Canadian Rental Service

CRA President’s Message: Drawing the map

By Dan Spencer CRA president   

Canadian Rental Association business

For the past 11 years, my career and focus has been dedicated to the rental industry. As a store manager, my primary role besides leadership was to protect company assets such as people, property and inventory. It was also extremely important to keep the business running smoothly, ensuring our customers were completely satisfied and the equipment kept moving in and out in good working order.

As I am now in my eighth year volunteering in the rental industry, more specifically with the Canadian Rental Association, my focus and role has somewhat changed but certainly has its similarities. As your current president, I can honestly say that I have a much greater understanding and appreciation of the true value associated with the entire industry and how important this association is to you and your business.

In April, I had the pleasure of attending the CSAE (Canadian Society of Association Executives) CEO Symposium with our vice-president, Colin Wilson, and CEO, Nathalie McGregor. After attending this symposium, it is clear to me that our association is absolutely on the right path. That being said, we have a lot of work to do to set the stage for the next five years. The next five years are important because we will be focusing on our vision and realigning ourselves with a more up-to-date strategic plan that reflects the current state of the rental industry.

Why is it important to have a strategic plan, you ask?

Unique to associations, our volunteer leadership changes every year. Without a multiyear strategic plan, the direction of the association and its priorities could change with its succeeding officers. Having a consistent plan allows for advancing the priorities set by the membership through board representation. This also allows new members joining the board to have an expectation for their board service. Strategic planning is an important tool to an association as it provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals which guide the day-to-day decisions, helping evaluate progress and changes when moving forward.


How will we get there? In order to achieve our goal and to have a draft done by February 2020, and implementation of this plan by September 2020, we will need your valuable input. We will also require the CRA board of directors to piece it all together with the knowledge and guidance of our trusted consulting firm.

Your role in this? Over the next few months, you will be receiving an online survey. Our plan is for you to help by outlining the key areas you think we need to focus on in order to ensure our success. This survey will help us by gathering a spectrum of important data. Please take the time to answer the survey as your point of view will be taken into great consideration. In September, the CRA board will gather together for a two-day strategic planning session to develop a comprehensive plan aligned with the diversity in our member size, geography, industry segment, gender and age…among other things.

Our association’s goal is to provide you, our members, the necessary resources you need to make a difference and positive impact in your business and also our industry. As the industry evolves, so do we. In order to continue in the right direction, in the very near future, you will see us forming several new committees where you will have the opportunity to participate and have the opportunity to be directly involved in these changes by signing up for a one-year volunteering commitment.

In closing, when I step back and take a look at my eight years of volunteering with the CRA, I am very proud of how far we have come as an association and extremely excited to see where we are headed in the future.

Dan Spencer has worked in the rental industry for 11 years and has been actively involved with the CRA locally and nationally for the past eight years. He resides near Antigonish, N.S., with his wife Heidi and their two chocolate labs, Keppoch and Cali.

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