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ARA of Tennessee board welcomes Christopher, Coker and Gaylor

By Brock Huffstutler

February 7, 2023

Grant Christopher

Grant Christopher

In January, three members of the Tennessee equipment rental community — Grant Christopher, Rodney Coker and Brandt Gaylor — accepted leadership positions on the ARA of Tennessee board of directors.

Grant Christopher, vice president, Christopher Equipment, Tullahoma, Tenn.

Christopher has been involved in the equipment rental industry for 12 years, serving as vice president of Christopher Equipment for five.

“I run the operations for our four locations. This includes purchasing, sales, human resources and everything in between. My main focus is to keep our stores running smoothly and maintaining a high standard,” he says of his role at Christopher Equipment. The company’s additional Tennessee locations include Shelbyville, Manchester and Fayetteville.

Christopher holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn., and a commercial driver’s license, Class A. His volunteer experience includes work with the Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce and the Highland Rim Kiwanis Club.

Christopher, a member of the American Rental Association (ARA) Young Professional Network (YPN), is a past ARA Foundation scholarship recipient and was named one of the Tullahoma Top 40 Under 40.

As a member of the ARA of Tennessee board of directors, Christopher says “I would like to increase the number of educational and social gatherings hosted by the ARA of Tennessee. Networking is one of the most important things the ARA offers. I enjoy the outings like Topgolf to blow off steam, discuss current problems and strategies with other local rental professionals.”

Rodney Coker

Rodney Coker

Rodney Coker, president and CEO, Coker Rental Co., Clinton, Tenn.

Coker has led Coker Rental Co. since its inception six years ago. His responsibilities include handling machine purchasing and fleet regeneration, human resources oversight of a nine-person team and management of all other administrative tasks. In addition, “I enjoy getting my hands dirty doing planned maintenance, repairs and assisting customers,” Coker says.

Coker says he grew up in the hardware retail arena, walking the aisles when he was as young as 3 years old, and that his interest in equipment only grew from there.

“Around the age of 24 or 25, I became interested in equipment rental and started re-renting a few machines. It quickly grew into a dozen over a couple of years and from that point, we started our own fleet. We’re still growing today and looking for additional locations for future growth,” he says.

A member of ARA’s YPN, Coker also has been nominated for the Young Professionals of Anderson County Small Business Excellence Award.

As he enters his ARA state chapter board service tenure, Coker’s simple goal is to “help rental companies in Tennessee any way I can to further their success,” he says.

Brandt Gaylor

Brandt Gaylor

Brandt Gaylor, branch manager, United Rentals Power HVAC, Knoxville, Tenn.

Gaylor has been involved in the equipment rental industry for 12 years. In his role with United Rentals, which began three years ago, he is responsible for branch profit and loss, working with branch employees in both the sales and operations departments, and assisting them with any needs they encounter.

Gaylor holds a bachelor of arts in secondary education and public health and physical education. Outside of his new role with the ARA of Tennessee, his volunteer experience includes working with Toys for Tots. “And my wife and I operate a nonprofit horse rescue,” he says.

When asked what he values most about his organization’s ARA membership, Gaylor places networking at the top of the list. This benefit, he says, will be top of mind as he enters his term on his ARA state chapter where his No. 1 goal is to “help promote the rental industry as much as possible.”