Editorial – August 2013
It was wonderful to see the strong and enthusiastic response from the industry to this month’s Top 10 Under 40 special focus on successful young people.
By Patrick Flannery
It was wonderful to see the strong and enthusiastic response from the industry to this month’s Top 10 Under 40 special focus on successful young people. Often, when associations or companies or magazines announce awards or contests seeking to recognize excellence in the Canadian rental industry, the biggest challenge is getting nominations. I suspect this is something of a Canadian phenomenon, as I’ve seen it in other industries. No one wants to appear self-aggrandizing or boastful. Even friends of worthy candidates are reluctant to put their friends’ names forward for fear of “embarrassing” them with too much attention. While this modesty is also part of my DNA, and one of the reasons I thank my lucky stars I live here after every visit to the U.S., it is probably not the best attitude to take from a business perspective. A higher profile means more opportunities, even if it is within the industry rather than in your target market.
But the response to the Top 10 Under 40 feature bucked that trend. I received around 20 nominations and had to make some tough decisions. Clearly, rental operators are more enthusiastic about the chance to highlight the energetic young people who will be defining the future of this industry. And why not? Their stories are new and interesting and give us a glimpse into how this business will work going forward. Unlike veterans who have been around for decades, they are often relatively unknown and can use the introduction to the wider community.
I was happy to be able to feature women and men, from both the equipment and party rental sides of the business. Ontario and the western provinces are well represented – I’m hoping for more input from Quebec and Atlantic Canada next time. I also tried to include some rental workers who were not necessarily the owners of their shop. I think they show that it is possible to make as great a contribution to the business from the back of the store as it is from the front.
Anyone who was nominated and didn’t make the section should not be too disappointed. I’ll be keeping those nominations on file for next year.
I was saddened and more than a little surprised to get the news that the Canadian Rental Association had not renewed Mandy Wellnitz’s contract following its expiry at the end of June. Mandy had been executive director of the association for eight years, and was always front and centre at every national function I attended, right up until some health issues sidelined her briefly this spring. Her dedication to and love for this industry was immediately obvious, and I could not have asked for a warmer and more genuine welcome to the rental world than the one she gave. Thank you, Mandy, for introducing me to the great group of people at the CRA. I know we will see you around the rental industry again soon.