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ARA Women in Rental and Young Professional Network conferences hit all the right notes

by Connie Lannan

Members networking with each other at the Young Professional Network and Women in Rental conferences

Members networking with each other at the Young Professional Network and Women in Rental conferences

The American Rental Association (ARA) Women in Rental and Young Professional Network (YPN) conferences, held concurrently at The Scott Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., Nov. 29-30, offered just what attendees were looking for — valuable networking, inspiration and insight into how to bring their best selves to both their personal and professional lives.

The two conferences offered combined receptions, meals and optional social activities, including hiking up McDowell Mountain, taking a pedal bike tour of historic Scottsdale, having a yoga experience, shopping or taking part in a “giving back” project. Women in Rental Conference attendees were able to help a local women’s domestic abuse shelter and YPN Conference attendees assisted active military abroad.

The joint activities were a hit with members:

First-time Young Professional Network Conference attendee Ian Iringan, outside sales representative, Arvada Rent-Alls, Arvada, Colo., had a blast conversing with other members on the pedal bike tour. “We had nine to 10 people on the bike ride that toured old town Scottsdale. I had lived in the Scottsdale area four or five years ago. It was a nice review of Scottsdale. We had a lot of fun,” he says.

Amber Mathias, event specialist, Best Event Rentals, Fort Collins, Colo., who participated in the Women in Rental Conference, took part in the giveback project. “I helped put together boxes for both those in the women’s shelters and the military. It was really nice to take part and do both as a way to give back,” she says.

Dynamic speakers also led interactive sessions that offered thought-provoking perspectives and problem-solving skills:

  • At the Women in Rental Conference, Sara Frasca presented “The 3 Core Mindsets of Innovation.” Her workshop armed attendees with new, practical tools and fresh ideas for tackling problems and seizing opportunities.
  • At the YPN Conference, Galen Emanuele presented “Transforming Impact: Next Level Leadership, Culture & Feedback.” His workshop showed attendees how to be effective leaders and impact others.
Amber Mathias and Tricia Steinbock

Amber Mathias, left, and Tricia Steinbock

For Mathias, Frasca’s presentation “helped me look at things differently and not to be afraid to propose new ideas,” she says. “I thought she was great. She taught me the importance of thinking outside the box to keep up with the times and know that it is OK to do things differently.”

Fellow Women in Rental Conference attendee Kimberly Molina, managing director, Pine Valley Rental & Sales, Pagosa Springs, Colo., agrees. “One of my big takeaways is increasing creativity. A lot of times we get stuck in our ways — we don’t think outside the box. The speaker really encouraged us to do that in her sessions and then when we go back to work,” she says.

Iringan was just as impressed with Emanuele’s presentation to the young professionals. “He put into perspective about being a leader within my own company and what it takes to build a culture in a work environment and continue to strengthen it,” he says.

Iringan liked that Emanuele offered concrete tips. “He talked about the three Cs of establishing exceptional culture:  clarity, commitment and consistency. What stuck with me was the commitment and consistency. Commitment applied to every single person there. It didn’t matter if you are an owner or out in the yard. It is the same for everyone. It creates accountability,” he says.

Attendees at both conferences left with new ideas, connections, resources and valuable tools.

“This was my first conference and it was amazing,” Molina says. “There were so many people and I learned so much, so I was excited to come to this and keep expanding my experiences. This has been so comforting to be around other women in the industry. People don’t always understand what our industry is like, so it was great to be able to connect with others, especially women, who go through what we go through,” she says.

Attendees at the Women in Rental and Young Professional Network conferences 2022

Another opportunity to connect and socialize

Iringan felt the same way connecting with other young rental professionals. “It is where the future success starts within the industry. You learn and grow from the people you meet. They connect with you and share the same energy, motivation and drive. They want to get to know you and your life experiences in rental and, conversely, I get to know theirs. You don’t get that if you just stay in your rental operation. To me, this is quintessential to the success in my professional career as well as everyone else who is in the industry,” he says.

It’s all about learning, growing and connecting, Mathias adds. “You met people left and right, and I felt welcomed by everyone there, not only those in the Women in Rental group but also the Young Professional Network group. All of that helps me feel more valued and more empowered,” she says.

As first-time Young Professional Network Conference attendee Katey Naylor, event director, Bright Event Rentals in Phoenix, who serves as ARA of Arizona secretary, summed it up this way: “We were so excited to have both the Women In Rental as well as YPN in our own backyard here in Scottsdale. A great time was had by all connecting with other young professionals from all over the U.S. and Canada and discussing the future of rentals, what is happening in their areas, and what new trends and products they are seeing and using,” she says.

Click here to learn more about YPN. For information on Women in Rental, click here.