had initiated a campaign to visit local businesses within her district when Larry approached her with an invitation. “Larry has been very aggressive as far as being hands-on. He first met Representative Bryant in her first term, in Springfield, IL, and has since always wanted to have her visit Rent One,” said Keen. “Larry has developed great personal relationships with representatives in southern Illinois and it’s great to have them in-store to see what we do firsthand.”

May 5, 2016

 

Rep. Darin LaHood from Springfield, IL followed up his April visit to Action Development by stopping by its Aaron's store in Jacksonville on May 5th. LaHood who represents Illinois' 18th district is APRO board member and Aaron's franchisee, Gopal Reddy's, personal Congressman. LaHood toured the store and met met with store employees and customers.

Representative LaHood's visit is part of the the 2016 APRO grass roots Legislative Conference that is underway nationwide.  The IRDA membership has been very active in meeting with the entire Illinois delegation.

Apr 22, 2016

Watershed Multi-Tasks at Northern Illinois Food Bank

Apr 21, 2016

Taking the Pulse

Watershed Development’s sales management team spent the first half of its quarterly planning meeting this week at the Northern Illinois Food Bank packing more than three tons of food providing more than 5,500 meals for hungry neighbors.  Watershed regularly ties its management meetings with community service.

Nearly 600,000 people each year in 13 counties rely on Northern Illinois Food Bank and its network of 800 partner food pantries and feeding programs.  Northern Illinois Food Bank provides the equivalent of 50 million meals annually to hungry neighbors.

"We operate throughout northern Illinois and they support the food pantries in virtually every market we operate in," said Watershed President, Casey Pristou. "We look for ways to give back to the community and we are grateful to Northern Illinois Food Bank for making it possible for us to do so.  We have established a great partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank.  They do an amazing job” Pristou added.

Apr 8, 2016

Rep. LaHood Stops by Aaron's Franchisee Store

Rep. Darin LaHood from Springfield, IL decided to stopy by his constituent's Aarons store on April 7th to say 'hello' and meet the staff. LaHood who represents Illinois' 18th district is APRO board member's and Aaron's franchisee personal Congressman. LaHood dropped by unannounced during a meeting with the general managers allowing for the Congressman to meet with many of Reddy's staff.

"He just came in to say 'hello'," remarks Reddy. "We talked a little politics then introduced himself to the staff. It was really nice."

In accordance to APRO's In-Store Legislative Conference, this meeting can be designated as the easiest meeting that has been scheduled since, apparently, Rep. LaHood scheduled it himself while driving by the store. Click here to see other photos from APRO members meeting their members of Congress at their stores.

Apr 4, 2016

North Chicago Aaron’s Hosts Illinois Congressman Robert Dold

Congressman Robert Dold (IL-10) visited the North Chicago Aaron’s on Friday, April 1, 2016. He was hosted by IRDA President, Casey Pristou, and Greg Ponte, President of ARMCO, LLC, the store’s owner. The event was part of APRO’s 2016 In-Store Legislative Conference congressional grass roots campaign. Store Manager, Anthony Watson, gave the congressman a tour of the store and discussed with him how the flexibility and versatility of the rent-to-own transaction meets the needs of his customers. Congressman Dold was able to see first-hand how the RTO business works and learn about the economic impact the RTO industry has on his district and the entire state. Illinois is home to more than 220 rent-to-own stores, serves more than 120,000 customers each month and employs more than 1,300 statewide. “It was great having congressman Dold visit our store and spend time with our employees and customers. The congressman works hard to know his district and it shows. Our customers recognized him in the parking lot before he even entered the store!” related Greg Ponte.

About IRDA - The Illinois Rental Dealers Association (IRDA) works closely with the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) to provide membership and the general public with the latest information regarding legislative initiatives concerning the rent-to-own industry. The IRDA works to ensure a vital future for its industry through networking, education, political outreach and legislative vigilance.

Apr 4, 2016

South Chicago Heights Aaron’s Hosts Illinois Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-2) visited the Aaron’s in South Chicago Heights, on Friday, April 1, 2016. She was hosted by IRDA President, Casey Pristou, and Aaron’s Regional Manager, Jason Campbell. Store Manager, Mark Thomas, gave Congresswoman Kelly a tour of the store and discussed with her how the flexibility and versatility of the rent-to-own transaction meets the needs of his customers. She was able to see first-hand how the RTO business works and learn about the economic impact the RTO industry has on his district and the entire state. Illinois is home to more than 220 rent-to-own stores, serves more than 120,000 customers each month and employs more than 1,300 statewide. “The second congressional district has one of the largest concentrations of rent-to-own stores in Illinois and we are very fortunate to have Robin Kelly visit the Aaron’s in South Chicago Heights. She spent quality time getting to know the employees and many customers. She showed genuine interest in the good work being done on behalf of her constituents” stated Casey Pristou.

