POMONA, Calif. — California Rental Association last month drew more than 130 exhibitors and 100 rental companies to its Rental Rally Tradeshow held at the Pomona, Calif., Fairplex, which included an outdoor aerial equipment area as well as a digging demo area where attendees could take the opportunity to try out equipment such as backhoes, trenchers and other earthmoving equipment. CRA officials said 229 rental attendees were at the show.

While most exhibitors interviewed by RER didn't necessarily expect huge sales, they welcomed the opportunity to connect with long-time California rental customers and possibly develop new customers.

At the opening ceremony, held at the National Hot Rod Museum, RER editor Michael Roth presented the James Gartland Award, named for the founder of RER, given annually to a rental person, or service provider in recognition of their contributions to the rental industry. This year the award was given to James Jenkins, whose James Jenkins Insurance Agency was formed in 1987 as an insurance captive for CRA members. As CRA executive director Dale Blackwell said, Jenkins “always kept the insurance board on the appropriate track with his integrity and knowledge.”

CRA also presented the annual W.E. “Bud” Loeber Friendship Award in honor of the late Bud Loeber, former CRA official known for his helpful attitude, humor and kind personality, to former CRA board member and rental company co-owner Linda Bradley.

Rental attendees were enthusiastic about the Rental Rally for the opportunity to network, attend seminars and have opportunities to interact with exhibitors in a relaxed atmosphere, as well as the outdoor demo opportunities.

Also at the show, Bob Phares, president of California Rental Benefits Corp., presented CRA with a check for $1 million. The funds were the balance remaining after returning all of the capitalization collected during 20 years from CRBC policyholders.

“This guarantees that rental centers in California, Nevada, and other neighboring states will continue to receive the services of CRA for many years to come,” said Phares, who is also owner of Bakersfield, Calif.-based BS&E Equipment Rentals.

Current CRA president Alex DuBose accepted the check on behalf of CRA members and said, “This was a pleasant surprise and the Board is on record stating that it will be put to good use for our members.”

CRA formed CRBC in 1988 to help stabilize insurance premiums that were causing problems for its members. At that time, the board felt that another insurance option was needed for the association's members. CRBC accomplished its goals and objectives

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