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Essex Silver-Line Corp., MBW celebrate 50 years at The ARA Show

By Stephen Elliott

February 1, 2023

MBW celebrates 50 years at The ARA Show

Photo courtesy of MBW

Fifty years ago, The ARA Show™ welcomed two companies who have stood the test of time through quality products and an ability to meet the needs of its customers.

Essex Silver-Line Corp., Dracut, Mass., and MBW, Slinger, Wis., arrived at the annual show in 1973, and have been connecting with American Rental Association (ARA) members ever since.

“The ability to network and develop relationships with our customer base and other manufacturers is the entire reason we are active with ARA,” says Andy Multerer, MBW CEO and president. “The attendees are serious people with well-run companies and to be able to display our new products while networking is a great opportunity.”

“Absolutely we have benefitted from The ARA Show,” says John Goddard, president, Essex Silver-Line Corp. “We get to see so many customers from across the country. It is always nice to visit with them.

“In addition to the orders we receive, which are so important, we get to see our representatives in one place and again all the customers from around the country and actually the world!”

Family owned and operated since 1938, Essex Silver-Line Corp. now is a women-owned business. Carmen Barous is the sole owner of the company. She worked with her late husband, Francis, over the years and now is acting chief financial officer (CFO). She appointed her daughter, Lauren Goddard, as CEO. Lauren’s husband John remains in his position as president.

John Goddard says his company manufactures sanders, edgers, orbital polishers/refinishers, rotary polishers and carpet machines. Products, he says, have lasted decades. Among its products, the line of floor sanding equipment has been a consistent rental fleet item through the decades. Each machine is hand built by New England craftsmen, he says, allowing users, both professional and do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) to accomplish sanding and refinishing projects.

“We strongly believe that the return on investment (ROI) of our sanders is unsurpassed,” Goddard says. “Happy customers mean happy rental store owners. We know our equipment and can usually troubleshoot over the phone.”

Essex Silver-Line Corp. provides expert customer support and expert advice, a necessity in today’s competitive world.

MBW started in 1967 with the introduction of a lower maintenance vibratory plate compactor. Today, the company offers a full line of soil compaction products, screeding and finishing of concrete along with many specialty products for utility applications.

“We have always maintained our production facility in Slinger, Wis., and that is something we are incredibly proud of,” Multerer says. “We are small enough to be nimble and quick to innovate but big enough to have serious quality controls and maintain capacity to handle heavy volumes of our type of equipment.”

During the first show for the two companies in 1973, the late James Keenan, who served as president in 1973-74, said in the February-March issue of Rental Age that he wanted to press more members to take advantage of “our No. 1 communicator, the annual convention and rental equipment show, because here is where the rental man can meet personally with high-caliber experts in manufacturing.”

Essex Silver-Line celebrates 50 years at The ARA Show

Photo courtesy of Essex Silver-Line

The ARA Show, Multerer says, has provided the opportunity to network beyond the sales cycle with customers.

“It allows similar minded and sized manufacturers to brainstorm and trade insights,” Multerer says. “It has become a great show, but also a fantastic after hour as we all need to ask questions and give advice with our peers.”

Both companies say the personal relationships developed with customers over the years provide a solid foundation for future success.

“For business, it is essential to be at this show,” Goddard says. “It is our biggest of the year.”

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