April 7, 2015 - The Ontario Canadian Rental Association put learning at the forefront of its conference program March 25 at the Holiday Inn in Guelph, Ont. The event drew praise and increased attendance with its full morning of education sessions featuring access to experts that rental store owners would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
By Patrick Flannery
The revamped schedule featured education seminars from 8 a.m. until lunch, followed by the traditional tabletop displays in the nearby ballroom. Presentations were divided into party and equipment rental streams, with equipment rental operators hearing about scissor lift transportation courtesy of Skyjack and Vermeer, and equipment theft prevention from two York Regional Police officers. Party rental folks got a presentation on heating and air conditioning sizing for events from L.M. Temperature Control. Both groups were offered panel discussions with officials from key Ontario regulatory agencies: the Electrical Safety Authority, the Ministry of Labour’s Industrial Health and Safety program, the City of Guelph’s building permit office and a truck inspector from the Ministry of Transportation. The questions flew fast and furious and it is safe to say everyone in the room learned something. Presenters and panel members were mobbed after the sessions with additional questions and requests for contact information.
A buffet lunch was served in the tabletop display area, then attendees lingered to talk to vendors. Some new exhibitors were in evidence and there was good traffic in the room for the first couple hours after lunch. The association reported 160 rental professionals at the event.
The CRA Ontario banquet followed the show day, highlighted by an encouraging keynote speech from special guest, Christine Wehrman, CEO of the American Rental Association. Wehrman praised the strong progress of the CRA and the Ontario local, pointing to economic indicators that good times for the rental industry are ahead. CRA national president, David Mintenko, also addressed the group, making special mention of the sponsors and suppliers who provide so much support to these events. All speakers highlighted the need for continued involvement from the membership, reminding attendees that positions on the Ontario board will be coming up for election at the next Ontario meeting on April 15 at Rentquip in Woodstock, Ont.
Awards went to James Morden, Region 10 director, for Rental Professional of the Year and Rentquip for Ontario Supplier of the Year. The President’s Image Award for party and event went to Muskoka Party Rentals and the Image award for equipment rentals went to Stayner Rental. Draws for door prizes and 50/50 cash capped off the evening with cheers and groans.
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