Rob W. Pedersen, 37, vice president, A Tool Shed, Santa Cruz, Calif., is a member of the fourth generation of the family-owned-and-operated equipment rental company.
Pedersen attended the U.S. Naval Academy and majored in oceanography. He graduated in 2008 and was selected to be a naval aviator.
“I was fortunate to accomplish my childhood dream of becoming a pilot and was attached to HSM-71 (Raptors) where I flew the MHJ-60R during two deployments in the Asia and Middle East areas of operations where we supported anti-piracy operations as well as Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom,” Pedersen says.
He then became a MH-60R flight instructor where he also received a Masters of Advanced Studies in International Affairs from the University of California San Diego.
“While my life in the U.S. Navy was full of excitement and career opportunity, I made the decision to transition to the U.S. Navy Reserves and return to the equipment rental industry full time and did so in July 2019,” he says.
“Every day I cherish the opportunity to work alongside my father and continue to build on the amazing company that he, my grandfather and my great-grandfather developed. I was drawn to the rental industry by the opportunity to continue the legacy. Now that I am within the industry, my draw comes from the fact that there is so much opportunity for a truly rewarding career. In my opinion, the rental industry at large is poised for future growth as the benefits of rental vs. ownership continue to be realized and integrated in the consumers’ mindset,” he says.
A Tool Shed has eight equipment rental locations serving contactors and homeowners in the areas of San Jose, Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz, Morgan Hill and Monterey Bay in California.
The company rents a full line of equipment from hand tools to 40-ft. forward-reach forklifts and 14-ton excavators.
Pedersen’s father, Robert H. Pedersen, serves as the company’s president and currently is co-chair of the American Rental Association (ARA) Equipment Rental Shared Interest Group. The company has been a member of ARA since 1963.
“I have essentially been involved with the rental industry from birth. I would go to work with my mom to A Party Place, an event rental store we had then, where I was known as ‘the baby in the window’ and I would entertain the customers as any baby would. Later, I went to work with my father after school or on weekends and was tasked with cleaning up the yard by picking up rags and hardware that could be salvaged. Five cents per rag was pretty good money for a kid in elementary school. During my high school years, I worked summers at our Santa Cruz, Cambell and Santa Clara locations as a member of the yard crew,” he says.
“As early as I can remember, I also have been attending The ARA Show™ and have been surrounded by ARA through the direct involvement of my grandfather, Larry Pedersen and my father. While I was stationed in San Diego, I was able to attend the Young Professional Network (YPN) Conference and in recent years, many of the ARA events in the local area,” Pedersen says.
“Networking always has been a perk from the ARA, but in the past two years, the resources such as the ‘Clean. Safe. Essential.’ program and now the ARA Certified Train the Trainer course for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and courses for sales and service tracks have been helpful and will have a place in A Tool Shed’s operations going forward,” he says.