It was a packed house at the ARA of Indiana/ARA of Ohio mixer that was held at The ARA Show in Orlando.
For the more than 100 attendees, the joint ARA of Indiana/ARA of Ohio mixer that was held at The ARA Show™ in Orlando this past February offered plenty of networking, socializing, food and drink — in other words, a great evening for all.
“We wanted to offer a smaller group setting for ARA of Ohio and ARA of Indiana members to have more informal conversations,” says Jeff Loudermilk, president, Rental Stop Ohio, Sunbury, Ohio, who serves as ARA of Ohio president. “We were thrilled with the attendance. It was very nice — close to the convention center in an outdoor covered patio area.”
Brian Flinn, district operations manager of greater Indianapolis, MacAllister Rentals, Indianapolis, who serves as ARA of Indiana president, agrees.
“It was great. The combination of bringing this together with another group helped us intermingle and understand each chapter’s engagement and their engaged members. There were some vendors there from Ohio, which was nice to see,” he says.
Gathering this way is a draw for those in rental since “we enjoy communicating about the event or construction space that we are in because those who are in this industry are passionate about it. It is fun to share experiences with people who have the same passions that you have,” Flinn adds.
This is not the first time these two state chapters have teamed up for a joint mixer, according to Matt Mutton, president, Mutton Party and Tent Rental, Fort Wayne, Ind., who serves as ARA of Indiana vice president.
“Historically, we try to have an event during the show. This is the third or fourth time we have done this with Ohio. There are a lot of relationships that bridge the border from Indiana to Ohio, and we find that this event pulls a bigger audience as people are right there. This helps us forge a few more relationships with those from both states,” he says.
Steve Oyster, president of Highlight Equipment and vice president of Rental Stop Ohio, and Tracie Loudermilk, Rental Stop Ohio, enjoy some appetizers.
Ticket sales indicate this event was a draw from the beginning. “We started with 50 tickets and we sold out very quickly. Then we opened it up to another 50 and sold out,” says Gina Glas, CERP, managing partner, A Classic Party Rental, Indianapolis, and ARA of Indiana treasurer. “The event was well-received and well-attended. People were there at the very start and stayed the full two hours, with some leaving to go to the Young Professional Network Reception.”
“I think we had 105 pre-registered. We even had a few stragglers show up at the door, which was great,” Mutton says.
The show and this event were firsts for Joe Otten, new owner of Xenia Tool Rental, Xenia, Ohio. “I went with my general manager, Jeff Berry. Being new to the industry, I thought it was important to be able to network, particularly regionally and more so locally. I met a few people at the ARA of Ohio [Columbus] Blue Jackets hockey game event, my first ARA of Ohio event. This was an opportunity to meet others who have more experience in the industry and an opportunity to learn as I ramp up in the industry,” he says.
Otten reconnected with Loudermilk, whom he had met at the hockey game, as well as others, including Jeff Gephart, his ARA Insurance preferred agent. “I also met two gentlemen who are on the Greater Cincinnati Tool Rental Association (GCTRA) board and another ARA of Ohio board member. We talked about opportunities to participate on the ARA of Ohio board, which I didn’t know were available,” he says.
Alex Bauman, manager, In-A-Pinch? Rent It!, Martinsville, Ind., who serves as ARA of Indiana secretary, also attended. “There was a good turnout even though it was really cold that night for Orlando. There were a bunch of people from Indiana and Ohio. It was fun,” he says.
It was a win for both state chapters. “It was a great networking event, and I appreciate the ARA of Indiana taking the lead to schedule this event for us. It was a real success,” Loudermilk says.
For those from Indiana and Ohio who weren’t able to attend this year’s mixer, stay tuned for next year. “I think 100 percent we will do this again,” Mutton says.