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Michael Larsen — Rental Management's 2023 "12 to Watch Under 40"

By Erin Jorgensen

August 23, 2023

Michael Larsen

Michael Larsen, 20, hire manager, Larsen’s Air Conditioning Hire, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, says he was “born into the equipment rental industry” with his parents, David and Caroline, who started the business in the early 2000s. From a young age, he started cleaning and prepping equipment and performing equipment maintenance.

Originally, Larsen was studying to obtain his commercial pilot’s license during his senior years in high school, but says “graduating in 2020, with COVID-19 at record heights, my pursuit of aviation was stopped in its tracks.” He realized that because airlines had more pilots than flights, “entering the aviation industry was not a wise career move for a high school graduate.” After his involvement with his family-owned rental company for many years and following graduation, he moved into a full-time position where he quickly learned that the equipment rental industry offers a lot of opportunities and has “so many areas for personal growth, career development and provides immense career satisfaction.”

Larsen’s Air Conditioning Hire recently moved into a new 66,000-sq.-ft. facility and has more than 250 pieces of rental equipment. The company is Queensland’s only privately-owned heavy industrial HVAC rental provider, and offers packaged air conditioning units, spot coolers, chillers, air handling units, power generators, diesel fuel storage, power distribution, blast fans, space and ductable electric heaters, flood restoration equipment, and desiccant and refrigerative dehumidification units. The company is focused on Queensland’s heavy industry and health sectors, and also supplies equipment for several of the state’s large events.

Larsen received the 2022 Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) Young Professional of the Year Award and participated in the International Rental Business Leadership Exchange Program, a combined effort between the American Rental Association (ARA) and the HRIA of Australia, that connects young professionals from the United States and Australia with rental companies in the opposite country. He was paired with CES Power, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., for a five-week exchange, during which time he visited multiple CES Power branch locations across the country.

“Being paired with my truly amazing host company CES Power provided so many experiences and opportunities. I developed amazing ARA relationships during my time in the U.S.,” he says. “During my exchange, I joined CES Power on site at the Miss Universe Pageant in New Orleans, the Pre-Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, the Daytona 500 race in Daytona Beach and attended The ARA Show™ in Orlando.” After the completion of the exchange program, Larsen also had the opportunity to import a new product line back to Australia for their company’s expanding rental fleet. “I am wanting to continue my support and involvement with both the HRIA of Australia and the ARA with the development of young professionals globally, providing pathways and advancement opportunities for new and young people entering the rental industry,” he says.

He says “the rental industry is truly unmatched with the amazing sense of community and the culture is infectious. I love that each day is vastly different, with the rental game being very much an opportunistic industry.” Larsen continues to make his way in the rental industry, and plans to continue his love of aviation and obtain his private pilot’s license.