About IRDA - The Illinois Rental Dealers Association (IRDA) works closely with the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) to provide membership and the general public with the latest information regarding legislative initiatives concerning the rent-to-own industry. The IRDA works to ensure a vital future for its industry through networking, education, political outreach and legislative vigilance.

Mar 29, 2016

Congressman Mike Bost Works Rent One's Service Center in Mt. Vernon, IL

Mar 30, 2016

Taking the Pulse

Congressman Mike Bost and Rent One's Service Center team in Mt. Vernon, IL.

Congressman Mike Bost visited Rent One's store and Service Center in Mt. Vernon, IL in part of APRO's In-Store Legislative Conference this week. Larry Carrico, Rent One Owner, and David Keen, Rent One Employment Development Specialist, established a relationship with Congressman Bost and with the power of suggestion set a date for an in-store visit. They found that before beginning his political career, Bost ran the family business of trucking where he managed a fleet of 30 trucks and he currently owns Bost Trucking.

Prior to the visit, Larry met with Congressman Bost in which he expressed excitment and anticipation for the visit. "He knew all about the visit and mentioned he was looking forward to it even within his big district and he was engaged. He’s a business guy and understands the challenges," said Larry.

Larry Carrico went as far as having a Rent One customized shirt with the Congressman's name on it to welcome him on his viist. He helped the Service Center load repaired products to send back to Rent One's 70+ stores.

Congressman Mike Bost is the representative to Illinois District 12 and within that district are 33 Rent-to-Own Stores that employ 198 employees. "Congressman Bost was amazed at how many Rent-to-Own stores are within his district and the economic impact we have on it," said David Keen.

Mar 25, 2016

Rent One Park Naming Rights Renewal

Marion, IL, March 23, 2016 – The Southern Illinois Miners and Rent One today announced that the home of the Miners will continue to be called Rent One Park. The two parties announced today that they have reached an agreement extending the partnership through the year 2026.

"Marion and the surrounding communities have been great to Rent One and this is a terrific opportunity for us to continue to show our appreciation. We are impressed with the commitment they have made and are honored to be involved with the Miners once again through the sponsorship of Rent One Park." said Rent One CEO Larry Carrico

“The Miners are great partners for us; they have a vision and plan for the next 10 years and we are proud to part of that plan. Their organization has had great success in these first 10 years and we look forward to many more,” said Mark Williams, Rent One’s VP of Sales and Marketing.

Rent One Park is the home of the Southern Illinois Miners, a professional baseball team playing in the Frontier League. The stadium is located at the intersection of I-57 and Route 13 in Marion, Illinois.

Rent One a member company of SKC Enterprises, Inc., was founded in 1985 with the mission to make quality merchandise accessible, while providing exceptional customer service to its clients.  Rent One owns and operates 70+ store locations across 9 states, and is headquartered in St. Louis, MO.

Mar 10, 2016

Aaron’s of McHenry Hosts Illinois Congressman Randy Hultgren

Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14) visited the Aaron’s in McHenry, Illinois, on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. He was hosted by IRDA President, Casey Pristou, and Watershed Development Corporation Vice President of Operations, Mike Ceruzzi. Store Manager, Juan Teran, gave the congressman a tour of the store and discussed with him how the flexibility and versatility of the rent-to-own transaction meets the needs of his customers. Congressman Hultgren was able to see first-hand how the RTO business works and learn about the economic impact the RTO industry has on his district and the entire state. Illinois is home to more than 220 rent-to-own stores, serves more than 120,000 customers each month and employs more than 1,300 statewide. “It is an honor and a privilege to have Congressman Hultgren visit our store to see how we are meeting the needs of our customers. Our employees work hard to serve our customers well and it is great when your elected representatives show genuine interest in the work we are doing” stated Mike Ceruzzi.

About Watershed Development Corporation - Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa. Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America. Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception.

