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ARA of Arizona president shares resources to help members

By Maureen Harkness

April 11, 2023

Maureen Harkness

Maureen Harkness

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) members in Region Seven. For those who don’t know me, my name is Maureen Harkness. I am the managing director at Cre8ive Event Rentals in Tempe, Ariz., and serve as the ARA of Arizona president.

I am excited to share that our state chapter has a very dedicated and enthusiastic board that is eager to offer events benefiting those on both sides of the rental aisle. In February, we hosted a social at the WM Phoenix Open. It was a huge success, selling out in just a matter of days. We hope to make this an annual event and perhaps even turn it into a fundraiser for the chapter.

We are already looking at offering a safety-related event in June and discussing a possible emerging leaders dinner in the future, such as what the ARA of Colorado will be offering April 15. We also want to see how we can have more students involved in our industry and might even have the Girl Scouts at a future meeting to show them how rental can be a career option.

If you are a rental operator in Arizona or a surrounding state that doesn’t have an active chapter, I strongly encourage you to check us out. I know the ARA of Colorado board would be as welcoming to those who don’t have active state associations where they live.

Why do I feel this is so important? Well, I have learned through personal experience that there is tremendous benefit from stepping up and stepping into chapter involvement. I know that we all — those in event and equipment rental — deal with the same challenges of being short on time and labor. I also know you will benefit if you take some time to get involved, perhaps just by attending an event. The networking, education and information-sharing that happens at these events can make a positive impact on you, your employees and your business.

Speaking of a positive impact, ARA has so many programs that help us work more safely and assist our businesses in being more successful.

ARA just concluded the National Legislative Caucus after a three-year hiatus. A big thank you goes out to Barb Wyatt from Butler Rents in Glendale, Colo.; ARA Region Seven Director Andrew Heesacker, ECP-SM with Arvada Rent-Alls in Arvada, Colo.; and Mary Crosslin with Alert Rental Software in Colorado Springs, Colo., who serves as associate member director on the ARA Board of Directors. They represented all of us from the region in Washington, D.C., and advocated on issues that impact us.

I was privileged to attend the ARA Leadership Conference and the Women in Rental Conference. Both were educational and inspiring. I gained so much from them and made valuable connections with those from across the country. That helped me personally and benefited my state board, my team and my business because I shared what I learned.

I just started watching the ballasting videos that are part of ARA’s new Safe Tenting Program. They are excellent. I love the resources that are part of this program. I consider myself a leader in the charge of safe ballasting. I am always thinking of safety first as I want to make sure my team gets home safely every night. For those in the event rental world, I strongly encourage you to check this out as well as the new, revamped Certified Event Rental Professional program.

But these are just a few of the many tools available. If you are the owner or manager, share the training offerings in RentalU with those in your operation who can benefit from that training. They can’t help you if your team doesn’t know about them or use them. Make sure everyone in your operation is aware and takes advantage of them.

As you take care of business, remember that your strength comes from having strong, educated team members in place who have the skills to properly execute their jobs and take care of customers in the best possible way. ARA’s resources can help them do both.

By the way, April is Volunteer Appreciation Month. ARA’s success is due largely in part to the work of members who volunteer their time to help drive the industry forward. If you’re interested in learning more about ways to get involved, you can find more information here. From my experience, I can tell you that it is extremely fulfilling.

Here’s to a great rest of the year!

Maureen Harkness, ARA of Arizona president
Cre8ive Event Rentals
Tempe, Ariz.