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A message from Carol Fontanez, ARA of Florida president

By Carol Fontanez, ECP-SM

February 7, 2023

Carol Fontanez

Carol Fontanez

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Three members. I hope business is going well at your operations so far this year. It’s February, and the weather can be unpredictable across our region, so for those of you who may still have some winter-related indoor downtime, be sure to take advantage of a few of these employee training resources:

  • RentalU – ARA’s online learning platform, the central hub for the association’s education and training content.
  • ARA Driver training programs – The Professional Driver Education Program is a popular favorite in the equipment rental industry, and the Box Truck Training program is tailored especially for event rental drivers.
  • ARA Certified Sales & Service Certified Sales provides knowledge through training courses such as customer service, digital marketing, sales skills and more. Certified Service educates users in electrical systems, diesel engines, gas engines, hydraulics and other topics pertinent to maintaining rental equipment.
  • Tent Ballasting Tool – Created in partnership with the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) Tent Rental Division, this tool was designed to determine the minimum weight requirement to safely anchor or ballast non-engineered tents.

This is not by any means an exhaustive list of the training tools available to ARA members; it’s just a sampler of what you’ll find under the “Learn” tab at Education and training are a big deal for us here at my company, Jamco, Inc.,  as I’m sure it is for you, too, so I encourage you to check out these resources and see how they can benefit your staff.

While you’re at it, remember there is an Employee Training Assistance Program available through the ARA Foundation that can pay for 50 percent — up to $2,500 — of the costs associated with most types of training that will build your employees’ skills and keep your operation competitive.

The ARA Show™ (Feb. 11-15 in Orlando) is just about here, and I look forward to seeing many of you here in the Sunshine State, especially our friends from across Florida who will be joining us at our ARA of Florida Mixer on Sunday, Feb. 12, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Tin Roof in Orlando. Advance registration is closed for this event, but ARA rental store members and prospective rental store members in Florida, and ARA associate members are welcome to show up and pay with cash or credit card at the door.

Our evening mixer at the show is just one example of how the ARA of Florida delivers networking opportunities for members throughout the year. It’s important for folks from the equipment and event rental community to get together whenever possible. The contacts and relationships you can forge at your ARA state chapter events — as well as the ideas you pick up — are pure gold, so I urge you to participate in your own state chapter’s events every chance you get. Watch for these in your email and on ARA’s Calendar of Events.

In closing, I would like to congratulate Kevin Marchin of M & M Sales, Belmont, N.C., and a member of the ARA of North Carolina board of directors, for receiving ARA’s Leadership Impact Award for 2022. This award recognizes an individual whose leadership benefited their state and/or local association and its members over the past year. Kevin will be recognized for the award during The ARA Show in Orlando. Way to go, Kevin.

Best wishes for a safe and prosperous month.

Carol Fontanez, ARA of Florida president
Jamco, Inc.
Sanford, Fla.