The ARA of Colorado recently welcomed Charles Burnette, manager, Best Rental, Fort Collins, Colo., to its board.
“I am really excited to be on the board,” Burnette says. “I have thought about becoming more involved over the years as I have gotten a lot out of ARA. When I was asked to be part of the board, I said, ‘Absolutely.’ I thought it would be a great way to get involved and give back.”
While Burnette is thrilled to be part of the rental industry, he wasn’t always aware it even existed let alone the career possibilities it offered. “After I graduated from college in 2007, I needed a job. I saw a sign that said Best Rental was hiring, so that is how I got into rental. I came in and didn’t have any experience with this industry before, but I really enjoyed it right away. It was a great fit for me, and I have learned a lot here,” he says.
When he began in 2008, he worked in the event part of the business. “When I started, we had party and tool in one location. I started in the party/event side. It was nice to go out and set up equipment, get to know customers and help them. With party, events are centered around people having a good time. It was nice to be able to be involved in that. I would work with the customers from start to finish. That was interesting to get to know customers that way,” he says.
Over the years, he learned both sides of the rental business. As the event side of the business grew and moved to its own location, Burnette decided to stay on the equipment side.
His introduction to the American Rental Association (ARA) and, in particular, the ARA of Colorado, came early in his career.
“Our company has been pretty involved with ARA for many years. I remember the first year I was here, we went to an ARA of Colorado education meeting. I thought that was great. We were able to tour a place, learn about different equipment than what we had, talk with different people about how they do things and such. Then going to The ARA Show™ and being a part of those seminars and talking with vendors and other rental people was great. Those events helped me as someone who didn’t grow up in this business and didn’t have any experience in it. That was huge for me to be able to get ideas and learn from other people,” he says.
So, when he was asked to join the board because of a vacancy, he jumped at the chance. “We at Best Rental go to every ARA of Colorado event that we can. We are big on making sure our employees are involved in the association. Our company and culture really value that and want our employees to get involved with those kinds of things, which is great,” Burnette adds.
Now that he has joined the board, Burnette looks forward to offering his different perspective. “I am still under 40 and a member of ARA’s Young Professional Network. I have a little bit of a younger viewpoint, although the ARA of Colorado board has done a great job over the years in getting people of all ages involved and changing things up. Having another, younger perspective is always good, I think. Also, having grown in this industry since I joined Best Rental rather than having been part of it since a young age gives me a different vision of how ARA and the industry can present itself to people who may not know a lot about it. I hope that little bit of a different perspective will be helpful,” he says.
As a brand-new board member, Burnette hasn’t formed any specific goals he would like to achieve during his service. He just knows he wants to “help out and get involved in anything I am needed in, whether that be helping plan events, bringing in speakers, etc. I think that would be pretty interesting to help put things together. It would also teach me a few things,” he says.
Burnette says he has benefited so much from attending ARA of Colorado and other ARA events that he plans to encourage others to get involved and attend state chapter events. “They are valuable and helpful to learn from. Bring your employees to these events. Doing so lets them know that they don’t just work for your business, but they also are part of something bigger — part of a growing and vibrant industry,” he says, adding that this is valuable in helping employees see all that rental can offer them.
Please thank all those who are serving on the ARA of Colorado board: