Gina Glas, CERP, 38, managing partner, A Classic Party Rental, Indianapolis, had thoughts of becoming a photojournalist for National Geographic when she was a kid, but she also believed she would be working in her family’s business when she grew up and that’s exactly what happened.
“If you are part of a family business, you know that it can become ingrained in your identity at an early age. I had a keen sense of responsibility to take care of what my family started more than 30 years ago,” Glas says.
She started working at A Classic Party Rental as a summer job while attending Indiana University and later pursued working in the family business as a full-time career a few years after graduating.
“In 2009, the event rental industry was on the cusp of innovation and growth. Social media and Pinterest had just started to take hold of our industry and elevate it in a way that we had never seen before. It was exciting to be a part of a growing industry and company,” she says.
A Classic Party Rental was founded by members of the Hawkins and Bayt family in 1989 and today is a full-service event and expo rental company with 113 employees, serving general consumers and businesses in Indiana with a primary focus on building business-to-business relationships. The company joined the American Rental Association (ARA) in 1991.
Among her key accomplishments at the business, Glas lists growing the revenue and profit for the company’s linen department, which recently added a shipping department to expand its service footprint.
She also led an inventory software conversion that has allowed A Classic Party Rental to expand to a warehouse three times larger than the original building.
“I also helped create #AClassicCares, which is comprised of a small committee whose mission is to give back to our local community through monetary donations and our time. For example, we donate to homeless organizations, food pantries and Habitat for Humanity, and we have participated in a park cleanup,” Glas says.
“I find excitement in process improvements, creating efficiencies, finding ways to work smarter not harder, and enhancing the customer journey. Innovation and change excite me so I am not afraid to try something new if it will improve how we operate or the customer experience,” she says.
She credits the ARA with helping her professional development as she became a board member of the ARA of Indiana in 2020 and currently serves as the state association’s treasurer.
“Being involved in the ARA is beneficial to anyone in the rental industry for a myriad of reasons, including connecting with people in the industry, facilitating educational opportunities that benefit all members and giving back to an association that is critical to the success of our industry,” Glas says.
She also encourages equipment and event rental companies to take advantage of the available ARA resources to help recruit prospective employees looking for a career.
“Millennials and Gen Z care about professional development and training and want to understand their opportunity for growth. The ARA provides employee training assistance, certifications for continued education, scholarships, and a mentoring program that will appeal to prospective employees trying to find their career path,” she says.