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People of Pawn: Kevin Prochaska

Kevin is a Past President of the NPA and a NPA Charles R. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award designee, who has been in the pawn business for 40 years. He started his career in the pawn working part time as a pawn clerk while attending the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and his Masters of Business Administration specializing in Small Business, Real Estate, and Finance. Additionally, since 1984, Mr. Prochaska has been licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas. Kevin is the President of Lombard Financial. 

 

How did you get started in pawn? After getting out of the military, I moved to Austin, Texas, to attend the University of Texas on the GI Bill.  I went into a pawn store one day and thought it would be fun working there. I started part time and never left the business. 

 

What is the number one pawn skill you have? I don’t think it is really a pawn skill, but I do think I am very good at maximizing the potential and efficiency of the business. 

 

What pawn talent do you wish you had? Better product knowledge. 

 

What customer behavior aggravates you the most? When customers do not understand that we have to cover our costs with their items either through pawn service charges or making a margin on selling a preowned item.  An item is worth only what another is willing to pay for it. 

 

What customer behavior brings you joy?  When we can help a customer solve their immediate need, and they thank us for helping them.  When a customer comes in with a frown and leaves with a smile. 

 

What is the weirdest thing you have ever written a loan for?  Not necessarily weird, but most interesting was the diary of a member of Pearl Jam on their first tour.  We were able to sell it later through an auction house. 

 

What career would you pick if you were not in pawn?  I would start a mega-church and be an “American Prosperity Gospel Preacher,” whereby I could own a tax-free business, where I could be bad all week, ask for forgiveness on Sunday, collect more money and repeat ad-nauseam.  It would be nice to have a private jet, like Kenneth Copeland, so I could fly around to spread the Word. 

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Retired. 

 

Do you want your children to follow in your footsteps?  My oldest is now working in the business, and he seems to really enjoy it. 

 

What college degree would be great to have to work in pawn?  My son has dual degrees in Sociology and Criminal Justice with a minor in business.  That combination has proven to be very successful in working with and understanding our customers, law enforcement, and understanding the business. 

 

What is the one piece of advice to anyone considering the pawn industry? Try it, they might like it.

 

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