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A message from Kevin Fitzgerald, ARA of Minnesota president

By Kevin Fitzgerald

February 7, 2023

Kevin Fitzgerald

Kevin Fitzgerald

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Six members. I hope business is going well at your operations so far this year. It may only be February, but spring will be here before you know it, so be sure to take advantage of a few of these employee training resources now while the weather still keeps many of us indoors:

  • 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 & ServiceCertified 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, Hiawatha Reddy Rents, 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 that 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, especially our friends from Minnesota who will be joining us at our ARA of Minnesota Social at The ARA Show on Sunday, Feb. 12, from 6–10 p.m. at Miller’s Ale House in Orlando.

Our evening mixer at the show is just one example of how the ARA of Minnesota 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.

If your state doesn’t have an active ARA chapter, feel free to inquire about attending a neighboring state’s event. They’ll be happy to have you, I promise!

In closing, I would like to congratulate my colleague on the ARA of Minnesota board of directors, Joshua Swanson of Great Northern Equipment Distributing, Rogers, Minn., 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. Joshua will be recognized for the award during The ARA Show in Orlando. Way to go, Joshua.

Best wishes for a safe and prosperous month.

Kevin Fitzgerald, ARA of Minnesota president
Hiawatha Reddy Rents