Phelon named president-elect

Four new directors also elected to join ARA board

Paul Phelon

Timp Rental Center, Orem, Utah

American Rental Association (ARA) general members have elected Paul Phelon as the new president-elect of the association. Phelon is president of Timp Rental Center, which has two stores in Utah County, Utah. Timp’s rental inventory includes mostly construction and general tool, plus some party. Phelon currently serves as General Tool and Equipment Shared Interest Group (SIG) chairman on the ARA board of directors.

“It’s an exciting and challenging time to take the association forward. There is a lot of uncertainty, but our industry is doing better than the general economy, so there is a lot of hope and a bright future because people are continuing to move to rental versus buying equipment,” Phelon says.

“I’m passionate about the rental industry and I believe ARA is beneficial to every member. I welcome the opportunity to serve the membership and leaders, and work with ARA staff members to promote our industry,” he says.

When Phelon assumes the office of ARA president-elect at the conclusion of The Rental Show 2013 in Las Vegas, Mike Blaisdell, vice president, Bunce Rental, Tacoma, Wash., will become ARA president. Mike Flesher, president, Taylor Rental Center, with locations in Vestal and Ithaca, N.Y., and current ARA president, will assume the position of chairman of the board. Ted Cook, co-owner of Ventura Rental Center, Ventura Calif., ARA’s current chairman of the board, will complete his ARA board service.

Region Two


Jeff Johnstone, CERP

Party Perfect, Richmond, Va.

Jeff Johnstone, CERP, was elected ARA’s Region Two director. He will succeed Alan Wismer, owner, George’s Tool Rental, Hatfield, Pa., where Johnstone worked for nearly 20 years before moving to Richmond, Va. Johnstone is owner and president of Party Perfect, a single location party and event business in Richmond and has been a director of ARA of Virginia. “I honestly feel gratified that my friends and colleagues in the rental industry would consider me to represent them with ARA. I appreciate the fact I will now be able to give back to an organization that I feel is critical to the success of my company,” Johnstone says.

Region Three


Tony Long

Mint Hill Tool Rental, Charlotte, N.C.

Tony Long was elected ARA’s Region Three director. He will succeed Ben Cooke, manager of Cooke Rentals, Mount Airy, N.C. Long is co-owner and president of Mint Hill Tool Rental in Charlotte, N.C. Long is president of ARA of North Carolina and was named ARA Region Three Person of the Year in 2012. “It was a surprise and honor to be elected by my peers to serve as the Region Three director. I look forward to building on the success of our previous director, Ben Cooke. We expect Region Three to flourish through the use of the many resources offered by ARA and the ARA staff members to address our growth and challenges,” Long says.

Region Nine


Robert Pedersen

A Tool Shed, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Robert Pedersen was elected ARA’s Region Nine director. He succeeds Sherri Creighton, president, Pleasanton Rentals, Pleasanton, Calif. Pedersen is CEO and chief financial officer of A Tool Shed Equipment Rentals in Santa Cruz, Calif. He has served as a member of the ARA Political Action Committee Council and is an ARA Political Action Committee (ARAPAC) member. “I was honored to be elected Region Nine director. I hope to continue to build ARA of California and its relationship with members throughout California, and increase membership in ARA and awareness of the products offered to the members,” Pedersen says.

Associate Member Director


Scott Smith

The Charles Machine Works, Perry, Okla.

ARA general and associate members have elected Scott Smith as Associate Member director. He will succeed Pierre Pereira, vice president, sales and marketing, Billy Goat Industries, Lee’s Summit, Mo. Smith is the global director of sales for The Charles Machine Works (CMW®), manufacturer of the Ditch Witch® line of underground construction equipment, in Perry, Okla. “To have been nominated for and elected as an associate board member is an honor. After nearly six decades as a member of ARA, the rental business remains critically important to us at Ditch Witch, and I am very pleased to continue our company’s service commitment to the rental business,” Smith says.


Blaisdell completes appointments for ARA board, Executive Committee

Mike Blaisdell, vice president, Bunce Rental, Tacoma, Wash., who begins service as ARA president at the conclusion of The Rental Show 2013 in Las Vegas, has named Mark Gilbertson to the board position of general tool and equipment shared interest group (SIG) chairman to represent this ARA member segment for a three-year term. Gilbertson is president and owner of Fargo Rentall based in Fargo, N.D. He has previously served on the ARA Education Committee and The Rental Show Task Force.

Blaisdell also has appointed two current ARA board members, Jimmy Pate, Region Four director, and Terry Turner, CERP, chairman of the ARA party and event services SIG, to serve on the Executive Committee for 2013-14, with himself as incoming president, Mike Flesher as incoming board chairman and Paul Phelon as incoming president-elect. The one-year appointment will begin upon the completion of The Rental Show.

Pate is president and CEO of Pate’s Rental based in Comanche, Texas. Turner is president of All Occasions Party Rentals in Knoxville, Tenn., and will be serving a second one-year term. Both Pate and Turner have served on the ARA board of directors since March 2011.

At the conclusion of The Rental Show 2013, the following officer and directors will complete their terms on the board: Ted Cook, Ventura Rentals, Ventura, Calif., chairman of the board; Pierre Pereira, Billy Goat Industries, Lee’s Summit, Mo., Associate Member director; Alan Wismer, George’s Tool Rental, Hatfield, Pa., Region Two director; Ben Cooke, Cooke Rentals, Mt. Airy, N.C., Region Three director; and Sherri Creighton, Pleasanton Rentals, Pleasanton, Calif., Region Nine director.