ARA of Pennsylvania event encourages participation
The ARA of Pennsylvania board members decided to try something new in an effort to encourage participation in the state association — they planned for a picnic at Hersheypark held on Aug. 12, which could be used by members as an employee appreciation incentive.
Carol Frederick, ARA of Pennsylvania president and president of Tel-Power Tool & Equipment Rental in Altoona, Pa., was pleased with the turnout and the event as a whole. “We just kind of went with it as it grew. Ultimately the event went off without a hitch and everyone seemed to have a great time,” she says.
While there was no formal meeting involved with this event, board members spent time during lunch talking with attendees about the American Rental Association (ARA) and the ARA of Pennsylvania.
“We’re hoping that when the next educational event comes around, those who have not been involved in the past feel that personal connection that will draw them to an association meeting,” Frederick says.
ARA of Pennsylvania supplemented half the cost for attendees’ tickets and lunch, which allowed several employers to cover the employee portion and offer the day as a benefit for employees. In the end, members and employees from 28 stores turned up for a day of fun with other rental professionals and their families.
The board solicited sponsorships, which helped defray the event’s cost to the association. JLG Industries, McConnellsburg, Pa., provided bright orange backpacks and EDCO – Equipment Development Co., Frederick, Md., provided fluorescent yellow sunglasses, so attendees could more easily see who else was with the group. ARA Insurance and First National Insurance also supported the event.
ARA of Tennessee meeting re-energizes members
The first ARA of Tennessee meeting since 2010 started with a look at the past, present and future of one store’s involvement with the American Rental Association (ARA). The Rardin family’s Rent-All Store in Chattanooga, Tenn., has been an ARA member since 1955. Dan Rardin, company founder and owner, also was involved in the creation of ARA in 1955. Rardin has served on the ARA board of directors and was Region Three Person of the Year in 1968.
Now in his 90s, Rardin was present at the Aug. 7 meeting with his son, Mike, and grandson, Jeremy, who are both running the store. Mike runs the general tool and construction side of the store, while Jeremy handles the party and event side. Rent-All Store was the recipient of the 2009 President’s Image Award, which is on display in the store.
After the tour of Rent-All Store, Billie Dupre, manager of Bradley Rentals in Cleveland and president of ARA of Tennessee, and Mike Royal, president of Showtime Event Rentals in Chattanooga and vice president of the ARA of Tennessee, welcomed attendees at Loose Cannon Studios in Chattanooga. The former art studio, which was converted to an event facility with catering, was the venue for the dinner, social hour and speakers that made up the rest of the event.
Mike Holland, manager of Chattanooga Tent Co. in Chattanooga, offered a presentation covering methods of proper tent ballasting, followed by Brock Huffstutler, ARA’s project coordinator for state, local and provincial programs, who gave a presentation about ARA’s top business and safety resources available on ARA’s website, ARArental.org. Terry Turner, CERP, owner of All Occasions Party Rentals in Knoxville and ARA Party and Event Shared Interest Group chair, also spoke briefly about keeping the momentum going for ARA of Tennessee, followed by a report on the association’s treasury from Lance Gehring, president of Dixie Rents in Memphis. The evening ended with Margaret Reitter, ARA Insurance marketing director, and John White, ARA Insurance agent, joining Royal for the prize drawing for those in attendance.
“It was a good meeting for them,” says Huffstutler, “The mood was good and they are looking forward to adopting new bylaws and bringing new directors and officers onto their board in a few months.”
State, local and provincial associations are driven by American Rental Association (ARA) members who give their time and expertise to provide programs and services that can benefit members close to home, including education and training, government advocacy, industry
trends and networking opportunities. Participation at the local level can help you stay up-to-date on industry issues through personal connections, as well as exposure to products and information regarding solutions to common rental industry issues that affect all businesses. For further information or to get involved, contact a member of your state board. Contact information, as well as a current
calendar of state and local events, can be found at ARArental.org under “State/Local/Provincial Associations.”