To show appreciation for the help and friendship they’ve received from members of the United States rental industry in the past 40-plus years, Andy Kennard and Peter Lancken contributed $10,000 to the ARA Foundation on behalf of Kennards Hire in Australia. The gift is the largest single donation ever made to the Foundation from a rental business.
Kennard, Kennards Hire owner, and Lancken, its CEO, discussed the donation with Carl Newman, ARA chairman of the board and Foundation trustee, during a visit by Newman to Australia in May and later confirmed the gift in a letter to Christine Wehrman, ARA CEO and Foundation executive director/trustee.
“Andy and I have greatly enjoyed the relationships and friendships we have established with the ARA and many of its members over 40 years,” Lancken said. “We are always made to feel so welcome when we travel to shows and visit members’ businesses. This friendship and sharing of information has contributed greatly to the growth and development of Kennards Hire, and for this we are most grateful. We fully support the Foundation’s mission to develop and implement programs that create educational opportunities, build relationships and aid the industry. We hope the $10,000 will assist the Foundation in advancing these initiatives.”
The Foundation will invest the funds in new programs the board of trustees and staff will be working to launch in 2008 and beyond. “The generosity of Kennards Hire will have a profound impact on the future work of the Foundation, and will greatly strengthen our future programs,” Wehrman said.
The Foundation’s current initiatives include a scholarship program, which was recently expanded to offer 23 scholarships for technical school, community college, undergraduate and graduate students pursuing rental careers; the Rental Executive Advisory Program, a business consultation service; and a rental industry disaster relief program, created in 2005 to assist rental businesses affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Andy Kennard says a chance visit he made to a U.S. rental company in 1964 played a major role in the success of Kennards Hire. At the time, Kennards — which was started by Andy’s father, Walter, in 1948 — was a very small operation and has now grown into Australia’s largest family-owned equipment rental company with more than 90 branch operations. During that rental company visit, Kennard learned the ARA convention would be in Fort Worth, Texas, the following week. “I attended the convention and also visited some other hire yards, where I was also given a great welcome. That was the start of our association, and it has grown over the years,” he said.
Kennards Hire will be honored for its Foundation contribution during The Rental Show’sWelcome Breakfast on Feb. 11 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
The ARA Foundation is a 501(c)3 philanthropic organization supporting the equipment rental industry since 1976.