Shared by NPA Executive Director, Kristen Williams
A little over two years into my work at the NPA, I had the opportunity to step out of my home office bubble to spend time in NPA member pawnshops in North Carolina. I visited nine shops inside of four days and met some incredible people. I gained a practical appreciation for the good (and oftentimes hard) work being done at the pawn counter and behind the scenes.
I learned a great deal last week. I plan to continue this awesome journey throughout the year in pawnshops nationwide. It is super important our valued members of the NPA know how much their commitment and support mean to me. It’s equally important our members understand how affiliation with the NPA positively affects their business. Currently I am scheduled to visit shops in Kentucky, Las Vegas, Michigan, Alabama, California and Texas. I look forward to learning as much as I can during these visits. Your guidance, insight, feedback, and recommendations matter! If there is more we can do, at the national level, to support you and your business, I want to know about it.
I found throughout my visit a consistent sense of pride in the work being done in every area. Whether it was Jimmy at National Pawn, who has 34+ years of experience, greeting me with a big welcome when I arrived, or his incredibly talented staff repairing, cleaning and preparing jewelry for sale behind the scenes, everyone I met showed a sense of “ownership” in their work. Many of the staff I visited had been employed for five years or more, and sincerely shared their commitment to their work. Tiffany, a new Picasso Pawn Associate shared with me, “I wish I had found this job ten years ago. Every day I look forward to coming to work because I know what I am doing helps people. I hope to retire from this job. I can’t quite explain to you how gratifying it is.”
I am a very big believer that hard work pays off. I loved having the opportunity to shake hands with the good people working in NPA owned pawnshops and the chance to show my appreciation for an opportunity to do so. There will always be more work to do and bigger ideas to implement, but it is the members who are most important. It is the many amazing people who work in the pawn industry serving communities nationwide that matters.
Thank you to Bill Dawson and his amazing team at Picasso Pawn who patiently and fully answered every question I had. Thanks to Jeff Wilhelm and his awesome team at National Pawn for spending quality time with me, ensuring I took note of both the big picture as well as the behind-the-scenes smaller stuff that has great impact. And a huge thanks to Johnny Whiteside and his talented staff at Kendale Pawn Shop for an eye-opening tour of a shop specializing in firearms. Johnny does a fantastic job and is incredibly well respected in his area of expertise.
Feedback, questions, comments? Please reach out! I am all ears and always open to ideas and suggestions. Your voice matters and I hope we have an opportunity to talk soon.
On behalf of the NPA Board of Directors, thank you for your support and the hard work you do every day to positively influence the pawn profession.