About IRDA - The Illinois Rental Dealers Association (IRDA) works closely with the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) to provide membership and the general public with the latest information regarding legislative initiatives concerning the rent-to-own industry. The IRDA works to ensure a vital future for its industry through networking, education, political outreach and legislative vigilance.

Mar 9, 2016

IRDA's COC Donation Put to Good Use

Mar 7, 2016

Taking the Pulse

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis updated West Pine conference room

Last year we reported that the Illinois Rental Dealer’s Association donated $8,600 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis on behalf of their Charity of Choice Foundation. The charity shared that they used the money to update their West Pine conference room.

President of Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis, Dan Harbaugh, presented a proposal to Rent One CEO, Larry Carrico, to update their conference room by digital means. The West Pine conference room at the Ronald McDonald house is used for committee meetings and orientations and Dan sought a way to reduce paper costs used for handouts. He hoped to add audio visual components such as smart TVs and white boards. IRDA chose Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis as their Charity of Choice and the charity has since made their conference room transformation from paper to digital.

"We have had four committee meetings in the conference room in the past two weeks and everyone loves the new technology and the fact that we can now go paperless. Everyone raves about our set up and how professional and sharp it is," said Dan Harbaugh.

The West Pine conference room has been in use since 2002. The Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis was awarded the donation in October 2015 and the updated conference room was completed by the end of the year, December 2015.

"The new technology is fantastic and very helpful! In the photos you’ll see two smart TVs, a whiteboard that can download its contents to a USB drive, and a podium that houses our computer system," shared Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis Communications Manager, Katie Nepute.

Mar 4, 2016

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of St. Louis Recognizes IRDA Generosity

The IRDA presented its 2015 Charity of Choice, The Ronald McDonald House, with a cash donation of $8,600. “Larry Carrico led the fundraising effort. Ronald McDonald House positively impacts the lives of so many in need. Our donation is comprised of individual contributions from IRDA members and its business partners. Illinois Rental Dealers are generous and collectively we are able to make a significant impact,” stated IRDA President Casey Pristou.

Ronald McDonald House used the proceeds to make needed upgrades its conference facilities.  Dan Harbaugh, President of Ronald McDonald House expressed his sincere gratitude to the IRDA stating, "You folks are truly awesome. Thanks so very much."

Feb 29, 2016

Rent One honors peak performers at annual 2016 Ignite Awards Banquet

Feb 29, 2016

Taking the Pulse

Rent One, RNR and Imagery came together for their 2016 Ignite two day meeting of sales, leadership and product breakout trainings at the Ameristar Resort in St. Charles, Missouri. Attendees included vendors, employees and managers. "Since we are spread out over nine states, people don't get see each other until our annual meeting, once a year. It's a good time to unite," said Rent One Development Manager, David Keen.

The meeting closed with their highly anticipated awards banquet honoring top performers. "It's always humbling to hear our award winners speak about their path to success. Seldom did we here 'I'. It was about coworkers, family and how leadership provided opportunities for them to succeed. It is always encouraging to hear stories," said Rent One CEO, Larry Carrico.

Ignite Awards Banquet Photo Gallery

The Rent One Store of the Year was awarded to Team 43 of Osceola, AR. Store Manager, Torrence Stewart, accepted the award on behalf of the store. Team 43 inlcudes Store Manager, Torrence Stewart; Assistant Manager, Tiffany Hooks; Certified Client Retention Specialist, Ashley Douglas; Certified Client Retention Specialist, Carlos Nolan; Certified DT, Broderick Harris and Delivery Technician, Reggie Gray.

Store Manager of the Year was awarded to Joe Tubb of Store 56 in Sikeston, MO. "Joe has the drive to succeed like no other manager I have worked with in my career. He is hardworking, passionate, energetic and straightforward. He is also an amazing trainer for Rent One and has been vital in building the success of Region 3 as well as store 56!" Regional Manager, Karen Martin said. "He is generally my first and last call of the day, with many in between. Above all, Joe is very appreciated in Region 3 and Rent One. What an amazing year Joe, thank you for all you have done and will continue to do!"

Regional Manager of the Year was awarded to Karen Martin of Region 3 Missouri. She has been a part of Rent One for two years and took her region from the bottom of the company to the top of the ranks in 2015. Her passion for Rent One is said to only be rivaled by her passion for shoes.

