Carey Bisonet, 36, president, Alpine Events, Grand Rapids, Mich., followed a bit of a different career path that led to the equipment and event rental industry.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business management from Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Mich., he worked for Corporate Security Solutions (CSS), a security guard company. He was serving as a regional vice president when US Security Associates acquired CSS in 2011.
In 2012, Bisonet became a partner in Tyton Holdings, a private firm that was started by the former owners of CSS. While at Tyton Holdings, he worked in the Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota and founded Dakota Dumpster, an oil field waste management company, which he sold in 2015.
He then decided to move into the equipment and event rental industry and in 2016 acquired Alpine Rent All & Sales, a small tool and equipment rental shop that also rented a handful of canopy tents, tables and chairs and had about two or three seasonal employees.
He quickly decided to expand the company’s footprint in the event rental sector and eventually split the tool and event rental divisions into separate entities.
Each has separate locations in Grand Rapids and Alpine Events also has an additional facility in Holland, Mich.
“The event rental industry specifically is ripe for growth and transformation. When I first bought the business, a lot of the processes were pen and paper. We transformed the company quickly by introducing the right technology and building a team that was forward-thinking,” Bisonet says.
“Our team’s No. 1 focus is getting you everything you need for your wedding, party, corporate event or backyard gathering. When you call, we answer and put our extensive experience with event rentals, vendor coordination, planning, setup and logistics to work,” he says.
“We increased the revenue of our event rental business 10 times in the first five years. That required a lot of changes in systems and processes, and then filling seats with the right people. We feel we now have a great foundation for continued growth,” he says, adding that Alpine Events currently has a staff of 51 team members.
“My favorite part of my job is building a team of people who want to be successful. For us, that means being a customer-centric company that delivers a high level of service for our clients. It also means providing opportunities to our team members to grow personally and professionally. When you assemble a group of team members who have that as a common goal, great things happen,” he says.
Alpine Events was an American Rental Association (ARA) member when he purchased the company and he attended The ARA Show™ for the first time in 2018 in New Orleans.
“I found the training sessions to be informative and the networking helpful. I decided to apply for a board seat with the ARA of Michigan two years ago because I wanted a deeper understanding of where the industry is heading and to help other rental business owners forge a path to success,” Bisonet says.
As a kid, he says he wanted to be a rancher as he grew up in a small farm town and imagined plowing fields and raising cattle, not running an equipment and event rental company.
“I view rental as a non-traditional career path. Most people don’t think about rental when they’re considering their futures. It never crossed my mind before I discovered the company we purchased. I see that as an opportunity because rental still is a rapidly evolving industry with room for tremendous success if you’re willing to learn and put in the work,” he says.