When John Jeanguenat, 37, moved back to Chicago from Indianapolis, he and his wife had a two-year-old daughter and were expecting twins, so they wanted to be closer to family. As an added bonus, he found a new career in the equipment rental industry, becoming president of RentalMax, Carol Stream, Ill., which has eight Chicagoland locations.
“I learned about RentalMax through a connection and after careful consideration, I decided to apply. I was coming from outside the rental industry, but felt my previous experience was a good fit for what the company wanted and needed from a future leader,” Jeanguenat says.
In April 2018, he joined the equipment and event rental company, which is now solely focused on equipment rental, serving contractors, industrial businesses and do-it-yourself homeowners having sold off its tents, tables, chairs and miscellaneous party items this year.
The largest equipment categories at RentalMax are tractor loader backhoes, scissor and boom lifts, lawn and garden, and concrete.
“I was attracted to the job because of the people, company and the industry. The more I read about the equipment and event rental industry — much of it via Rental Management — the more I felt like it would be a great industry to be a part of,” Jeanguenat says.
“I was looking for a growing industry and company where I could spend the rest of my career. RentalMax is a great company with a rich history and a lot of great people. I had a sense from talking with a lot of our experienced team members that they were excited about the future of the company and industry. I really enjoy the fast pace and ever-changing nature of the business and the opportunity to work with our team toward our shared goals,” he says.
RentalMax also will celebrate 25 years in business in 2022 and Jeanguenat has worked hard to gain the trust and respect of the team to complete a successful transition to president of the company, taking over for Terry Hagy, the company’s founder.
“In my short time at RentalMax, we have been able to carry on the tradition of the company and continue to create a culture of safety, customer service, success and fun. In addition, we have established a clear vision for the company and our team. We have grown the business, including our rental fleet, revenue and profit each year. We are on track to have our largest year-over-year growth in 2021. We also moved into a new headquarters and store in Carol Stream in 2020 in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that has been a really good move for us — both from a store and administration perspective,” he says.
In addition, Jeanguenat has been quick to become involved with the American Rental Association (ARA), participating as a member of the association’s Technology Advisory Group and serving as a panelist for ARA’s RentalTech virtual technology summit last year. He also agreed to become co-chair of ARA’s Equipment Rental Shared Interest Group (SIG) with a seat on the ARA board and joined the ARA Government Affairs Equipment Advocacy Workgroup.
“I am involved in ARA because I appreciate and respect how much ARA does to support its members and advance the industry. RentalMax has benefitted from many ARA programs over the years, and it is important to us to be involved, serve the rental industry and be part of advancing the industry,” he says.
As a kid, his dream was to become a professional baseball player. “That dream died after finishing high school, but I still enjoy watching the game and cheering for my Detroit Tigers through thick and thin,” he says.