Bryan Rich, executive vice president and vice chairman of Sunbelt Rentals last week announced his retirement after 31 years in the equipment rental business.
“My integration commitments are complete and it’s now time for me to move on,” said Rich. “I would like to thank all the former NationsRent team members and my trusted friends and believers for all your efforts in helping me resurrect a great company and support a fabulous new merger opportunity with another great team at Sunbelt Rentals. It’s always people who make the difference.”
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,” said Charles Snyder, executive vice president of sales and fleet management for Sunbelt Rentals. “I have never met a person with more drive, enthusiasm and passion for the industry and its people.”
Rich was instrumental in the merger and integration of NationsRent with Sunbelt, focusing on leadership in communication to staff and the formation of a merger management team, IT projects, fleet and vendor relations, and more.
“Bryan is a true industry veteran,” said Cliff Miller, president and CEO of Sunbelt. “His leadership expertise and relationships were real assets as we worked to integrate the operations of two great organizations. Bryan will be missed.”