MOLINE, Ill. — Former U.S. Rentals and United Rentals executive Bill Berry and former Cramo CEO Gunnar Glifberg will be inducted into the American Rental Association Hall of Fame at its Rental Show Feb. 6 in New Orleans.
Better known to the North American equipment rental industry, Berry was president and CEO of rental chain U.S. Rentals from 1986 until 1998 when he played a major role in the merger of U.S. Rentals with United Rentals. At that time, U.S. Rentals was seen as one of the industry's most advanced rental companies in terms of management and systems. United Rentals, founded in 1997, was, at the time of the merger, a somewhat loosely organized group of acquired companies; Berry was widely credited with helping to solidify a group of systems that provided a platform for United Rentals' dynamic growth.
Berry literally grew up in the rental industry. His father owned Berry Equipment Rentals in Modesto, Calif. By age 21, Berry was managing his own branch and at the age of 24 was general manager of five branch locations. Shortly after that, U.S. Rentals acquired Berry Equipment Rentals and kept Bill Berry in a management position. In 1982 he became regional manager for Northern California, later becoming vice president and then president and CEO in 1986. Under Berry's leadership U.S. Rentals grew from 39 locations and $45 million in annual revenue to 131 locations and about $600 million in revenue.
Berry was widely respected for the way he treated people as well as his management acumen. He encouraged women to join the equipment industry through promotion and recruitment practices, strongly believing in diversity. Berry was also a strong safety advocate, implementing the use of ratchet binders on delivery trucks in the early 1990s. When manufacturers of aerial work platforms introduced fall restraints on some equipment, Berry insisted that U.S. Rentals employees use them long before they became mandated by the government.
In September 2000, slightly more than two years after the merger with United Rentals, Berry died at age 48 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Gunnar Glifberg was recruited to join Cramo in 1994 as CEO. At that time, the company consisted of six different companies without a common business model. Glifberg helped launch a new brand in 1995 and a unifying methodology. He formed a new management team that included people from other industries and academic backgrounds. The introduction of the Cramo School for all employees was an important tool for the company's success.
Under Glifberg's leadership, Cramo expanded operations into eight European countries. The company, based in Helsinki, Finland, now has close to 400 branches in 15 countries. Glifberg was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the European Rental Association earlier this year.
The American Rental Association created the Rental Hall of Fame in 2000 to foster an appreciation of the historical development of the rental industry and the leaders who helped develop the industry.
The induction will be held during the keynote session at the Rental Show.
In addition, ARA each year recognizes outstanding volunteers for their service to the association. The Distinguished Service, Meritorious Service, Special Service and Outstanding Leadership Awards will be presented during Lunch with ARA on Feb. 5, while the Regional Persons of the Year and President's Image Awards are presented during the regional receptions on Feb. 6.
The Distinguished Service award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership with long-term service to the association at the national, state and local levels. Jeff Wearing, president Ready Rent-All in Decatur, Ga., is this year's recipient. Wearing has been a mentor to many in the rental industry since he joined the American Rental Association in 1978. He has been actively involved at the state and national levels.
He served on the ARA board of directors from 2000-2003 as Construction/Industrial Services Special Interest Group chairman and was very involved with Construction U workshops at The Rental Show. During his board service, Wearing was on the executive committee in 2002 and a member of the ARA Strategic Planning Committee. He also served on the ARA Foundation board in 2000 and as a member of the General Tool Special Interest Group in 1994-1995. For many years Wearing served as ARA of Georgia president and on its board.
The Meritorious Service Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in a defined area of association service, such as through a committee, special project or service activity. This year's honoree, Jeff Stachowiak, is director of safety training with Sunbelt Rentals in Saint Johns, Fla. His passion for a safer rental industry is always evident, as is his hard work and dedication in the training and safe use of aerial work platform equipment for the equipment rental industry.
Stachowiak has provided valuable expertise, leadership and guidance to ARA for improved safety and readily volunteers for programs that will benefit the entire rental industry. He participated in the initial September 2009 AWP Industry Initiatives meeting in Chicago coordinated by ARA, which brought together general and associate members on aerial work platform equipment. This meeting evolved into two industry best practice documents, Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform Equipment (released February 2010) and Statement of Best Practices of Personal Fall Protection Systems for Aerial Work Platform Equipment (released March 2011). Stachowiak contributed to both documents and was a valued member of both working groups.
The Special Service Award recognizes an industry supplier who has made an outstanding contribution to the association. Michael Tharpe receives this year's Special Service Award. Tharpe is director of sales for TopTec Products in Moore, S.C. He has worked in the rental industry and been a member of ARA since 1989.
Tharpe served as an associate member director on the ARA board of directors from 2009-2011. He has participated in many ARA committees including The Rental Show Task Force, Exhibitor Advisory Committee, ARA Insurance Risk Management Committee and is a frequent speaker at the show. Tharpe also is a strong ARA Foundation and ARAPAC supporter.
Recipients of the Outstanding Leadership Award have demonstrated superlative leadership at the grassroots level — state, local or provincial. This year's recipient, Robert Nally, is president of Apache Equipment Corp. in Phoenix, which has been a member of ARA since 2004.
Nally has served on the board of ARA of Arizona since its inception in 2010 and is currently president. He was instrumental in the activation of the state association, working on the initial revitalization meeting, the grassroots efforts to obtain a board of directors, completing the state association by-laws and scheduling member meetings.
Nally will continue to serve as president of ARA of Arizona in 2012 and will provide his leadership to the board and membership for an active and engaged association to benefit members.
The Regional Persons of the Year awards honor members who have made outstanding contributions to the association and the rental industry on the regional, state, provincial or local levels. Following are this year's recipients:
Region 1 - Steve Reitter, Robinsons Hardware, Hudson, Mass.
Region 2 - Michael Yamrock, Drake's Rental, Phillips burg, N.J.
Region 3 - Tony Long, Mint Hill Tool Rental, Charlotte, N.C.
Region 4 - Frederick Dupy, American Party Rental, Austin, Texas
Region 5 - Chris Wright, House of Rental, Skokie, Ill.
Region 6 - Willy Hay, Oak Grove Rental, Oak Grove, Mo.
Region 7 - Robert Nally, Apache Equipment Corp., Phoenix
Region 8 - Brett Richter, Double R Rental & Sales, Langley, Wash.
Region 9 - Becky Wittmer, Lewis Rents, San Lorenzo, Calif.
Region 9 - Nancy Quintel, Lewis Rents, San Lorenzo, Calif.
Region 10 - Angie Venekamp, Rental Network, Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
The President's Image Award is a business facility or store award celebrating a commitment to improving the rental industry image through a remodeling, rebuilding or renovation project. Recipients include:
Region 2 - Melani Kodikian, CERP, A to Z Party Rental, Montgomery, Pa.
Region 7 - Rob Robben, CERP, Robin Event Rental, Loveland, Colo.
Region 10 - Andrew Paquette, CERP, Bravo Party Rental, Dorval, Quebec, Canada
ARA is an international trade association for the owners of equipment rental businesses and the manufacturers and suppliers of construction/industrial, general tool and party/event rental equipment. It is headquartered in Moline, Ill.