Rookie Store Manager of the Year was awarded to Joey Hall of Store 32 in Huntingdon, TN. Joey began his career at Rent One as a CRR in July of 2009 at store 31. He transitioned to a Client Retention Specialist and then was promotoed to a Store Manager. "He is one of the most honest/hard working Team members I have. He is dedicated to getting the job done no matter what it takes and believes in developing his team with all knowledge possible. Joey is a true leader of his people! His clients love him and he is a great friend!" shared, Regional Manager, Ashley Arrington.

Store Employee of the Year was awarded to Nora Daughtery of Salem, IL. Nora began her career at Rent One as a Client Retention Specialist in June of 2008. She then transitioned to Store Manager in Flora, IL and later took over at the Salem store in July 2014. "Nora is more than just an employee to me – she is a mentor and an example of a what not only I but every individual should strive to be. Selfless, dedicated, passionate and humble, Nora continually strives to put others first. Whether it’s an employee, a client or a member of the community she will go above and beyond to help them in any way possible," Kelly Carrico said. "Her integrity is the key to her numerous acts of kindness – she never does anything because she expects something in return, she only does it because she feels it’s right in her heart. I couldn’t be more proud to have her on the Rent One team!"

Corporate Employee of the Year was awarded to two-time award winner, Human Resource Manager, Kris Lowe. She has been with Rent One for over 20 years and her experience ranges from store to corporate level. She manged the Salem and Centralia stores and transitioned into human resources in 2003. "Kris is a close as you can get to an “institution” at Rent One," said Keith Carrico. "She is indispensable in so many ways, not the least of which all she does to make the Annual Meeting the awesome event it has become today."

Presidential Award of Excellence was awarded to Store Manager, Brandi Robison of store 62 in Mayfield, KY. She began her career in 2011 and was promoted to Store Manager of the Metropolis, IL store in just six months. She blazed a trail of success there and has continued to lead since.

Vendor of the Year was awarded to AMP Tablet Solutions, Patrick Henley. "The Amp’s site says they create software that connects and manages all products in the supply chain to provide full-service solutions from commodity to the consumer. I was introduced to Patrick and Amp in May of 2014 and since then, our two companies along with all of our partners represented here tonight have worked to develop a platform that connects our Store Employees with our Vendor Partners to efficiently supply our clients with the products they need and want! We met our goal for 2015 to have all partners here tonight, operating on the AMP Tablet platform," shared Mark Williams.

RNR Store Manager of the Year was awarded to Nick Ollenberger of the St. Louis Blvd. store. "He is by far the shining example of customer service and satisfaction. Nick is an aggressive Manager, always seeking ways to increase his store’s sales. After work, Nick is actively involved in the youth development at his church," said President of RNR, Richard Bergmann.

Imagery award was presented to Faith Schroeder. She is said to a consummate professional and a pillar of the Imagery Marketing Group. She is ever positive and stands above the crowd in her creative style and apporach as a designer.

Congratulations to the Rent One Winners!

Feb 22, 2016

Watershed 10 Year Service Award Recipients: Scott Wallingford, Andy Simo, Casey Pristou, Mike Ceruzzi, Jamie Cantwell, Don Stutzke

Watershed's 10 Year Service Award Recipients: Scott Wallingford, Andy Simo, Casey Pristou, Mike Ceruzzi, Jamie Cantwell, Don Stutzke

Watershed Development Corporation Recognizes Top Performers at its 10th Annual Awards Banquet

Watershed Development Corporation recognized its top performers during its 10th Annual Awards Banquet. More than 80 Watershed associates and business partners gathered at the Brandywine in Dixon, Illinois, on Saturday, February 13th to commemorate the event. Watershed’s first ever 10 Year Service Awards were presented to the six individuals that started Watershed business operations back in 2005. “It’s cliché to say time flies when you are having fun, but is certainly has,” said Watershed President and Founder, Casey Pristou. Freeport and McHenry stores each had a big night. Freeport earned Store of the Year honors, its first win. In addition, Freeport’s Sales and Accounts departments were recognized as the company’s best in 2015. McHenry scored Top Revenue and Top Profit distinction, its Product Technicians earned accolades as Watershed’s best and store General Manager, Juan Teran was named Watershed’s Associate of the Year for the second time since joining the company. Yet another highlight of the evening was Clinton, Iowa General Manager, Don Stutzke receiving an award for Lifetime Achievement. Vice President of Operations, Mike Ceruzzi, commented, “2015 was a significant year for Watershed in many ways. We focused on our core operations and achieved many of our business objectives. We are grateful for the dedication and hard work of all of our associates. It’s an honor to recognize our top performers and to lead such a fine team.” Click her for a complete list of 2015 Award Recipients.

