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Michelle Nelson, rental operator in Hawaii, focuses on networking, training and more

By Michelle Nelson, ECP-ST

August 8, 2023

Michelle Nelson, ECP-ST

Michelle Nelson, ECP-ST

 Aloha, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Nine members!

My name is Michelle Nelson, president of MK Equipment Corp. in Honolulu. Thank you for the opportunity to share with you this month.

Summer has been an extremely hot season. I hope you and your coworkers, family and friends have been staying safe in the heat. If we wanted to be like everyone else, we could complain about things in the world getting worse. But we are a solution-seeking, forward-thinking group that perseveres through inclement weather and global pandemics. Sometimes, though, I find myself feeling isolated and wonder what others are doing through all of this. At times like these, I am so thankful that I have people to talk to in my Peer Advisory Group. If you don’t have a group of like-minded industry professionals who have a lot in common with you, ARA can help connect you with one. Whether you are in operations or administration, an owner and/or a key team member, there is a group for you.

Here in Hawaii, we have been very busy forming another kind of group, the ARA of Hawaii Task Force. We worked hard with ARA to provide MEWP Train-the-Trainer and Operator Training as well as an ARA Resources 101 meeting to rental stores in Hawaii last month. That helps because being on an island in the middle of the Pacific is awesome, but it means we work extra hard to attend events on the “mainland.” So, California and Nevada, I hope you are taking advantage of your geographic status and are able to attend events offered by ARA and the ARA of California.

Speaking of travel, it’s not too early to start planning for The ARA Show™ in New Orleans, Feb. 17-21, 2024, by booking your hotel. If you’ve misplaced that email, don’t worry, the information is available at More information about the show itself will be available on that website in the coming months, so please feel free to bookmark it.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you who have participated in the latest ARA Quarterly Survey. In the words of Mike Savely, ARA’s director, association program development, “This quarter’s survey hones in on the pressing issues our members encounter regarding recruiting, retaining and managing staff this year. We also delve into the crucial aspect of the rental inventory fleet age.” If you missed it, please consider taking the next survey. For a pdf of last quarter’s survey results, click here. If you are like me and have survey anxiety, let me quell your fears by saying that I completed it in less time than it took for my coffee to cool down to a drinkable temperature. Yes, it’s a hot day, but it was also a short survey.

Also, be sure to submit your nomination(s) for ARA’s annual Industry Awards at The deadline is Aug. 11.

Well, that is all I have for now. Sending you much aloha from the 50th state. Don’t forget to check out the community calendar and register for upcoming events in your own state!


Michelle Nelson, ECP-ST, president
MK Equipment Corp.