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.
The acceptance speeches from the inductees proved again to be poignant, sometimes funny and sometimes very 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 prerecorded 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.”
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.”
During the lunch, ARA also posthumously recognized Dale Blackwell, Aba Daba Rents, Sacramento, Calif., with the ARA Ambassador Award, and presented the Exemplary Service Award to Ron Holbert, JoRonCo Rentals, Bakersfield, Calif.; the Industry Impact Award to Daun Kouchoukos, Hilti, Plano, Texas; and the Rising Star Award to Andrew Heesacker, Arvada Rent-Alls, Arvada, Colo.