About Watershed Development Corporation – Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa. Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America. Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception. For More information contact Casey Pristou.

Feb 15, 2016

Illinois Rental Dealers will be meeting with their congressional representatives in their stores during February, March and April as part of APRO's 2016 National Legislative Conference. Historically, rental dealers from across the country travel to Washington D.C. to meet with their elected representatives. IRDA President, Casey Pristou stated, “we are conducting our National Legislative Outreach in 2016 in our home districts.  Meeting with our elected officials in district this year fits well with the presidential election year cycle and will provide a unique opportunity to highlight the positive impact Illinois rental dealers have on their local communities.” During the store meeting the representative will tour the store, meet its employees and customers and learn about the economic impact RTO has on the district. Pristou added, "this is a great event. All of our rental dealers in Illinois are involved.  We fully expect to host each representative from all 18 Illinois congressional districts at an Illinois rental dealer’s retail store location as part of this effort." Please visit the IRDA website www.illinoisrentaldealers.org or the APRO (the national trade organization) website www.rtohq.org to learn more about the 2016 National Legislative Conference and the rent-to-own industry.

Jan 28, 2016

Registration for FUSE 2016, APRO's National Rent-to-Own Conference & Trade Show, will open soon.

Read More https://www.rtohq.org/news/982/15/Mark-your-calendars-Registration-for-FUSE-2016-Coming-Soon/

Jan 28, 2016

Taking the Pulse

Left to right: Poshard Foundation Volunteer, Vic Turner; Congressman Glenn Poshard; Jo Poshard; Rent One's Region Director, Kelly Martin; Vice President, Mark Williams and Rent n Roll President, Rich Bergman.

Rent One's Region 2 and Marion Rent n Roll donated $5000 to their Charity of Choice, The Southern Illinois Poshard Foundation for Abused Kids, on behalf of The Great Expectations Foundation.

Read More https://www.rtohq.org/news/981/157/Rent-One-s-Region-2-and-Rent-n-Roll-Donates-to-COC-Southern-Illinois-Poshard-Foundation-for-Abused-Kids/

Jan 22, 2016

It is time to renew or initiate your 2016 membership in the IRDA.


Your Illinois Rental Dealers Association (IRDA) membership is critical to the continued success of the rental-purchase industry in Illinois. The IRDA works to ensure a vital future for our industry through networking, education, political outreach and legislative vigilance. Through your participation we will succeed in our efforts to safeguard our trade interests and burnish the image of our industry. Join us to be the one voice for rent-to-own in Illinois.


Your participation in our state association plays a crucial role in cultivating a healthy and thriving rent-to-own industry. I trust each member realizes the importance and value the IRDA plays in protecting our business interests. I am genuinely grateful for your continued involvement in the IRDA. Together we can make 2016 a great year for rent-to-own in Illinois

Download your 2016 application from our FAQ's and Resources Page

Nov 1, 2015

Taking the Pulse


IRDA named APRO's State Association of the Year for the second time in a row

The Illinois Rental Dealer’s Association held its 2015 annual meeting in Collinsville, Illinois on October14, 2015. The meeting was very well attended by dealers, employees, vendors and industry dignitaries from across the country. Newly elected IRDA President, Watershed CEO Casey Pristou, remarked, “The industry talent assembled at this meeting is truly amazing. We are privileged to be a party to these proceedings.” The meeting had many highlights. Rent One Regional Director Kelly Carrico, was elected Vice President. In addition, key presentations were delivered by APRO Legal Counsel, Ed Winn, Rent One Corporate Trainer, Dusty Ray, and Rent-A-Center VP of Legal & Regulatory Affairs and IRDA board member, Matt Grywald.

The IRDA presented its 2015 Charity of Choice, The Ronald McDonald House, with a cash donation of $8,600. “Larry Carrico led the fundraising effort. Ronald McDonald House positively impacts the lives of so many in need. Our donation is comprised of individual contributions from IRDA members and its business partners. Illinois Rental Dealers are generous and collectively we are able to make a significant impact,” Pristou added.

Casey Pristou thanked outgoing President David Keen for his years of service, “The IRDA has been awarded APRO State Association of the Year in each of the past two years and this wouldn’t have happened without David’s skilled leadership. David has set the standard against which all future state association presidents will be measured.”