Mike and Tina Hodges, Chairman and CEO respectively, of Advance Financial in Nashville, Tennessee, were recognized with FiSCA’s 2016 Financial Service Provider of the Year Award in October. The award was presented at the 28th Annual Conference & Exhibition held in National Harbor, Maryland, and marked the 26th year FiSCA has presented this honor to leaders in the financial service center industry.
Family owned and operated Advance Financial was founded in 1996 in Nashville as a three-store chain, and has grown to include more than 70 locations throughout the state, employing more than 700 Tennesseans. Advance Financial recently earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the country, for a fifth year. In November, Advance Financial was named as a silver winner for Most Customer-Friendly Company of the Year in its size category by the sixth annual Best in Biz Awards. The Best in Biz Awards is a national, independent business awards program judged by members of the press and industry analysts in 60 categories. In February, the company was also recognized in two categories of the international One PlanetSM Business and Professional Excellence Awards: at the Gold level for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program of the Year, and at the Silver level for Most Customer- Friendly Company of the Year.
The Financial Service Provider of the Year Award was presented by Ed D’Alessio, FiSCA Executive Director, who noted that while the Hodges are not the longest tenured FISCA members, they have tremendously impacted FiSCA in the time they have been part of the association and represent the industry’s finest ambassadors.
Both Hodges are members of the FiSCA Board. They led FiSCA’s efforts to gain 100,000 signatures in the We the People Petition portal initiative. They have been outspoken in their efforts to bring the voice of FSC customers into the CFPB process, and were responsible for enabling Tennessee businessman and small-dollar, short-term loan consumer advocate Robert Sherrill to testify at the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit last February.
In expanding on the Hodges’ support of FiSCA and the industry, D’Alessio said, “In our opinion, however, the most significant of their contributions to the industry came in the form of just plain, simple decency. This year’s winners had the decency to give an opportunity to a young man who was trying to make his way back to become a productive member of society. This year’s winners took this young man in, not with a handout, but with a loan, and then an opportunity. An opportunity to make something of himself. They continued their involvement with him as mentors, taking him into their home, and talking to him about running his fledging business. The fact that the young man has spoken on behalf of the industry and his mentors at a Congressional hearing and in print is just the outward manifestation of the contributions this year’s winners made to him. Most important, this year’s winners did not do what they did in the anticipation of a Congressional hearing; they did it because it was the right and decent thing to do.”
The tradition of issuing the Financial Service Provider of the Year Award (formerly known as the Check Casher of the Year Award) began in 1991, with FiSCA deciding to recognize those individuals within the financial services industry who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in business management, community involvement, and industry advocacy. Since 1991, each year the award has been presented to the person(s) who best demonstrates leadership and dedication within his or her company and as a member of FiSCA. In 2008, the award was renamed in memory of former FiSCA Chairman and Board Member William Siegel. His passion, dedication and willingness to take on various industry challenges was evident and exemplified the type of commitment and contributions to the industry that the award represents.
“We truly believe that this year’s winners embody the ideals of the William Siegel Financial Service Provider of the Year Award. Billy certainly would have been proud,” D’Alessio commented as he announced the Hodges as winners.
Original Source: FiSCA Currents Magazine