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Kathy Betty joining Aaron’s board

By Maria Saporta

After years of having an all-male board, Aaron’s Inc. has added a second woman to its board of directors — Kathy Betty, an Atlanta business woman who is the former owner of the WNBA Atlanta Dream.

She joins Cynthia Day, the CEO of Citizens Trust Bank, on the Aaron’s board. Day joined the board in 2011.

“Kathy’s deep knowledge of business management and entrepreneurism will be a tremendous asset to our board,” said Ronald W. Allen, CEO and president of Aaron’s Inc. “She has achieved outstanding success through her many different business ventures and remains well connected throughout the Atlanta community and beyond. We are pleased to welcome her to our board and look forward to drawing upon her expertise as we continue to grow and progress.”

Betty was one of the first female partners with Ernst & Young and helped develop the methodologies for the practices of performance improvement and reengineering. She later served as executive vice president and partner with ScottMadden, Inc. and launched her own incubator company — the Tradewind Group.

Kathy Betty

In 2009, Betty became the first woman in Atlanta history to own a professional sports team after purchasing the WNBA Atlanta Dream and saving the franchise from being moved to another city. After bringing a couple of other Atlanta-based investors, she ended up selling all her interests in the team in September 2011.

Betty also was inducted into the YWCA of Greater Atlanta Women of Achievement in 2011. She also received the

Cool Girls 2011 Pink Empowerment Award and was selected by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the 100 Most Influential Atlantans.

Betty serves on the boards of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, Carter Center Board of Councilors, and the Alexander-Tharpe Fund, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Betty is the second director added to Aaron’s board this month. The company announced on Aug. 9 that Hubert “Herky” Harris Jr., the former CEO of Invesco North America, was also elected to join Aaron’s board.

By the way, Aaron’s used to have a woman on its board — Coca-Cola’s Ingrid Saunders Jones — who served from 1995 to 2005. But when she resigned as a director, the company had an all-male board until last year.

Aaron’s Inc. — the nation’s leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories — has more than 1,985 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada. Founded in 1955 by entrepreneur and current Chairman R. Charles Loudermilk Sr., Aaron’s is headquartered in Atlanta. The company has been publicly traded since 1982.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.



  1. Harry Nadz August 23, 2012 11:36 pm

    From Wikipedia: “In 2006, the United States Department of Defense labeled rent-to-own a PREDATORY LENDING PRACTICE defining it as an ‘unfair or abusive loan or credit sale transaction or collection practice,’ along with payday loans, title loans, refund anticipation loans and other similar practices.”Report

  2. Ruby Khan August 23, 2012 11:48 pm

    WSB-TV: “Lawsuits claims Aarons providing bed bug-infested furniture”  http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/lawsuits-claims-aarons-providing-bed-bug-infested-/nLZ5C/Report

  3. Ruby Khan August 24, 2012 9:24 pm

    Read all 97 “Ripoff Report” complaints about Aaron’s Inc here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/directory/aarons-sales.aspx

  4. Ruby Khan August 24, 2012 9:30 pm

    Lawsuit Filed Against Aaron’s, Inc. Regarding Alleged Improper Practices
     Lawsuit claims that Aaron’s, Inc. repeatedly breaches rent-to-own contracts, violates state usury laws, and engages in unfair business practices. 
    Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) November 11, 2011 Atlanta law firm Webb, Klase & Lemond, LLC has filed a class action lawsuit against Aaron’s, Inc., one of America’s leading rent-to-own companies with over 1,900 total stores. Aaron’s leases furniture, appliances, and electronics to consumers usually with the promise that, after a certain number of payments have been successfully completed, the consumer will own the items.
    The new lawsuit alleges that Aaron’s has breached its lease agreements by refusing to provide pay-off information to consumers and through other improper practices. The suit further asserts that the company has used unfair business practices, false advertising, and misrepresentations to induce customers to enter lease agreements that are not as favorable for the consumer as represented.
    The claims also include unjust enrichment. The case, styled Clark v. Aaron’s, Inc., is pending in the Superior Court of Fulton County Georgia and has been assigned Case Number 2011-CV-207622.According to the suit, Aaron’s rent-to-own business model is in reality the extension of credit through consumer loans disguised as leases for the purchase of goods.
    The suit alleges that the difference between the market value of the goods and the total amount of paymentsmade by a consumer constitutes interest. State usury laws, such as the civil and criminal usury statutes in Georgia, impose a cap on the amount of interest that may be charged by a lender. The suit alleges that Aaron’s repeatedly violates these laws.
    Further, the suit alleges that Aaron’s deceptively markets its well-known offer of “120-days same as cash.” According to the complaint, this offer purports to allow consumers to buy their furniture, appliances, or electronics from Aaron’s for their market value so long as the consumer pays in full within four months. The deception, as alleged in the suit, is that Aaron’s regularly and proactively attempts to prevent consumers from taking advantage of the 120-day offer by failing to provide them with their outstanding balance or pay-off amount in a timely and appropriate manner.
    If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this press release, please contact John Lyon, Esq. by e-mail or by calling (770) 444-9325.Report

  5. Ruby Khan August 24, 2012 9:32 pm

    “Lawsuit Filed Against Aaron’s, Inc. Regarding Alleged Improper Practices 
    Lawsuit claims that Aaron’s, Inc. repeatedly breaches rent-to-own contracts, violates state usury laws, and engages in unfair business practices. ”


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