ARA and CRA split
By Patrick Flannery
The American Rental Association and the Canadian Rental Association have announced that the CRA will split off into an independent organization. This is a major change for the association, which has been considered Region 10 of the ARA for 50 years. Below is an announcement sent to members.
By now you’ve probably heard that there are some big changes coming to the structure of your CRA membership this year. We know that any change will naturally lead to many questions, and we’d like to come right out and answer some of them for you. This is going to be a lengthy message, but it is important that you read it to the end.
More than 50 years ago, the Canadian and American Rental Associations joined forces to represent rental operators across North America. At the time, CRA was not in a position to properly serve its members, and the partnership granted access to ARA products and services to Canadian members. In exchange, the majority of member dues were transferred to the ARA so that we could pool our resources and they could provide better membership services that were relevant to all rental operators in North America. Over that period ARA found it challenging to produce programs that met the needs of both countries and in both of Canada’s official languages. When we began investigating the ARA products and services that Canadian members were utilizing, we found that less than 10% of Canadian members were taking advantage of any ARA products and services, other than the ARA Show which was attended by approximately 30% of members. With that information, the CRA Board of Directors met in September and invested in developing a new strategic plan for our association and its members. The outcome was clear: In order to advance the association, CRA needs to advocate on behalf of our members, improve our communications, and provide better, more relevant Canadian content, products and services for our own members. We agreed that we should no longer wait for ARA to do it for us. What’s Changing? While CRA and ARA have had a long and productive relationship, over time we have both evolved. For the past 3 years, the CRA and ARA Officers have been attempting to rework our existing agreement. During this process it became apparent that the structure of our relationship no longer made sense for either organization. in December, it was agreed by both CRA and ARA Boards of Directors that our current arrangements were holding back the Canadian members, and it was in the best interest of our Canadian members that CRA begin to operate separately from the ARA.
Operating as an independent association, will allow us to invoice our members in Canadian dollars and keep 100% of the funds in Canada to meet our members needs. Bringing the membership revenue back into Canada will enable us to offer our members Canadian focused benefits and programs. Benefits and programs which ARA was simply not able to provide in a manner that our members chose to use.
While our day-to-day working partnership will cease, we will continue our relationship with the ARA in the same manner as other International Associations, via the Global Rental Alliance. We will also explore items that might make sense to partner with ARA for the benefit of members on both sides of the border.
How will this affect you? Nothing will change in our partnership until late spring 2020. All renewals until this time will continue to be processed by ARA in US dollars, and any members who renew before the cutoff date will automatically be members of both associations for the duration of their membership year.
Nothing will change for the ARA Show 2020 in Orlando. All programs and the registration process will remain the same as it has been. We will be welcoming you during our “Can’t Miss” Hospitality Event on Sunday night at the Cuba Libre and encouraging you, as usual, to visit us at our booth during the ARA show.
After the cutoff date, CRA will begin invoicing members directly in Canadian funds. Your renewal payments will need to be made online at the new CRARental.org or by sending payment to our Stoney Creek, Ontario office.
Our understanding is that ARA will continue to renew your membership with ARA unless you take steps to cancel your ARA membership. Any Canadian member who does not wish to remain a member of ARA after the cutoff date must call ARA membership services at 1-800-334-2177 and simply tell them that you no longer wish to be a member of both associations.
By maintaining your Canadian membership, we can assure you that your association representation will remain the same, as will all CRA programs and services, including:
• CRA Insurance Program
• Canadian Regional Trade Shows
• Provincial Associations member meetings and events
• Quarterly CRA Source publication, and
• Personalized R2Go tags
We will also continue to work with you on our new initiatives including
• our newly struck Government Affairs Committee
• Party and Event Shared Interest Group, and
• Safety Shared Interest Group
The CRA leadership and staff are excited about the new opportunities that this change in direction will bring to you and your business. We thank you all for your trust, and cooperation, as we work through the operational implications of this separation. If you have any questions or simply need more clarification feel free to contact CRA membership services, or any member of the CRA Executive team or Board of Directors.