The American Rental Association’s (ARA) North Carolina and Georgia chapters recently welcomed two industry professionals — Mark Whitesell and Nathan Crumley, respectively — to their states’ board of directors. Read more below about both, including how they got into rental and their aspirations for their service to the industry.
Mark Whitesell, Rental Supply d/b/a True Value Rental, Greensboro, N.C.
Whitesell, president of Rental Supply d/b/a True Value Rental, has been involved in equipment rentals since the 1990s. “I worked for a very large mechanical contractor in Greensboro, where I was responsible for renting all the equipment on the jobs to help out the project managers and superintendents,” he says. “We also owned a lot of our own equipment, and I kept track of it with a self-made spreadsheet. In the fall of 1996, the two owners of the company came to me and wanted me to start a rental company. We incorporated on Feb. 3, 1997, and the rest is history. In May of 2018, I purchased the company.”
When Whitesell and his colleagues launched their rental enterprise in 1997, seeking out a professional trade association was one of their first priorities — it was a path that led them to ARA.
“When we started the rental company, I looked online to see if there was a national rental association. I came across the ARA site and found out that there was one, and they were soon having their annual ‘Rental Show’ in New Orleans. I joined the association and flew off to NOLA one week later,” Whitesell says.
Whitesell’s direct involvement in ARA of North Carolina activities began around 2008 when he was tapped to help organize a membership meeting for the newly-reactivated chapter.
“Ben Cooke [of Cooke Rentals, Mt. Airy, N.C.] contacted me and wanted my help finding a place in Greensboro to meet because it was centrally located in the center of the state,” Whitesell says. “He and several others were spearheading getting the ARA of North Carolina chapter going again because, in 2008, we had serious issues ahead of us! I found a place that would hold 30 comfortably and we ended up with close to 50. I have wanted to serve on the board ever since then, but being busy and being on other boards, time never allowed me to offer my assistance until this year.”
Whitesell says he is now at a place in his career where giving back and imparting knowledge from his experience are top of mind. “My oldest son, Chris, joined the company about a year ago and the staff and I are mentoring him. He worked for a national rental company after college. He also received an ARA Foundation scholarship. With Chris coming up to speed, I thought it was time to start sharing what I have learned over the past 26 years in the equipment and event rental business,” Whitesell says.
As he heads into his tenure on the ARA of North Carolina board, Whitesell says that he doesn’t necessarily have any immediate priorities; rather, “I really just joined to volunteer my time and knowledge. I do want to say that I have already learned a few things from Alex Dirck [program manager with ARA] that I would have never known if I hadn’t gone through a board of directors training with her. I do want to pass on everything I learn to all of the ARA members of North Carolina.”
Away from the day-to-day of equipment and event rentals, Whitesell keeps busy with a variety of pursuits. “I love traveling with my wife, family and friends. And I am very involved with Family Services of the Piedmont; I have been on the Jamestown Pig Pickin’ committee for 11 years, chairing it six times. Family Services is a private, not-for-profit agency focused on building safe and healthy families in the Piedmont Triad. We serve more than 19,000 clients each year, addressing issues of domestic violence, child abuse, mental health and financial stability in families in the Piedmont Triad,” he says.
Nathan Crumley, M and R Rental, Gainesville, Ga.
Crumley is co-owner of M and R Rental, which provides equipment rentals primarily for homeowners and contractors in the Gainesville area. He has been involved in rentals for 15 years and in the construction game a bit longer.
“After graduating from college in 2006, I started working in residential construction. Toward the end of 2008, I found out this rental business was for sale, and it seemed like a good opportunity. I bought the business in December of 2008 and then both of my brothers joined the business over the next few years,” he says.
Crumley learned of an open seat on the ARA of Georgia board through current president Brian Corrigan [of Macon Tent Rentals, Macon, Ga.], and decided to accept an invitation to join the team. “After attending several meetings and events, I wanted to get more involved and also get to know other members better,” Crumley says.
Crumley says that while he doesn’t come into the position with any specific agenda items to tackle, “I know there will be things that come up and hopefully after learning about the process of the board, I will be able to help provide solutions to many rental store operators.”
Outside of his rental business, Crumley stays busy as part of the trustees committee at his church, through involvement with several other organizations in his town and spending time with his wife and three children.