Carson Sneed from Sunbelt Rentals – formerly Big Sky Rents – in Kalispell, Mont. (center, with hat) hangs out with industry peers from across the U.S. at the 2023 YPN Conference in Clearwater Beach, Fla.
The American Rental Association (ARA) recently held its annual Women in Rental and Young Professional Network (YPN) conferences in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Women in Rental took place from Oct. 23-24, and the YPN Conference followed from Oct. 25-26. Both conferences were sold out, and attendees spent two days focused on networking and professional development with their rental peers.
See what some of the attendees who traveled from the Northwest — ARA’s Region Eight — had to say about the events.
Dylan Sutherland, Olympic Tent, found an ‘enriching experience’
Sutherland, who handles sales for Olympic Tent, Tacoma, Wash., attended the YPN Conference and says, “It was an incredibly enriching experience. The event provided a fantastic platform for networking and building meaningful connections in the industry,” adding that he wanted to attend because “I recognized the importance of connecting with peers and learning from their experiences.”
He says his favorite part of the conference was the energy and enthusiasm during the entire event.
“Everyone I met was genuinely passionate about the rental industry, and there was a strong sense of camaraderie,” Sutherland says. “It was refreshing to see so many young professionals eager to share knowledge and collaborate.”
Sutherland also took away some helpful, timely points from the YPN keynote speaker, James Taylor, and his presentation, “Supercreativity™: Augmenting Human Creativity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.”
“Taylor’s session was a highlight for me,” he says. “His insights were invaluable, offering creative approaches to achieving our goals and tackling challenges with confidence. I left his talk feeling inspired and armed with practical strategies that I could implement in my own professional journey.”
“The YPN Conference has left a lasting impression on me,” Sutherland says. “I feel more connected to the industry thanks to the strong ties and friendships I made during the conference. I’m confident that the connections I made will endure, and I look forward to meeting these industry peers at future events.”
Annie Ricci, Bigfork Rentals, took away that ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’
Annie Ricci, left, takes in Sara Ross’ keynote presentation at ARA’s Women in Rental Conference.
Women in Rental Conference attendee Ricci, co-owner of Bigfork Rentals, Bigfork, Mont., said the event “felt like a reunion of people I hadn’t met yet. The energy was distinctly supportive and warm.”
Ricci said she made the long trip to Florida “to connect with women throughout the association in a venue different from The ARA Show™.”
Peer connections — a highlight of the conference for Ricci — continued during a reception in the form of a cruise along the Clearwater Beach coast. “My favorite part was the connections made during the welcome reception and the dinner cruise,” she says.
Sara Ross, who delivered her keynote session, “Activate Your Aliveness Factor,” in front of the Women in Rental group, was another highlight.
“Sara’s presentation helped reinforce the importance of taking care of my own energy so that I can show up as my best self with family, colleagues and employees,” Ricci says. “’You can’t pour from an empty cup’ is the motto I left with.”