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See who from Region Nine was honored at The ARA Show 2024

By Connie Lannan

March 14, 2024

Michelle Nelson with her award, which was presented at the Region Nine Reception

Michelle Nelson with her award, which was presented at the Region Nine Reception

For her leadership that benefited Hawaii and members in the state over the past year, Michelle Nelson, ECP-ST, president, MK Equipment Corp., Honolulu, was honored with the Leadership Impact Award for Region Nine during The ARA Show™ in New Orleans.

When Nelson learned she had been selected for this award, she couldn’t quite believe it. “I didn’t feel that I had done anything special. I just did whatever I could do to help,” she says.

Nelson was recognized during the Feb. 19 Regional Receptions, which were sponsored by Barreto Manufacturing, Ditch Witch, ERC Provider, Point of Rental Software, RubbleCrusher, Sullair — a Hitachi Global Air Power Brand, and Trackunit.

Nelson stepped up to the plate in June 2023 to serve as president of the ARA of Hawaii Task Force, which was established to better serve the needs of members on the islands. The group swung into advocacy action after the wildfires in Maui.

Although Nelson was nervous about taking on this role, she did it because “I saw a need for rental operators to get together. I kept looking around for someone who could do something. I realized that I could sit around and hope for someone to take the lead or maybe I could become more active and help others do the same,” she says.

That is exactly what she did. While “very unsure” when she started, Nelson is glad she became more involved. “I now have better relationships with other store owners. In addition to gaining new friends, I have grown so much personally, and my team at the rental business is doing an amazing job of working together and solving problems when I am not available,” she says.

Taking part in the Task Force also has fulfilled a goal she has had for a long time. “One of the things I wanted to do since working for my father was to give back to the American Rental Association (ARA) and our community. [To receive this award] means I must be doing something,” Nelson says.

She strongly encourages others to become involved. “If others are thinking about wanting to grow themselves and their business, then volunteer. You get so much more out of it than you put in. I know it sounds cliché, but it is so true,” she says.

For Nelson, this award not only honors her but also everyone in Hawaii who is stepping up and getting involved. “I am just the person who represents all the other amazing members in Hawaii. This award honors all of us,” she says.