Alix Peña, CERP, 33, national business development and marketing manager, Arena Americas, Orlando, initially interviewed for an administrative job only to have the company’s vice president, who is now her boss, stop the interview and suggest she be in sales.
“The rest is history,” Peña says. “I was initially drawn to the wide variety of events Arena Americas was a part of. I liked the combination of technical expertise, creativity and interpersonal skills required to be successful in this industry. It seemed like there would always be something new to work on, people to meet and build relationships with, and that I would have the opportunity to grow my career.”
Arena Americas, which has its headquarters in Oak Creek, Wis., specializes in clearspan structures, flooring and seating rentals and currently has more than 800 employees.
“Our target market is primarily in large-scale events requiring not only our rental inventory but also our technical and specialized services such as custom design, manufacturing, graphic printing and more. We also target customers who are responding to state and federal disaster relief efforts, military support initiatives and temporary construction needs,” she says.
As a child, Peña had thoughts of becoming a marine biologist or an artist but has found a home in the event rental industry.
“If you are someone who thrives in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, this is the career for you. There are so many facets of the rental industry you can get involved in. The sky really is the limit,” she says.
The best part of her job, according to Peña, is working collaboratively with others on the Arena team to exceed customer expectations.
“The rental industry can be challenging. It’s important to have a strong team around you. It takes a village,” she says.
She also credits getting involved with the American Rental Association (ARA) with enhancing her knowledge of the industry.
“A colleague at Arena signed me up to attend the show and shared with me the various educational resources available to me with the company’s ARA membership,” she says, adding that events like the Women in Rental Breakfast have helped her build her personal network.
She says she is most proud of her involvement in the May 2022 inaugural F1 Miami Grand Prix event.
“Taking that project from concept to completion was more than a two-year process. Arena provided four multi-level hospitality structures as well as several ancillary structures throughout the property. It was incredibly rewarding to see it all come together in the end,” Peña says.