American Rental Assocation awards volunteers

Tina Grady Barbaccia

November 19, 2010

American Rental Association (ARA) has named the following people as recipients of the organization’s 2010 volunteer recognition awards, which will be presented during “Lunch With ARA” at The Rental Show on Feb. 27.

The Rental Show is Feb. 27-March 2 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas.

Distinguished Service Award

The late Doug Mitchell, who had been a partner in The Rent-It Store, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, will receive the Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership with long-term service to the association at the national, state, provincial, and local levels.

Mitchell was very involved in the Canadian Rental Association (CRA), the CRA Saskatchewan local association, and ARA. He held many positions on the board of directors, including president of CRA in 2007-2008, and was instrumental in organizing the yearly CRA Prairie Regional Trade Show.

He was the main motivation for the Prairie Regional Trade Show and had been in charge of all aspects of the event since its inception in 1989. The show is a successful forum for rental stores and associate members to gather together, receiving full participation from rental businesses of all sizes.

Mitchell was an advocate of the member partnership between CRA and ARA, with both associations benefiting from his active leadership. His legacy is one of caring for people, stepping forward to lead by action to benefit the associations and honest enjoyment of life.

Mitchell died on July 29, 2010. CRA established the Doug Mitchell Scholarship in his memory, with the scholarship specifically for students affiliated with a Canadian associate member business to honor his work with the Prairie Regional Trade Show. Mitchell and his business partner, Doron Broadfoot, were strong supporters of the ARA Foundation and were honored at The Rental Show 2010 with the 1976 Club Award for their contributions.

Meritorious Service Award

The Meritorious Service Award will be presented to Tim Ranson, safety/risk manager for Finning, The Cat Rental Store, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in a defined area of association service, such as through a committee, special project, or service activity.

Ranson is being honored for his work on the development of the new ARA Professional Driver Education Program. He was one of the first ARA members who approached ARA regarding the development of a program for drivers and was a participant in the initial November 2007 meeting to discuss such a program. He became a key volunteer during the production of the program, including organizing and hosting a production shoot in Edmonton. Ranson also served on three review teams responsible for program content. His rental-specific expertise offered throughout the program’s development was essential to its success. His commitment to safety reaches beyond his organization for the betterment of the entire rental industry. Since the program launched, he’s taken an active role in training the drivers at Finning, The Cat Rental Store.

Special Service Award

Jim Layton, sales/marketing manager for Wacker Neuson, Menomonee Falls, Wis., will receive the Special Service Award, which recognizes a rental industry supplier who has made an outstanding contribution to the association.

Layton has been involved in rental marketing for more than 25 years. He expanded the marketing department at Wacker Neuson from a one-person operation supporting a dozen products to leading a team of communications professionals supporting nearly 400 products with a multi-million dollar budget. He led the Western Hemisphere communications efforts during Wacker’s transition from a privately held manufacturer to the global, publically traded Wacker Neuson. Layton also started what’s known today as the Wacker Neuson Rewards program, which has registered more than 20,000 contractors. Wacker Neuson has been an ARA member since 1969 and 2011 will be its 44th year exhibiting at The Rental Show.

He was on the ARA board of directors in 1997-1998 and also served on ARA’s Exhibitor Advisory Committee, among his industry involvements. Layton will retire from Wacker Neuson in December.

Outstanding Leadership Award

Harold Sater, managing director of A and A Tents, Shrevenport, La., will be honored with the Outstanding Leadership Award. This award honors an ARA member who has provided an example of superlative leadership at the grassroots level.

Sater has been ARA Region Four director since 2008 and has worked diligently to reactivate all the state associations within his region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. As part of his efforts, he recruited members to get involved and form boards of directors for Arkansas and Oklahoma, then continued to work closely with the new presidents to ensure meeting success.

In addition, he was a host for the ARA Foundation’s international rental business leadership program and engaged others within Region Four to also host Michael Hayek of Kennards Hire P/L, Queensland, Australia, during September and October 2009.

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