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ARA celebrates National Volunteer Appreciation Week

By Connie Lannan

April 16, 2023

1960 ARA membersBack in 1955, 21 rental operators volunteered their time to help form what is now the American Rental Association (ARA). Since that pivotal effort, rental operators from around the country have continued to share their expertise and give of their time to advance the rental industry in the areas of education, consumer awareness, advocacy and community support. 

In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 16-22, ARA celebrates the nearly 10,000 members who have said yes when they were called upon to volunteer during the association’s 68 years in existence.  

Today, more than 400 members serve on national committees, task forces, working groups and advocacy groups as well as on the boards of state and local chapters.  

Women in Rental members“The ARA is an amazing array of assets that support the growth and success of our industry. These assets exist because we have such a rich history of engaged volunteer leaders who freely give their time and energy to advance our industry. The people who volunteer at the state and national levels are the lifeblood of our association and we are thankful for their service! Please keep saying ‘yes’ when the ARA asks you to serve,” says Tony Conant, ARA CEO. 

Why do ARA members continue to volunteer their time in this way? Just ask Steve Mau, president, Brainerd General Rental, Brainerd, Minn., who serves as president of the ARA Board of Directors. 

“We had been attending The ARA Show™ for years, but once I was more engaged and you begin to learn what the association has to offer, it sounds cliché, but you get more out of it than you put into it,” he said in the January 2023 issue of Rental Management. “That was the case for me. Being more involved in ARA is important for us because of the opportunity to learn from your peers across the country. You learn more about the rental industry, whether it is event or equipment, and how we can do things better and how we can make our business better.”  

ARA Board of Directors Jeff Loudermilk, president, Rental Stop Ohio, who serves as ARA of Ohio president, agrees.  

“One thing I do know is that the rental business is ever-changing. I have learned that getting through these challenges is a lot easier when you have rental peers to talk with, commiserate with, ask questions of and learn from. That is why I have been involved with ARA and the ARA of Ohio. It has been a vital way for me to stay connected with others in the industry who are going through the same things I am,” he says. 

ARA is always eager to welcome rental operators who would like to become more involved in ARA and volunteer their time at either the state or national levels. For more information and to get started, click here.