Trending Content

New leaders emerge in Idaho, Montana and Washington

By Brock Huffstutler

March 14, 2024

The American Rental Association (ARA) chapters of Idaho, Montana and Washington recently welcomed some industry professionals who have stepped up to serve on their state boards of directors for the first time.

ARA of Idaho

Kody Olson, Gem State Events, Boise, Idaho

Kody Olson

Kody Olson

Olson is the owner of Gem State Events, a Treasure Valley-based event rental provider. He got involved in the rental industry in 2020 with no prior experience.

“My business partner and I decided to start an event rental company together; I actually had no experience in the rental industry,” he says. “We grew up together and always had dreams of starting a business together. We graduated high school in 2014 and both went off to different colleges. In 2019, we graduated and started to brainstorm business ideas. We saw a great opportunity in the event rental industry in our area and decided to go for it. I have been learning as we go and have loved every second of this industry.”

Olson took the opportunity to join the ARA of Idaho board after its current president, Drew Dancer, reached out to him about getting involved to represent the event rental side of the industry.

“What really made me answer the call to get involved was the opportunity for a new experience that will give me more tools and skills to help myself as a business owner as well as the opportunity to help others within the industry,” Olson says. “I am excited to get involved in the local community of the rental industry and to see how we can grow the ARA of Idaho.”

Olson is a member of ARA’s Young Professional Network (YPN) and says that as he joins his ARA state chapter board, “I look forward to networking with all the people in the industry and growing the ARA in Idaho. This is a fast-growing state and I think there are going to be a lot of opportunities to grow the association within Idaho.”

ARA of Montana

Coel Stutheit, Glasgow Rental, Glasgow, Mont.

Coel Stutheit

For the past five years, Stutheit has served as manager with Glasgow Rental, a provider of construction, agricultural and DIY equipment rentals and sales.

In his role with the company, Stutheit says, “I manage and run the day-to-day operations. I also oversee four employees as well as fulfill their duties when they are not available.”

Born and raised in northwest Oregon, Stutheit moved to Montana in 2002 to attend Montana State University Northern, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in diesel technology. “Prior to the rental industry, I was a sales consultant for our local John Deere dealer for 10 years. I was also a Master Certified John Deere Technician,” he says.

Within ARA, Stutheit is a member of the YPN and says networking tops the list of association value for him. “I am fortunate to be part of a multi-location partnership, so I can confer with other managers and owners on different ideas and solutions,” he says, adding that ARA education resources also are beneficial. “I find myself using the ARA emails for safety topics quite a bit for our meetings.”

Through his ARA of Montana board involvement, “I look forward to the opportunity to expand my network further and gather more industry insight,” Stutheit says.

Ryan Clark, RDO Equipment, Missoula, Mont.

Clark has been involved in the equipment rental industry for 11 years. As sales manager with RDO Equipment, “I oversee construction, forestry, technology sales and rentals within Missoula and Kalispell Agency of Record (AOR),” he says.

“My background includes land surveying for a year, and then I jumped right into the equipment dealership/rental industry,” Clark says of his professional background. “I started with RDO in Grand Forks, N.D., in 2012 and have held positions with them in North Dakota, Minnesota and now Montana. I hold certifications through John Deere on the sales side of the business as well as in aftermarket. Throughout the years I have worked within the sales side of almost all the products RDO represents, including construction, forestry, agriculture, technology and utility installation equipment.”

A member of ARA’s YPN, Clark values his ARA membership for the options it offers for building a professional network and for “helping influence the growth and direction of the rental business industry,” he says. As an ARA of Montana board member, “I want to create and build upon my network within the ARA, both with ARA of Montana but also beyond that by attending The ARA Show™.”

ARA of Washington

Scott Alexander, Alexander Party Rentals, Kent, Wash.

Scott Alexander

Scott Alexander

Alexander is president and owner of Alexander Party Rentals, a provider of event rentals to the Puget Sound area since 1991.

A member of ARA’s YPN, Alexander was featured as one of the “12 to Watch Under 40” by Rental Management in 2019. In that profile, Alexander explained how, with a degree in microbiology, he initially wanted to be a scientist.

“I’ve found the math skills and methodology I acquired to be extremely beneficial in this line of work,” Alexander said, adding that it was the recession that changed his career trajectory. “My father, Tom Alexander, was vice president of US Rentals before United Rentals purchased the company. After working in corporate, he decided to try his hand at running a small business and bought a fledgling general rental center in Seattle.”

Alexander said he started washing dishes at the business at age 12. “I drove for the company through college, but during the recession, my father’s company was struggling. I told him I would give him a year as a manager, which progressed to five years and finally ended in me purchasing the company from him,” he said.

Alexander’s “12 to Watch Under 40” profile also noted that Alexander Party Rentals has been an ARA member almost since its inception and revealed why he values his involvement in the association.

“ARA is an extremely helpful organization for keeping up on trends, discovering new or better methods, and meeting other professionals. I couldn’t see running my business without going to The ARA Show each year,” Alexander said.