John Thedford has proven to be an incredible leader in the creation, development, and proven growth of companies, since 1994. In fact, the Gallup Organization has recognized “Thedford-led companies” as being world-class, based on unprecedented ratings in customer and employee engagement.
In 1994, Thedfor founded Rent-Rite, a South Florida rent-to-own company, that was recognized by INC Magazine as one of the 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in North America. After growing this company to a 90-store chain, he sold the company to a strategic buyer for significant investor returns.
In the same year, he also founded Value Financial Services, doing business as Value Pawn & Jewelry, in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee, and Mexico. This company was also recognized by INC Magazine as one of the 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in North America, as well as “Best in Class” as the most profitable, on a per store basis, in the pawn industry. In December of 2008, Thedford headed the team that successfully negotiated the merger of Value Financial Services with EZCORP, for $110 million.
Currently, John holds several positions, outside of SMART Financial. In 2009, Thedford founded FFI Holdings, currently doing business as La Familia Pawn & Jewelry, in Florida and Puerto Rico. In 2012, he founded and is currently the CEO of Premier Financial Group, based out of Winter Park, FL. He is also a partner in Initiative Consulting Group. John is a tremendous leader and asset to SMART Financial, with a proven record of rapid growth and financial success.