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How a Global Mindset Attracted Midmarket Investors, CFO Woody Whitcomb of LaFamilia Pawn & Jewelry

With the Hispanic community being his firm’s largest customer segment, it’s not surprising that Latin America is on Woody Whitcomb’s mind these days. “So far, you’ll find that some of the larger publicly held pawn chains have locations in Mexico, and they are discussing moving into new markets — and again, the cultural acceptance is what makes this attractive,” explains Whitcomb, CFO of La Familia Pawn & Jewelry, an Orlando, Florida–based pawn chain that is today estimated to be capturing more than $30 million in annual sales.

Along the way, La Familia has grown its island roots, having transferred a number of its employees, who previously trained in its Central Florida stores, to help manage its 11 locations in Puerto Rico. What’s more, the firm’s financial connections to the island were further strengthened when Puerto Rico’s leading private equity firm, Advent-Morro Equity Partners, invested $5 million in the Orlando-based firm in May 2011.

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