Naylor is eager to get started as new ARA of Arizona board member
By Connie Lannan

Naylor is eager to get started as new ARA of Arizona board member

New ARA of Arizona board member Katey Naylor, CEM, event director, Bright Event Rentals, Phoenix, is eager to get started with her board service, learn and share her varied experiences as both a rental consumer and now a rental operator.  

While she is relatively new to working in an event rental operation, being with Bright Event Rentals for the last year, she is not new to the rental industry.

“I have been in event production for 15 years, working in all aspects,” she says. “I started as a banquet manager in Minneapolis, then as general manager of an off-premises catering company. I then transitioned to event venues and was the director of events at a nationally award-winning venue for five years. My husband and I then transferred to Las Vegas, where I was doing trade shows in both Las Vegas and High Point, N.C. Throughout my career, I always have been a consumer of rentals. It has always intersected with my career at so many different points. Looking back, I believe I saw my trajectory was going to be in rentals. I can see so many things from the other side and understand from both the operations and sales sides. It felt like kismet when this opportunity to work at Bright Event Rentals came up in Phoenix.” 

The onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic temporarily eliminated the trade show circuit. After Naylor and her husband relocated to Phoenix for more job possibilities, she handled an event for a large company in the city. She used Bright Event Rentals. Her work impressed the company so much that she was offered a position there — a job she was thrilled to get.

“Our company, which has locations throughout California and the one location here in Phoenix, does everything from teaspoons to tents. We offer all the things a person needs to have the most beautiful event,” she says.

For Naylor, her new position not only uses all the skills she has developed over the years, but it also provides her tremendous diversity as the company caters to all different types of clientele, from event planners, corporations and nonprofits to individual brides and those planning a party in their backyard.

“I love the varied aspect of it. I could be on a golf course putting up a big structure tent one day and be in somebody’s backyard the next doing a twinkle tunnel for their dinner party for 30. Every day is a new experience, offering new challenges and adventures on how I can make this client’s dream come true. Figuring out how I can put what is in my client’s head and make it happen in real life is the magic of event rentals. I love bringing that fully to life for them,” she says.

Her new job has ignited an intense passion for event rentals and prompted her to “become more active in the industry, make connections and learn more about both sides of rental,” Naylor says.

That opportunity to keep learning was the impetus for joining the American Rental Association (ARA) Young Professional Network (YPN) and the ARA Women in Rental group. When the chance to join the ARA of Arizona board came up, “I immediately raised my hand,” she says.

Naylor, who will serve as board secretary, is eager to network with others on the board and in the state as well as “raise the visibility of the YPN and the Women in Rental as they are super-vital to the success of ARA. I want to show by example to up-and-coming professionals that it is cool to be part of boards. I also want to be an ambassador for Bright Event Rentals, learn from leaders in the industry about what is going on in the different markets and be part of more professional development programming. That is why I wanted to dip my toes into this. I wanted to do it for me, for Bright and for the board. I am really looking forward to it,” she says.

As far as specific goals she would like to achieve during her board tenure, Naylor says that right now “I am still getting my feet wet. I look forward to taking time to fully immerse myself in the current issues and then develop some great goals.”

The full ARA of Arizona board is as follows:

President: Maureen Harkness, Cre8ive Event Rentals, Tempe

Vice President: Brady Castro, PRO EM National Event Services, Phoenix

Treasurer: Shaun Brown, Road Machinery, Phoenix

Secretary: Katey Naylor, Bright Event Rentals, Phoenix

Associate Member Director: Scott Schuller, Direct Sales, Mesa

Connie Lannan

Connie LannanConnie Lannan

Connie Lannan is special projects editor for Rental Management. She helps plan, coordinate, write and edit ARA’s quarterly regional newsletters, In Your Region. She also researches, writes and edits news and feature articles for Rental Management, Rental Pulse, supplements, special reports and other special projects. Outside of work, she loves to bake for others, go for walks with her husband and volunteer for her church and causes she believes in.

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