Store tour and networking event brings Canadian ARA members together
By Brock Huffstutler

Store tour and networking event brings Canadian ARA members together

Members of the Canadian equipment and event rental community gathered on the evening of June 22 for a live, in-person American Rental Association (ARA) Region 10 networking event.

The meeting, hosted at Cooper Equipment Rentals in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, included dinner, a facility tour, an informational session on the latest ARA products and services that can benefit members in Canada, and the opportunity to interact with Angie Venekamp, ARA Region 10 director, and James Auerbach, ARA vice president, event segment and rental industry workforce development.

“It was a great meeting — thank you to Rob Potter at Cooper for hosting us,” says Venekamp, who is the general manager of Rental Network, Squamish, British Columbia. “James gave a presentation covering what ARA has to offer its Canadian members, and we were excited to hear the announcement that Westland Insurance is now providing a member-only insurance package for ARA Canadian members.”

James Auerbach, ARA vice president, event segment and rental industry workforce development, delivers a presentation on ARA member benefits.

For some in attendance, the opportunity to get together again with peers after a lengthy, pandemic-enforced separation was motivation enough to attend, and hearing the latest news about the offerings from ARA was the icing on the cake.

“I wanted to attend this event because I wanted to support ARA’s new initiatives in Canada, and I have not seen my fellow members in three years,” says Rhonda Pedersen, owner, Pedersen’s Rentals, Vancouver, British Columbia. “The networking was fun, and I was happy to see people again. James’ presentation was excellent — I forgot about all the things ARA offers its members, so it was a good refresher. Learning that there is now an insurance program was one of my key takeaways.”  

Jason Cox, director of sales and business development, location equipment supply with William F. White International, Burnaby, British Columbia, described Auerbach’s ARA presentation in one word — “Amazing! It was very people-centric and with industry experience and knowledge. There is a huge difference in what I thought ARA had to offer — it’s so much more.”

“I wanted to meet with my fellow rental associates to learn about their keys to success, struggles and what kind of advice and ideas they had,” says Mike Niemirski, manager, Iron Mountain Equipment Rentals, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. “It was nice to put a face to the name of the individuals we work with in the industry and gather some valuable contacts for future concerns. It was great to learn about what else ARA can offer that myself and my partner had no idea about.”

The gift of reconnecting with old friends through this event also was appreciated by Jim Clipperton, owner of Nor-Val Rentals, Armstrong, British Columbia.

“My biggest takeaway was how good it was to physically see my peers and catch up on life and business, and to actually hug friends I haven’t seen for over two years,” Clipperton says. “I have always believed the biggest benefit to ARA is the networking and friendships I have made over the last 28 years. The Cooper team were excellent hosts, and it was a great first meeting back.”

Niemirski enjoyed the event so much that he already is looking forward to the next one. “Overall, it was a great event. I can’t wait to go out to more,” he says.

Venekamp says that more, indeed, is to come, both virtually and in-person. “Members should watch their email for details on our next in-person meeting, which will happen in Ontario toward the end of September, and for information on educational webinars planned for the fall — one in September and another in November,” she says.

Brock Huffstutler

Brock HuffstutlerBrock Huffstutler

Brock Huffstutler is the regional news editor for Rental Management. He writes and edits articles for ARA’s In Your Region quarterly regional newsletters, Rental Management, Rental Pulse and other special projects. Outside of work, he enjoys biking and spending time at the few remaining vintage record stores in the region.

Other articles by Brock Huffstutler
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