Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) members in Region Five. My name is Jeff Loudermilk. I am president of Rental Stop Ohio in Sunbury, Ohio. I also serve as ARA of Ohio president.
Spring is again upon us. I am not sure what the rest of this year’s rental season will bring as we all try to adjust to a somewhat new normal. One thing I do know is that the rental business is ever-changing.
When I started in 2010, we were just coming out of the economic downturn. It was good to be in rental as contractors and homeowners needed equipment and they weren’t about to buy it with the uncertainty of the previous couple of years. Fast forward a few years and the economy was booming with housing going gangbusters in my area of central Ohio. Then the COVID-19 pandemic slammed on the brakes. As both the tool and event sides have come back, we have been dealing with supply chain issues, which has made contractors lean on rental houses for equipment to complete their jobs. While we don’t know what the next few years will bring, it does promise to be exciting as always.
I mention all of this because 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.
I am grateful to work with a great group of fellow rental operators on the ARA of Ohio board. We have a good diverse group, comprised of both equipment and event rental folks. All of us on the board are dedicated to creating fun and educational events that will help all of us in the industry, no matter what segment we serve. We have come up with some different events for our members, from basketball and hockey game outings and a joint mixer with the ARA of Indiana at The ARA Show™ in Orlando to a sporting clays shooting event last month. We also are planning valuable educational events for our members.
We are lucky in that all the states in our region have active ARA chapters. I strongly encourage rental operators and their staffs to take advantage of the opportunities offered by their respective state associations. I know there is a lot going on in our region this month. There was the tenting seminar offered by the ARA of Wisconsin on April 6 and the small engine training on April 7 as well as the Detroit Red Wings hockey game event offered April 8 by the ARA of Michigan. There also will be the seminar on engaging and inspiring today’s workforce offered by the ARA of Indiana on April 19, the ARA of Illinois’ hiring event on April 20 and the ARA of Kentucky’s event at Keeneland Race Track on April 23. Whether you are a veteran rental operator or just getting started in the industry, come on out and attend these events. You will be glad you did.
Speaking of our state chapters, it also is important to keep bringing new people into the fold. Many of our state chapters have recently held board elections. Please thank the folks on your state board who have given their time and service and welcome the new folks who are stepping up to continue the charge.
Here in Ohio, we say goodbye and thank you to Dan Fielitz and Erik Mosley and welcome Joe Otten. In Illinois, the board thanks Glen Benrus and welcomes Matt Shinofield. In Kentucky, the board welcomes Tyler Martin. In Wisconsin, the board welcomes Easton Best. And in Michigan, the board thanks Lori Gardner and welcomes Ray Gardner.
Think about stepping up and serving on your state association board. If that is too much, be sure to attend the events your state chapter offers. You always walk away with some nugget of valuable information or connection that can help you and your business.
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.
Good luck to everyone this spring and the rest of the year. No matter what the economy does, we know that rental will be here changing and adapting to make the most of the cards we are dealt. By staying connected with our peers and learning strategies to make our businesses even more efficient and adaptive, we all can thrive.
Jeff Loudermilk, ARA of Ohio president
Rental Stop Ohio