Message from the President: Maximize your ARA membership
Message from the President: Maximize your ARA membership

One of the many advantages of being a member of the American Rental Association (ARA) is having the opportunity to volunteer for leadership positions throughout the association. Volunteering is one of the best ways to increase the value of your membership while also supporting your industry. ARA volunteer opportunities allow you to network as you learn and improve your leadership skills, which in turn enhances your business success. By taking on an ARA volunteer leadership role, you also have the opportunity to meet and work with exceptional people, including some of the most successful people in our industry.

It takes a lot of dedicated people to lead our association and there are so many opportunities for members to get involved. As ARA president, one of my responsibilities is to assist and support our state, provincial and local volunteers in building a stronger, more engaged association. Encouraging involvement and input from our members is a key part of my role. I know that word, “involvement,” implies an investment of time, but involvement does not have to be long-term or very time consuming.

Whether you can offer a few hours a week, a few days a month or a couple of days a year, many opportunities are available for you to become involved. Some of these include leadership positions in your state, provincial or local association; service on an ARA committee or task force; attendance at the ARA Leadership Conference or National Legislative Caucus; and service on the ARA board of directors. If you don’t feel you have the time to get involved now, I encourage every ARA member to maximize your membership value by attending state, provincial or local association events and to make sure you always attend The Rental Show.

One of the highest levels of volunteer leadership is serving on the ARA board of directors. Currently, elections are underway for five ARA board positions: president-elect, three regional directors and one associate member director. Through elections held each year, one-third of the members rotate off the board, which provides for continuity, while incorporating new perspectives and innovative approaches. Each candidate has served ARA through various leadership activities and I appreciate their willingness to serve at the highest level of leadership for the ARA.

As with any election, your vote matters. Ballots were sent in mid-July to the designated voting representatives of all ARA members, including international members. We need all members to participate in the election process, so please take advantage of this privilege of membership and exercise your right to vote and support these great volunteer leaders. Watch for the envelope labeled “Election Ballot” and return your ballot by Sept. 4. To learn more about the candidates, see the special ARA election insert included in this issue of Rental Management delivered to the primary ARA member store contact.

Each of you can be a great volunteer leader as well. Maximize your ARA membership and consider becoming involved in your association by contributing your time and expertise to advance ARA goals and the rental industry. Feel free to contact myself, another volunteer leader or ARA staff members if you would like to be considered for a volunteer opportunity.

If you are a current volunteer leader, always remember to ask another member if they would like to help. That is how I became involved in this association 28 years ago — someone asked me to help — and if a volunteer leader asks for your help, please consider the opportunity. You will be glad you did.

Mike Blaisdell, vice president, Bunce Rental, Tacoma, Wash., is the 2013 president of the American Rental Association. He can be reached at 253-472-3347 or