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A message from Heather Gray, ARA of Montana president

By Heather Gray

February 7, 2023

Heather Gray

Heather Gray

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Eight 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 We take education and training seriously at my company, Rental Equipment Investment Co., and I’m sure you do, 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 in the Sunshine State. The show is just one example of how ARA presents networking opportunities for members throughout the year. It’s important for folks from the equipment and event rental community to get together whenever possible. That’s especially true at the state and local level where the contacts and relationships you can forge — as well as the ideas you pick up — are pure gold. 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 my peer, Megan “Mac” Whittlesey, CERP, of Ideal RentAll in Mount Vernon, Wash., and a member of the ARA of Washington 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. Mac will be recognized for the award during The ARA Show in Orlando. Way to go, Mac.

Best wishes for a safe and prosperous month.

Heather Gray, ARA of Montana president
RE Investment Co. d/b/a Midway Rental
Kalispell, Mont.