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ARA of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Bucks event was a slam dunk for attendees

By Connie Lannan

April 11, 2023

Group photo of those who attended the ARA of Wisconsin's Milwaukee Bucks gameThe ARA of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Bucks game event on Saturday, March 4, in the Northwestern Mutual Club Lounge at the Fiserv Forum had all the ingredients for a great night out. And Wisconsin rental operators took full advantage — cheering on their favorite basketball team, enjoying plenty of food and drink from the vantage point of a luxury suite and socializing with rental peers.

It was an offer that Scott Kleinfeldt, manager, Badger Contractors Rental & Supply, Janesville, Wis., couldn’t pass up.

“I had always wanted to go to an ARA of Wisconsin event, so when this opportunity came up to attend, I knew I had to go. I was able to attend my first state chapter event, see the Milwaukee Bucks play for the first time in person and be in a suite for the first time at the Fiserv Forum. Also, my niece, Raedin, is a huge basketball and Bucks fan. She had never been to a game either, so I had the opportunity to take her. It was cool to treat her and do all of this at the same time. We went with my assistant manager, Tom Davis, who had never been to an ARA of Wisconsin event. So it was a night of firsts for all of us and a huge win for me. We all had a great time. My niece was thrilled. She sat on the edge of her seat the entire time,” Kleinfeldt says.

Small group chatting at the ARA of Wisconsin's Milwaukee Bucks game outingBesides accomplishing all these “firsts,” Kleinfeldt enjoyed networking with so many other rental operators.

“We met some new people and saw some who we knew, which was awesome, too. There was a mix of event and general construction rental operators there. We were able to chit-chat about how business was going for everyone. It was a very good experience to be able to meet people and start networking,” he says.

The outing also ended up being a first for new ARA of Wisconsin board member Shae Sepic, CERP, account manager, Event Essentials, Windsor, Wis.

“I have never been to an NBA game. I am a huge sports fan. I have been to a lot of college and NFL games before, but I had not been to a live NBA game. It was really fun to get that experience — and in a suite nonetheless,” she says.

Attending an ARA of Wisconsin event was also a new experience for her. “I was a little nervous when walking into a room with more than 30 new faces, but it was really nice to connect with my other board members and the other rental operators from across the state — put a face with a name,” Sepic says.

Shae Sepic, CERP, enjoys spending time with others at the ARA of Wisconsin's Bucks game eventSepic knows a lot about the event side of the rental aisle, but she is not that familiar with the tool side. As she met other rental operators, she networked and also put on her new ARA of Wisconsin board hat, asking those on the tool side to share ideas regarding the types of events they would like the ARA of Wisconsin to offer.

“I wanted to learn what it would take for people to get excited about a topic to take time away from their business to attend one of our events. All of us on the board want to learn how we can be the best partner and educational resource for these folks,” she says, adding that she received some good ideas she will share with the board.

Like Sepic, Tim Graf, president, Tool Time Rental, West Allis, Wis., is a big sports enthusiast. “I wanted to go because I am a huge sports fan and a huge Bucks fan. The event was perfect for me,” he says.

His enthusiasm wasn’t dampened when the Bucks couldn’t pull off a win. “They gave away the game in the last two minutes,” he says, noting that the Philadelphia 76ers were the victors that night by a score of 133-130.

“Even so it was a great event. My wife and I had a wonderful time. The food and the company were good. I was able to network with several different people,” he adds.

Sepic and Kleinfeldt agree.

“I was talking and looked up and saw that we were up 18. When I looked a few minutes later and saw it was a four-point game,” Sepic says, “I remember saying, ‘What the heck happened?’ Even though it was not the outcome we wanted, it was a cool experience.”

“We had a great time — really enjoyed it,” Kleinfeldt says, adding that he looks forward to attending next year as well as other events offered by the ARA of Wisconsin.