Stefani Donabedian, 33, marketing director, Mobile Air & Power Rentals, Worcester, Mass., wasn’t looking to work in the equipment and event rental industry when she returned to the workforce as a new mother seven years ago.
“I quickly learned that I needed to leave my corporate job to have a proper work/life balance. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who had a fast-growing rental business and joined their team as their marketing manager. The company’s growth allowed my career to flourish, and I am now a part of the senior leadership team for a much larger organization,” Donabedian says.
“I just lucked into needing a job at the right time and place. However, I found a love for the rental industry as soon as I became involved. The rental culture is a huge reason why I can’t imagine leaving the industry. The career growth potential is incredible. I also love watching how rental companies work together. Even though every company has its own key performance indicators and yearly goals, they are excited to be a part of something larger. They are excited when rental wins, happy to see their competitors succeed and are even willing to help that success,” she says.
Mobile Air & Power Rentals provides temporary HVAC and power solutions to customers for planned outages and emergencies. The company has 287 employees across 33 locations to be able to respond to emergencies across the country.
“What differentiates us from many rental houses is that we provide full turnkey solutions. We create a custom plan for each situation using the available fleet, deliver and install equipment, and maintain the equipment until the rental ends,” Donabedian says.
When she was growing up, she thought about becoming “everything except what I am doing today. I originally started college thinking I would become a social worker. One semester in, I quickly changed my mind and majored in psychology while working as a preschool teacher, where I was offered the chance to continue my education and become a certified Montessori teacher. I thought that was my path until I took a summer job at a safety supply warehouse in their marketing department. It was there that I realized my true potential and love for marketing.”
Donabedian also currently serves as president of the ARA of Massachusetts and chose to become involved in the American Rental Association (ARA) when she was asked to do so on behalf of the company by Lee Morse, her boss and mentor who is a vice president of Mobile Air & Power Rentals.
“As the company grew, he knew ARA would be a valuable association to be involved in, but also knew it would help grow my career,” she says.
She initially talked it over with her close friend, Julie Creedon-Linton, CERP, vice president, Creedon & Co., Worcester, Mass., and ARA’s current Region One director who was then president of the ARA of Massachusetts.
“My mind was made up and I wanted to join the board of the ARA of Massachusetts. What I didn’t know was how that one decision would change my life and career. I have learned so much through the events I have attended. I have stepped into a higher level of leadership within my state board, ARA committees and my company, and I have made lifelong friends who share my business values and life ethics,” Donabedian says.
As for her job, she says every day is different. “I get to do a little bit of a lot while also leading a team and working with other members of Mobile Air & Power Rentals that encourage and challenge me to make a difference for the company. Some days I work on strategy and how we can grow our online presence. Other days, I work directly
with my team and some days I get to create the content,” she says.