Liz Haas, director of events, Milestone Event Rental, Farmington, Minn., and Colin Shoen, account manager, RDO-Vermeer, Burnsville, Minn., have joined the ARA of Minnesota board of directors and are eager to start contributing to the state chapter’s activities.
Haas’ entry into the world of event rentals began two years ago when she met her now-husband, Marty, owner of Milestone Event Rental. Between his experience in rental and her background in business operations and nonprofit management, “We make a really great team now and are excited for the future,” Haas says.
Haas says she learned about the opportunity to serve on her American Rental Association (ARA) state chapter board through her husband’s family’s deep ties to the association. “He and his family are very involved in ARA and speak very highly of it,” she says. “I have been to several regional activities, and I enjoy the opportunity to serve in leadership positions. Some of the board members reached out to me to gauge my interest when there was a spot open, and I was so excited to participate.”
Serving on the ARA of Minnesota board appealed to her, Haas says, because “I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to add my unique skill set and perspective, get to know more people, and offer a view that is diverse to those in the group at this time and therefore help us all grow in a positive way. I enjoy being part of a decision-making team and collaborative thinking, and feel that I will learn a lot and help our chapter move forward.”
Moving forward, Haas aims to help the board implement activities that draw a greater event rental presence to ARA of Minnesota happenings. “We are on the party side, so just having the chance to ensure that party-side businesses are getting seen, heard and utilizing the resources that we have to offer,” she says of her goals as a board member.
In addition to her new role on the ARA of Minnesota board, Haas is a member of ARA’s Young Professional Network (YPN).
Like Haas, Shoen also is part of ARA’s YPN. He has been part of the equipment rental industry since 2017. “I got my first taste of the industry during college when I had the opportunity to do a summer internship with RDO Equipment Co.,” he says. “After the summer was over, I continued to work for RDO part time during my senior year. Then I was able to hop on board full time after graduation. I spent the first two years working as a coordinator in our Rochester office and then moved up to the metro for a sales role that focuses on the landscape, tree care and rental industries.”
Shoen credits peer networking as the catalyst for his new leadership role with the ARA of Minnesota.
“In my role I get to spend time visiting with rental companies in the Twin Cities and metro area. Over the past couple of years, I got to know Kevin Fitzgerald with Hiawatha Reddy Rents, who is the current president of the board, along with other board members like Chad Wagner with A1 Rent It. After talking to Kevin and Chad about how RDO could be more involved, I learned that the board would be nominating new members this year, and I jumped on the opportunity to throw my name in the hat,” Shoen says.
Shoen’s attendance at a state chapter event in Fall 2022 sealed his interest in getting involved. “We helped sponsor an event at Topgolf. We were able to attend the event and meet with the board members. I came away from that event interested in getting more involved with the association. It’s a great opportunity to network and learn from a lot of like-minded and knowledgeable individuals in the industry,” he says.
As he gets acclimated to his role with the ARA of Minnesota, Shoen says “I hope that I’m able to learn more about current industry trends and collaborate on ways to improve safety and productivity.”
As part of his professional role with RDO-Vermeer, Shoen is active in a variety of landscaping and tree care activities. “I attend events put on by the Minnesota Landscape Association [MNLA], and I also stay involved in the tree care industry by participating in educational and networking opportunities like the annual Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course,” he says.