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New Jersey members get together to learn how the elite compete

By Brock Huffstutler

February 7, 2023

ARA of New JerseyEquipment and event rental operators from across New Jersey gathered in Trenton, N.J., on Jan. 19 to receive insight on taking their businesses’ operational performance to the next level while getting an inside look at host L&A Tent & Event Rentals’ facility.

“L&A is a first-class operation; we learned a few tips within the first few minutes of arriving,” says Steve Lusby, general manager, Grand True Value Rental, Hackettstown, N.J., and ARA of New Jersey president, who brought three of his staff members to the meeting.

The ARA of New Jersey’s January event featured dinner, a store tour and special guest speaker Dan Crowley, founder and president of Peer Executive Groups, who presented “How to Perform Like an Elite Company.”

Through his presentation, Crowley discussed what it means for an organization to go beyond simply calling itself “elite” and truly operate at a high level, ARA of New Jersey meetingcovering topics including:

  • Understanding Gino Wickman’s Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Model
  • How to establish your “Vision-Traction-Organizer”
  • How to build a company culture that thrives

Crowley’s presentation resonated with attendees like Eric Larkin, co-owner, Sperry Tents New Jersey, Neptune, N.J. “It was full of useful and pertinent information for any small business owner/manager. The specific, real-life examples of mission statements was very useful. The mention of ‘The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey’ was also helpful. I researched these subjects the morning after the meeting,” he says.

Joseph Peregman, president, Ocean Tents & Party Rentals, Manahawkin, N.J., also was inspired to take further action after the event. “I thought the discussion was insightful and I was intrigued to look further into some recommendations [Crowley] mentioned,” Peregman says, adding that the key concepts that he took from the presentation were “hire the right people, get out of their way and make sure they feel appreciated.”

“Whether you have mapped out most of what Dan covered or are just starting down this road, a presentation like this is great to get the wheels turning. It’s something owners and senior managers should hear at least once a year,” says Jason Campisi, vice president/general manager, South Jersey Party Rentals, Pennsauken, N.J.

“Dan touched on a lot of points — some we are implementing; some we need to improve on,” Lusby says, noting that he keyed in on the notions ofARA of New Jersey meeting attendees “retaining our employees by sharing the company’s vision and promoting more of your employees’ successes. Feeding your employees is key.”

Even guests who are not involved in the day-to-day running of a rental operation got something out of Crowley’s presentation. “As a manufacturer in the industry, I may have taken away some different things from Dan than a rental company would, but I still learned things I can implement in my day-to-day,” says Tim Cronk, commercial inside sales, Eureka! The Tent Co., Binghamton, N.Y.

Also in attendance at the meeting were American Rental Association (ARA) CEO Tony Conant; John McClelland, Ph.D., ARA vice president, government affairs and chief economist; and James Auerbach, ARA vice president, event segment and rental industry workforce development. The trio, along with Brian Richardson, president and CEO of the host location who also serves as ARA Region Two director, had the opportunity to visit with members and discuss the latest association initiatives.

As ever, the peer-to-peer interaction was one of the most popular aspects of the outing.

ARA of New Jersey meeting attendees“Networking within your industry is always time well spent, and to be able to do it within your geographic area is even better. The rental industry is full of friendly, successful, humble, hardworking businesspeople. I am proud to be part of it,” Larkin says.

“It was nice catching up; I wish we had more time to chat with each other. I loved L&A’s facility and seeing those guys,” Peregman says.

“It was great to see so many people attend the meeting. Things certainly feel like they are back to normal in regard to attendance. I especially enjoyed hearing how people navigated the past few years and how they foresee the next 12 months going. The energy in the room was great!” Campisi says.