Canadian Rental Association
CRA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: December 2013
By Jeff Campbell
Here at the end of my term as national Canadian Rental Association president, I can honestly say that not everything went the way I envisioned it at the start.
By Jeff Campbell
Here at the end of my term as national Canadian Rental Association president, I can honestly say that not everything went the way I envisioned it at the start. That is not to say things went poorly – quite the contrary – but many unexpected events and circumstances popped up that got in the way of some things I wanted to do, and made other things happen that I did not plan for, but were positive all the same. In this, my experience as CRA president was a lot like my experience as a rental store owner. Since even the best laid plans usually get altered in the execution, you need just that much better a plan if you are to have any hope of going where you want to go. The larger and more complex the enterprise, the greater the need for careful planning and forethought.
The CRA has recognized this truth and that is why the board has embarked on some rigorous strategic planning to map out our path forward as we continue to grow. We are putting a formal plan in place, complete with goals and targets, that we will refer back to at the start of every meeting and use to guide all of our efforts. As part of this process, we are looking at the best way to structure our head office operations so as to deliver services more efficiently and effectively. Our search for a new managing director will be focused on finding the right person to fit into these needs.
Looking at the association, I see a group that is doing very well and has a tremendous future ahead of it. A recent American Rental Association poll found that 25 per cent of our members participate in at least one CRA event each year. I think that is a good number, but I also think 35 per cent or even higher is achievable. People at the ARA often commented to me during my term on how impressive the Canadian association is in our level of service and participation. Let’s keep that trend going! We certainly have the guys coming along behind me to achieve that. Both Marc Mandin and Dave Mintenko are super smart, energetic guys with the administrative strength we need to really get this organization running well.
Trade show season is around the corner and we are seeing great results in that area as well. We had 40 people signed up for the Canadian hospitality event at the ARA’s Rental Show in Orlando within two days of the registration going live. This event is always popular and this year it looks like it will be bigger and better than ever. The Atlantic show has grown to the point where it is moving to a larger venue in Casino New Brunswick. That is a dramatic reversal for a show that has had some struggles over the years. Part of our strategy for trade shows is to make sure we have educational seminars at all CRA shows going forward.
I would like to recognize the outstanding efforts of our member services co-ordinator, Pascale Lambert, in keeping the Winnipeg office running smoothly while we search for a managing director. I’ve received many comments on her efficiency and responsiveness.
Being president of this association has been a great opportunity for personal and professional growth for me, as I think it has been for others who have held the position. Membership in your association is only the beginning – the real return is on participation. I’m proud of the efforts we have made to increase the profile of the rental industry during my term. Just recently, our PR agency placed a story on equipment rental in the National Post. It looks like it is onward and upward for the Canadian Rental Association.
Jeff Campbell is co-owner of St. Thomas Rent-All in St. Thomas, Ont., and has been a member of the Canadian Rental Association for 34 years.