Formal ceremony scheduled for Feb. 28 at The Rental Show 2011
The late Hershel “Hotch” Manning, who served as American Rental Association (ARA) president in 1995, will be formally inducted into the Rental Hall Fame in a special ceremony during the keynote session at The Rental Show in Las Vegas on Monday, Feb. 28.
|Members of the Rental Hall of Fame|
Those who have been named to the Rental Hall of Fame and the year they were inducted include:
Bill Begley (2008)
Howard Burnett (2006)
Wilbert “Bill” Bourque (2010)
Danny Cameron (2001)
R. Wayne Collett (2005)
Theodor deVries (2005)
John Doran Sr. (2004)
George Gartner Jr. (2001)
William Grasse (2002)
Sam Greenberg (2003)
Leonard Hawk (2001)
Tom Hawthorne (2008)
Thomas “Mitch” Hoxie (2009)
William “Dugan” Hill (2007)
Bradley Jacobs (2009)
Daniel Kaplan (2006)
James Keenan (2008)
Andrew Kennard (2003)
Keith Klarin (2002)
Irving Levine (2002)
Edwin Malzahn (2007)
Robert MacFarland (2004)
Pamela McKenney (2007)
Roy Milling (2003)
Harold “Hal” Plugge Jr. (2009)
William Ristow (2005)
C.A. “Ziggy” Siegfried (2001)
Leo Swan (2006)
Klaus Wacker (2001)
S.G. Walker (2004)
Michael Watts (2010)
The American Rental Association (ARA) created the Rental Hall of Fame in 2000 to foster an appreciation of the historical development of the equipment rental industry and the leaders who have made the industry what it is today. Each year, nominations are accepted to recognize individuals who have made a substantial impact on the industry at the national or international level.
Manning was chosen for his commitment throughout his life and rental career to exemplary character and dynamic leadership, heartfelt belief in the value of people being the key to success in the rental business and devotion to making the rental industry better.
“Hotch was a devout ambassador for our industry who knew no strangers, fit into every audience and engaged with people in a manner that made every individual better for the experience,” said Hal Roe, ARA president and owner of Bradley Rentals, Cleveland, Tenn. “Hotch was a ‘people person,’ the rental guy everyone knew, liked and respected. He had the insight to realize that this industry takes all kinds of people to make it work, and he wanted everyone to know there was a place for everyone in this great business. He was a tireless ambassador on behalf of our industry each day from when he entered the business in 1979 until the day he passed away.”
Manning purchased a Taylor Rental store in Las Cruces, N.M., in 1979 and built the business to include four A-1 Rental locations in New Mexico. He sold his successful rental business in 1998 and joined Citizens Bank of Las Cruces as an employee in the marketing and business development department. He was promoted to executive bank vice president in 2000 and became chairman of the bank in 2006.
When he retired in 2008, he and his wife, Carolyn, moved to Alba, Texas, to be closer to their three sons — David, Kevin and Charlie — and their grandchildren. Even though he was no longer in the rental industry, Manning kept in touch with his many friends and continued to help many in the industry with his advice.
He also served as an advisor with the ARA Foundation’s Rental Executive Advisory Program (REAP) and contributed the Financial Aid column to Rental Management, answering finance-related questions.
“I think my father would be extremely honored to be noticed by his peers. He never was a person who sought the limelight. He would have thought there were a lot of other people who would be more deserving of this award,” says David Manning, general manager, Pioneer Equipment Rental, Ponca City, Okla.
“He didn’t get involved in the ARA to be recognized. He never thought that if he volunteered to be part of the ARA and serve as president that someday he would be part of the Rental Hall of Fame. That was never part of his mindset,” he said.
Manning and his wife were honored with the 1976 Award from the ARA Foundation in 2008 to recognize their contributions to the Foundation. In 1998, Manning also received the ARA’s Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an ARA member for continuous involvement and contributions to ARA at the international, national, regional, state and local levels.
Prior to his election as ARA president in 1995, Manning had been president of the ARA of New Mexico and spent a year as a member of what was then called the ARA General Tool Council before being appointed to a three-year term as the Council’s president in 1990. He was elected vice president of ARA in 1992.
Manning focused on the image of the industry, raising identity of the appearance, layout and design of a rental business. He led development of a national advertising program for the industry through his leadership role within ARA. Manning heightened awareness of technology and education/training as critical to the success of a rental operation.
“As rental store managers, we have to lead our companies into the future. What are we going to do about image, about customer service? We, as rental store owners, are all independent as hell, but we are the CEOs of our companies and the bottom line is that we control our own destinies,” he said in a January 1995 Rental Management article.
“Hotch was a very positive force for our industry, creating possibility wherever he went. His view was that life is full of opportunities,” says Christine Wehrman, ARA’s executive vice president and CEO. “Hotch got things done. If he said he was going to do something, he delivered on his word and did it well. He set the same expectation for those around him. The end game for him was making the industry better for everyone.”
Manning was born in Idabell, Okla., and graduated from Cahokia, Ill., high school. He attended Texas Lutheran College and Community College of the Air Force. In Vietnam, he was a U.S. Air Force medic and helicopter crewman. From 1968 to 1971, Manning provided administrative assistance and was Hospital Sergeant Major at Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, N.M.
He served as a medical administrative technician for Tactical Air Command Surgeon offices in Langley, Va., from 1971 to 1975 and as administrative assistant to the chief of the Medical Career Division, at the Air Force Manpower and Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base in Universal City, Texas, near San Antonio from 1975 until 1979.
The January 1995 Rental Management article outlined how Manning’s start in the rental business came from a friendship he developed in the Air Force while in Vietnam. One of his commanders was Col. Dwight Newton, one of the Air Force’s top physicians. Newton retired from the Air Force and moved to Las Cruces in 1972. He opened a Taylor Rental franchise store in 1974. When Manning left the service, he and his wife moved to Las Cruces and Newton sold the Taylor Rental store to Manning.
“The very next day after I got out of the service, I went into the rental business. I didn’t know anything about it. I hadn’t even been in a rental store before I bought mine,” Manning recalled in the Rental Management article.
Soon after, he dropped the Taylor name and renamed it Mesilla Valley Rentals. He eventually changed the name to A-1 Rental Center because he knew eventually he would expand into other areas of the state where Mesilla Valley wouldn’t mean anything to local customers. A-1 Rental Equipment was a small business, but eventually expanded to locations in Alamogordo and Silver City, N.M., with a branch location also in Las Cruces.