Regional Digest: Northwest Rental Conference

The Northwest Rental Conference (NWRC), organized by the NWRCA board, provides a warm-up for The Rental Show by offering equipment rental professionals in the ARA state associations within Region Eight an additional opportunity to get together for networking, educational seminars, workshops and social events. The American Rental Association (ARA) participates in the event through the attendance of ARA officers and/or staff members each year who meet with ARA members one-on-one, share information, learn more about state or regional issues or to present programs.

“The reason I attend and support the NWRC is simple. I feel like I really am amongst my peers in the business,” says Victor Lewis, Oregon Rental Association president and president of Lewis Bros. Rentals Co. d/b/a Lewis Rents in Portland, Ore. “All the people involved are down to earth, hard-working rental people who have been in the business a long time. The vendors who work this show know the sale might not be today, but they work hard knowing that when the time comes, they will be involved in the future success of the rental people they work with.”

“We send every one of our three-year employees to the NWRC,” says Brett Richter, ARA Region Eight director and owner of Double R Rental and Sales in Langley, Wash. “The seminars are beneficial and the small class sizes allow for personal interaction. The NWRC is a momentum-builder for members who attend The Rental Show and I’m sure the same can be said for vendors as well.”

“The NWRC is a good combination of social, educational and networking events,” says Brock Huffstutler, ARA’s state, local and provincial project coordinator. “In the past they have offered social events, like last year’s brewery tour and casino night, as well as timely educational sessions on topics like social networking and Groupon. They also have an awards ceremony recognizing members and their volunteer service to promote involvement in the state associations.”

“We find that people get together, enjoy each other’s company and learn at these conferences,” says Dean Eklund, NWRCA president and president of Lew Rents in Olympia, Wash. “At the conference we have included ARA state association meetings as a part of the program and we have seen the attendance increasing, which is helping to reenergize the activity of state associations in the region. ARA has done a great job of supporting our conference and helping to keep the attendees connected with ARA. We also feel this local conference allows rental owners and employees to form friendships and make connections, which help make The Rental Show attendance more enjoyable for them since they know one another. It also makes the show a higher priority for them. I really feel that our conference is helping to get new rental owners connected and identifying new leadership potential in the association. All said, our NWRC exists for rental store owners, employees and vendors to get together and have a great time.”

The 2012 event will be held Oct. 22-24 at the Coast Hotel Wenatchee in Wenatchee, Wash. The schedule will include a golf tournament and tour of Leavenworth on Monday, followed by seminars, roundtables and equipment training on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday evening will feature the Exhibitor Appreciation and Awards Dinner at 7 p.m.

The educational aspect of the event involves a variety of speakers, including John McClelland, ARA’s vice president for government affairs, who has been asked to talk with attendees Tuesday morning about the ARA government affairs program and member involvement. Among his remarks, McClelland will discuss the status of the health care law, expiring tax rates and the 2012 election. ARA President-elect Mike Blaisdell, Bunce Rental, Tacoma, Wash., also will be in attendance throughout the event.

For more details and registration information, visit the NWRC official website: