The Canadian Rental Mart is Canada’s celebration of the rental industry, and what would a celebration be without a guest of honour?
By Patrick Flannery
The Canadian Rental Mart is Canada’s celebration of the rental industry,
and what would a celebration be without a guest of honour?
Every Rental Mart, Canadian Rental Service recognizes a rental operator that exemplifies three key values of our industry: success, innovation and safety. That operator is presented with our Rental Operator Of The Year award on the show floor. They get a handsome plaque (redesigned for 2014!) and a cover story in the magazine. This year, the ROOTY is presented with the generous assistance of Doosan Portable Power Canada.
Why do we do it? This magazine’s mission is to help Canadian rental operators to succeed, and we think the ROOTY does this two ways. First, it is obviously a point of pride to be picked out of all the thousands of rental stores in Canada and held up as an example for everyone else. Having that ROOTY trophy on your counter is something you can point out to customers as evidence they are dealing with the best. Secondly, letting everyone know about the great efforts our winners put into their businesses serves, we hope, as an example and inspiration for everyone else.
Nominating a company for the ROOTY is a simple as going to canadianrentalmart.com and filling out the online form. It is not important to get all the information down on the form – each submission is followed up by your editor and a full brief on the nominees prepared for the judging panel. And do not sweat the details over whether a company meets all the criteria of the award. That is for the judging panel to decide. Basically, any company you feel is well run can be nominated.
Meet the judges
The ROOTY judges are industry leaders from across Canada. They review the submissions prepared by Canadian Rental Service and decide on a winner by consensus.
Currently regional manager of sales and operations for Hewitt Equipment rentals (The Cat Rental Store ) Maritime provinces, Dave Fraser has 11 years service with Hewitt and is responsible for 10 locations. When Dave joined Hewitt he brought with him a wealth of managerial experience. As a graduate from Saint Marys University with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1982, he has always been in management roles with the first 18 years focused on human resources management. His career path took him from HR manager with Loblaws in the Maritimes to Hershey where he started as HR manager and then moved to the plant manager role in what he likes to refer as the “sweetest job I ever had.” There he was responsible for producing the Canadian Christmas staple Moirs Pot of Gold boxed chocolates. Dave recalls he got a lot of questions from people when he joined Hewitt. “What does a guy who makes candy know about renting equipment?” and of course his answer was, “Nothing but I’ll learn.” Eleven years later Dave figures he has learned a thing or two about the rental industry and is happy to have served several years giving back as he winds up his three-year term as volunteer director for the CRA Atlantic.
Rhonda Pedersen is vice president of customer service for Pedersen’s Event Rentals in Burnaby, B.C. She has been in the party and event equipment rental business for 25 years and represents the third generation of Pedersens to run the company, which has been in business since 1949. Ms. Pedersen served as president of the national CRA in 2002 and is currently the Region 10 director for the ARA. Pedersen’s Rentals is a two-time winner of the national CRA Image Award, and Ms. Pedersen has won Region 10 Person of the Year and CRA Rental Person of the Year awards. She has also served on the International Special Events Society board.
Kent Somerville is national sales manager for Doosan Portable Power, responsible for directing sales strategy and driving continued business growth for the company throughout Canada. Kent has more than 25 years of experience in the rental and construction equipment industries having managed distributor and rental channel relationships in both Canada and the USA. Prior to his time with manufacturers of equipment Kent worked for many years directly in construction equipment rental with both independent and national rental companies. Kent currently resides in Edmonton, Alta., where he spent more than 10 years serving on the Canadian Rental Association Alberta Local board of directors as supplier director.
Jean-Marc Turcotte owns Location Turbo Rentals in Montreal. Jean-Marc has been in the rental industry for 35 years, and rents a comprehensive variety of general use equipment. He won the CRA’s Rental Man of the Year award in 1995, 2000 and 2002, the ARA’s award for Outstanding Record of Achievement in 1990 and twice Quebec Rental Store of the Year. He has served terms as the president of the ALQ and as Quebec director for the national Canadian Rental Association.