Laura Jutzi, CERP, 31, was determined to be a veterinarian. But in between completing her degree in equine studies and picking up a minor in business studies while working at NJS Design Event and Party Rentals, Clinton, Ontario, Canada, she decided to keep her horses as a hobby and remain 100 percent invested in the event rental company started by her mother, Nancy Snell, CERP, 24 years ago.
The company is a table, chair and décor rental company serving southwestern and midwestern Ontario.
“I have grown up in the rental industry,” Jutzi says, adding that her current position as event happiness engineer includes installations and processing rental returns, among other responsibilities.
“We are unique in the fact that we do not do tents. We have industry partners for this. We are primarily involved in weddings and social events, including larger community fundraisers,” she says.
“The event rental industry is attractive as a career because each day is different, each client and order is unique, and each setup and teardown is different, but with the same goal of delivering exceptional customer service no matter the hurdles,” she says.
In addition, she was involved in the design, layout and physically building parts of the company’s new 12,000-sq.-ft. warehouse from rough drawings to include an in-floor heating system and organizing rental inventory into the space.
“It was a long process, but well worth the efforts as our warehouse turned out better than we expected. Loading inside, it is easier to access our inventory, which ultimately has improved productivity and staff morale,” she says.
Jutzi first became involved with the American Rental Association (ARA) by attending The ARA Show™ “many years ago” in New Orleans and she also was a recipient of an ARA Foundation scholarship that helped pay for her education.
“ARA is a supportive organization that always has the tools to help any business. Since that first show in New Orleans, I have been fortunate enough to build a network of industry friends that you can bounce a problem off. There always is someone who has faced the same issue and is more than willing to offer advice,” she says.
While the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit those in the event industry hard, Jutzi says she has learned that nothing is “truly constant” and that being adaptable is the key to success.
“Emotions have truly become a large part of a rental contract and we must support and respect the emotions of our clients while guiding them through the planning and execution process. Through it all, I truly realized how much I love this industry and my job. I love that we are able to create custom designs for clients using unique products,” she says.