Aaron’s exec earns lifetime achievement award

William Kenneth Butler, COO of the 1,985 unit Aaron’s rent-to-own retail chain, received a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO).

Butler was selected as the 2012 recipient of the Ernie Tally Lifetime Achievement Award for an exemplary career spanning nearly four decades.

"Lifetime achievement recognizes the top of our class, and Ken has certainly proven himself as a deserving recipient of this award," said APRO president Robert Briley. “During his 38-year career with Aaron's, he has revolutionized the way our industry does business. He has been the face and voice of the company, connecting with everyone at the store level up to the corporate executive team. He is open, down-to-earth and approachable, and knows how to maintain that perfect balance between being motivating and challenging.”

Butler began his career with Aaron's in 1974 and shortly after that he was promoted to become the company’s youngest store manager. He continued to work his way up through the company and was named chief operating officer in 2008.

"We are extremely proud that one of Aaron's own has earned our industry's highest honor of the year,” said  Aaron's CEO Ronald W. Allen. “Our founder, Charlie Loudermilk, received this award four years ago for being a pioneer in the business, and it's only fitting that Ken should follow in his footsteps.  He has been instrumental over the last four decades in shaping our company into what it is today. His passion and perseverance is unwavering, and he continues to set an excellent example for each of our 12,000 associates.”