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Angie Venekamp, your ARA regional director, signs off

By Angie Venekamp, ECP-SM

December 12, 2023

Angie Venekamp, ECP-SM

Angie Venekamp, ECP-SM

This is it — my final In Your Region newsletter message as your American Rental Association (ARA) Region Ten director. They aren’t kidding when they say that the three-year term in this role goes by in the blink of an eye!

My term as ARA Region Ten director began in February 2021. Typically, the baton would have been handed to me by my predecessor in this role, Jill Holtsman of Hub City Display in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, during that month at The ARA Show™. But we all remember 2021 as a still-tumultuous time wracked by the pandemic. The show, of course, needed to be postponed until October of that year in Las Vegas, and many Canadians were unfortunately still unable to enter the U.S. due to travel restrictions.

Thankfully, we have moved past all that into some better times for our industry.

I am so proud that my term has been surrounded by the progress made through the ARA of Canada initiative. Take a look at some of what we have accomplished on behalf of our Canadian members:

  • The most significant offering has been the development of the ARA Canadian Insurance Solutions program, which is offered in partnership with Westland Insurance Group. It’s a comprehensive insurance package specifically designed to meet the needs of equipment and event rental businesses here in Canada.
  • We created a functional ARA of Canada Task Force made up of ARA-member representatives from across the country. Each task force member has provided a guest welcome message in this newsletter during 2023.
  • We have hosted several webinars on topics like cybersecurity, customer service and navigating through business acquisitions. These webinars have been very successful with hundreds of members participating.
  • We held our inaugural in-person event in June 2022 in BC, and more followed in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. The goal is to add events in the remaining provinces in the coming year.
  • Our first golf tournament took place in Alberta this past fall, and there are two more in the works for 2024.
  • The first Community Impact Program project hosted in Canada took place this past September. The program — a joint initiative between the ARA Foundation and The Toro Company Foundation — involves rental people and equipment making improvements to local nonprofit organizations. The project in September improved the grounds of a therapeutic equestrian riding center in BC.

There is more to come in the immediate future, too:

  • Our Canadian Hospitality Reception is returning on the Sunday evening of The ARA Show in New Orleans. Our event was the talk of the show last year; you are not going to want to miss it! There will be drinks, hors d’oeuvres and the chance to mingle with other Canadians in town for the show. The event is exclusive for ARA members residing in Canada. Tickets are complimentary, but you need to register to attend. Learn more about it all and get registered at ARAshow.org.
  • Our first mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) and forklift train-the-trainer sessions are being planned for early in the second quarter of 2024 in BC, so be on the lookout for more details coming soon.

As proud as I am of all these accomplishments, I am equally proud that Kelly Brincheski from Collective Event Rentals in Winnipeg, Manitoba, will soon be stepping into the Region Ten director role! She too has the rental industry in Canada top of mind and will make certain that the ARA of Canada Task Force keeps our members’ interests in the forefront.

Speaking of transitions, as we get ready to turn the calendar over to a new year, I invite you to view my take on what rental operators across our region have experienced in 2023 and how things are shaping up for 2024 here.

In addition, I just want to let you know that this regional newsletter will be moving to a quarterly distribution next year. If you don’t want to miss out on any regional news before the next one comes out in March, click here. We’ll make sure you receive the latest in your email feed.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as your liaison to the ARA Board of Directors. I look forward to connecting with many of you again at upcoming industry events.

Angie Venekamp, ECP-SM, ARA Region Ten director
Rental Network
Squamish, British Columbia
604-892-8200
angie@rentalnetwork.ca

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