Long before I became the VP of the Equipment Segment at the American Rental Association, I was once a member just like you. Truthfully, I’ve been an ARA member since I was a teenager through my family’s rental businesses in Georgia and Florida (I’m still waiting for my “Longest ARA Membership” award...). While there are many different aspects of being an ARA member, here’s four core elements of my membership that brought value to my business and professional life.
1. Industry Community
Outside of working for and eventually operating our family-owned rental business, I’ve had the opportunity to explore other industries including construction and software. While I was away from rental, I found myself searching for ways to get engaged and connected, but unfortunately it was extremely difficult. It wasn’t until I came back to rental that I realized it was the true sense of trust and comradery within this industry that makes it so different from the others. Rental is truly a community, a tribe. Belonging to ARA takes that sense of community one step further and allows you to connect deeper with those who have shared experiences and goals.
One of the greatest member benefits ARA has to offer is their vast amount of networking opportunities. These opportunities help build and strengthen a sense of community both in-person and virtually and can facilitate life-long relationships, friendships, and partnerships to propel your career to the next level. The ARA Show is one of my favorite ways to keep connected with my rental peers through various activities like the Women in Rental Breakfast, educational sessions, and getting to know vendors on the show floor. It’s amazing how much you can learn from your peers at networking events. There have been many times where a quick conversation at the Show led to an idea or opportunity that saved thousands of dollars. From ARA social media groups to The ARA Show, and even our new Workforce Development program, ARA is continuing to create new ways for the industry to grow and cultivate the rental community.
3. Learning Opportunities
ARA has always strived to provide you and your business with tools and educational resources to make your business more successful. To adapt to changing business environments, ARA created the new RentalU and RentalU+ platforms as an exclusive member resource with engaging training to help further develop your workforce. Back in my membership days, these trainings were not available for the equipment rental and event rental industries, so I encourage you to take advantage of the expertise and crowdsourced learning. Through this material, we’re able to collect the knowledge of our whole rental community so we can all share and benefit.
4. Making an Impact
At the end of the day, we all desire to have an impact on the world around us. Over the last few decades, the heart of our association has been the work we do through the programs of the ARA Foundation, which exists to support and aid the rental industry. Impact isn’t just the name of the Foundation’s newest community development program, but it’s what we’re striving to do each day. As members of the rental industry, we get to build a better world where more consumers have access to what they need for their personal and professional lives. After all, our industry has been the sharing economy long before it became a cool buzzword. I’m proud to be part of the global trend towards a circular economy, which is a sustainable asset for a more efficient future.
There are so many benefits of belonging to ARA, and I'm working hard to bring my rental experience into the mix as we continue to improve what we have to offer. For me, rental is more than an industry, it’s the community I call home. I look forward to continuing to serve, promote, and empower the rental industry, and I’d love it if you would join me on that journey.