Acme Lift Co., North America’s leading aerial re-rental company specializing in large aerial work platforms, has formed a five-member advisory board to lead the company’s future strategic initiatives and has named Bryan Rich as its chairman and equity partner.
“Brian exemplifies the necessary leadership, vision, character and energy for Acme to reach its full potential, combined with exceptional rental industry experience and extensive financial expertise,” said Woody Weld, president of Acme Lift. “The future of Acme Lift is virtually unlimited and with Bryan we now have an industry icon assuming leadership of our board and helping to lead Acme to even greater heights.”
Rich, veteran of more than 30 years in the rental industry, recently retired from Sunbelt Rentals after serving one year as vice chairman, where he was responsible for the integration of the company’s acquisition of NationsRent. Rich was co-founder of Phoenix Rental Partners, the group instrumental in acquiring NationsRent out of bankruptcy. Rich served as co-chairman and executive director of NationsRent until it was sold to Sunbelt Rentals.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to participate in the future direction of the Acme Lift team,” Rich said. “The large aerial lift re-rental model is one I’m very familiar with and have been passionate about for the 30-plus years I’ve been in the industry. My belief is that the business model will be even more scalable when our industry’s next business cycle ramps up.”
Rich began his rental career with Logan Equipment Corp. in 1977, a company that was founded by his father, Frank Rich, in 1963. Rich was running his first rental location at age 20. After purchasing a controlling interest in Logan from his father in the early 1980s, Rich grew the company into one of the leading rental and sales companies in the northeast, eventually selling the company to NationsRent in December 1998.
Rich left NationsRent in October 2000 to form Commonwealth National Bank, a public commercial national bank based in central Massachusetts. NationsRent filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001 and to avoid what appeared to be a certain liquidation of the company, he and a partner formed Phoenix Rental Partners, raised additional funds from the Baupost Group and purchased NationsRent. Rich and the NationsRent management team brought the company out of bankruptcy in June 2003 and then sold the company to Sunbelt Rentals in August 2006.
“Bryan is a true leader in the industry and was instrumental in turning NationsRent around,” Charles Snyder, executive vice president of sales and fleet management for Sunbelt Rentals, said when Rich retired from Sunbelt. “I have never met a person with more drive, enthusiasm and passion for the industry and its people.”
Acme Lift, based in Mesa, Ariz., specializes in re-renting to rental companies that don’t carry such large units. Its fleet includes 80-, 120-, 135- and 150-foot articulating and telescoping boomlifts. The company is No. 56 on the RER 100, based on $30 million in 2008 rental volume.