Five longtime industry leaders inducted into Rental Hall of Fame

Oct. 18, 2021

Five longtime equipment and event rental industry leaders were formally inducted into the Rental Hall of Fame on Sunday, Oct. 17, during the ARA Industry Awards Lunch at The ARA Show™ in Las Vegas.

The Rental Hall of Fame was created by the American Rental Association (ARA) in 2000 to honor those individuals who have changed the trajectory of the industry. This year’s inductees included:

  • Don Ahern, Ahern Rentals, Las Vegas
  • Michael Kneeland, United Rentals, Stamford, Conn.
  • Ed Latek, Latek Capital, Lake Forest, Ill.
  • Tim Maloney, CERP, Canton Chair Rental, Canton, Ohio
  • John ‘Jack’ Shea, InTempo Software, Springfield, Mass.

“There are now 50 industry leaders who have been inducted into the Rental Hall of Fame, and we are excited to add five more to the group with our newest class of inductees,” said Beth Hoff Blackmer, president, Aspen Rent-All, Basalt, Colo., and ARA board chair.

The acceptance speeches from the inductees proved again to be poignant, sometimes funny and sometimes emotional.

“We are very fortunate to be involved in this rental industry,” said Ahern. “It is a demanding, but rewarding, sector that has provided many jobs and incomes for families across America. I hope the young people entering the industry now, with hard work, can enjoy it as I have, and still do.”

Ahern also said he wanted to clarify that he didn’t venture off on his own, but that his father fired him and it was his mother who rehired him.

During Kneeland’s induction, he said that “I want to tip my hat to the equipment rental industry, because it has been such a major influence on me. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the rental industry. I’m standing here today not because I made this journey on my own, but because so many good people stood with me.”

“I’ve been very fortunate to have spent my entire adult life as a part of this industry,” Latek said in a pre-recorded message. “My love for this industry is such that I’m frequently accused of having never worked, but only playing that game that is my passion. To all our hundreds of rental friends across the country — many with whom I have relationships stretching back two or three generations — I thank you. I am honored and humbled by this recognition.” 

Crediting his family for his career success, Maloney said they “instilled in me an ethic of hard work and the value of volunteering and giving back. I’ve always felt I was a foot soldier volunteer who never expected to receive the Rental Hall of Fame award, so it’s special to be here.”

“I fell in love with the rental business when I got involved in the early 80s,” Shea said. “Rental operators are straight shooters — and I like that. I really appreciate this award.”

Read more about the five newest inductees’ careers here.

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