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Heather Gray, ARA of Montana president, on recognizing those who’ve made an impact

By Heather Gray

August 8, 2023

Heather Gray

Heather Gray

Hi everyone, Heather Gray from Rental Equipment Investment Corp. in Kalispell, Mont., here. One thing I love about being involved in the American Rental Association (ARA) is the opportunity to meet and work alongside some equipment and event rental business giants. These are people who have dedicated years — sometimes decades — to improving our industry by generously sharing their knowledge and expertise with others, or by donating their time and talents toward the development of tools or resources that elevate the way we do business.

Do you know someone like this? You can help ARA give that individual the recognition they deserve. All it takes is a nomination from you.

ARA is asking members to submit a nomination for the Rental Hall of Fame and Industry Contributor Awards. All award recipients will be honored during the ARA Industry Awards Lunch on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, at The ARA Show™ in New Orleans. Click here for eligibility and criteria information, and to make a nomination. Nomination deadlines are coming up quickly — on Aug. 11 — so please act quickly.

Some past ARA honorees from our region (ARA’s Region Eight) include:

  • John “Jack” Greenfield, Bunce Rental, Tacoma, Wash., who served as ARA president in 1994.
  • Spencer Etzel, Rainier Industries, Tukwila, Wash., who co-authored ARA’s popular Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP) program.
Jack Greenfield (left) and Spencer Etzel

Jack Greenfield (left) and Spencer Etzel

These are the individuals from Region Eight who have been inducted into the Rental Hall of Fame — the industry’s most prestigious award. In addition to these pioneers, there are dozens of folks from our region who have received other ARA award recognitions over the years for their distinguished service to the industry. I hope we can add to the list in 2024!

This year’s Northwest Rental Conference will be hosted in Kalispell, Mont., Sep. 28-30. If you’re planning to attend, I’d like to encourage you to drop in a day or two early to take part in a special community service project that will highlight what we do as rental operators.

The project will take place Sept. 26-27 at Flathead County Parks in Bigfork, Mont., and will involve making grounds improvements to Aero Lane Park baseball field. It’s part of the ARA Foundation and The Toro Company Foundation’s joint Community Impact Program. The program involves the foundations partnering with local nonprofit organizations to coordinate community service projects. What’s great about the Community Impact Program is that it allows those of us in rental an opportunity to give back to our communities while building public awareness and demonstrating the advantages of rental.

I hope you’ll consider donating your time or even some equipment to help with this project at Aero Lane Park. Watch your email for details about the project and how to sign up to participate.

Best wishes for a safe and prosperous month!

Heather Gray, ARA of Montana president
Rental Equipment Investment Corp.
Kalispell, Mont.