Jan. 17, 2012 - The B.C. Regional Trade Show went off without a hitch Jan. 13 and 14, unless you count a freak snowfall of about two inches in Langley, B.C., on the Friday night. Still, the determined West Coasters plucked up their courage and braved the slightly slushy roads to enjoy camaraderie, great deals, valuable prizes, a packed banquet and even a drink or three.
By Patrick Flannery
Jan. 17, 2012 – The B.C. Regional Trade Show went off without a hitch
Jan. 13 and 14, unless you count a freak snowfall of about two inches in
Langley, B.C., on the Friday night. Still, the determined West Coasters
plucked up their courage and braved the slightly slushy roads to enjoy
camaraderie, great deals, valuable prizes, a packed banquet and even a
drink or three.
Luminaries from around the rental industry were on hand around the show and at the banquet, including ARA president, Ted Cook, CRA national president, Ed Dwyer, CRA executive director, Mandy Wellnitz, B.C. national director, Angie Venekamp, CRA national vice-president, Jeff Campbell, ARA Region 10 director, Rhonda Pedersen, and the entire B.C. Local board of directors.
The B.C. board of directors with ARA president, Ted Cook.
The show featured a full line-up of rental equipment from most of the major industry suppliers, with soil compaction and other landscaping products the most prevalent. Some products were on display for the first time, including Ox Blades and Terra-Pro Power Screens. Two party suppliers were present: Impact Canopies and National Event Supply.
The Cloverdale Agriplex comfortably accommodates larger machinery, including aerial lifts.
Attendees had many chances to win prizes of various kinds. A 46-inch LCD TV was raffled off, and there was a 50/50 draw with a prize over $800. Rentquip had its wheel of fortune located on the Milwaukee booth, with each order over $1,000 entitling the customer to a spin for cash and giveaways. Some suspicious activity was detectable around the wheel, especially when it appeared likely to land on the coffee mug, but spinners came away happy for the most part.
Clipperton seemed more at ease when not reading a prepared speech.
The banquet hosted a record crowd of over 150 to enjoy a great meal, drinks and the comedic talents of Mike Harrison. B.C. CRA president Jim Clipperton made his final address as president, actually reading a prepared speech for the occasion. Clipperton was praised many times during the night and received several enthusiastic ovations for his energetic leadership. His colleagues on the board pointed to his tireless efforts in setting up the Propane Heater Certification course in B.C., and in fighting for fair equipment licensing regulations with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. Clipperton himself noted his pride in the number of people in the room which was, he said, more than three times the number that used to attend the banquet when he started working with the association.
| The banquet hall featured an impressive banner listing the dozens of sponsors and supporters.|
Clipperton will be replaced as president by Erik Gerlof of Rogers Rental. In his speech, Gerlof praised Clipperton's leadership and told the crowd some of his story of coming to Canada and buying a rental business eight years ago.
Cook thanked the B.C. CRA for the warm welcome he had received and praised the friendly spirit of the association. He noted the B.C. CRA won the ARA's 2011 Membership Award.
Angie Venekamp announced the winners of the B.C. CRA's annual awards. Supplier of the Year went to Wacker Neuson. Winn Rentals of Kelowna won Rental Store of the Year. Clipperton won Regional Person of the Year, and Russ Walsh of EZE Rent It Centre in Chiliwack won the Achievement Award.