December 15, 2022
It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Kathleen Pierce of Bloomington, Illinois, to succeed Fran Bishop as GRC Liaison effective on January 1, 2023.
Many of you know Kathy already from her years of service to the Illinois Pawnbrokers Association as Secretary and her ten years as an NPA Board member during which she chaired the Government Relations Committee and was the Board Secretary.
Kathy owns her pawn store in Bloomington, Monster Pawn Bloomington, which opened in 2001, and is a partner in three other Monster Pawn stores in Normal, Springfield, and Central Illinois. Kathy’s husband, Edwin, is involved with Kathy in these pawn stores. More recently, Kathy’s older children, Everson and Annellia have joined the businesses. Kathy’s son Tripper is a Marine.
In considering candidates to succeed Fran Bishop, we looked for individuals who had broad experience as pawnbrokers for that “behind-the-counter” perspective and hefty doses of common sense. We also looked for persons with GRC experience – not imagining at the beginning that we could persuade another former GRC Chair to take on this key role for the NPA and industry nationwide.
Kathy describes her “proudest moment as a pawnbroker” as “helping our customers and fellow pawnbrokers, meeting our legislators and regulators, telling our story, our customers’ stories, and how important our industry is to our communities.”
Fran and Kathy have been working through a transition for the past 7 weeks. Their focus has been on enabling Kathy to take over the valuable state-law reporting and evaluation that the NPA’s GRC has been performing for several years. They also have been engaged in the NPA’s ongoing assistance to the Illinois Pawnbrokers Association in its campaign to persuade the Illinois legislature not to impose a rate cap on pawn transactions.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Fran Bishop – this association’s beloved “Mama Fran” – again for her service to the NPA since its earliest days and for her passionate, yet sensible approach to the issues pawnbrokers face. Her leadership roles have included a long tenure as a leader of the Alabama Pawnbrokers Association, service on the NPA Board of Directors and as President, two stints as GRC chair, and for the last eleven years as GRC Liaison.
Please join me and the Board in welcoming Kathy Pierce back to the NPA in her new role. As of January 1, 2023, Kathy becomes our go-to woman.
Boyd Naylor, President