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It is hard to believe we are already pushing six months out of the "lost year." COVID-19 in 2020 left just about everyone across the globe in some not only uncharted waters, but also some rough and tough seas. Whether you were an employer or an employee, young or old, or just trying to care for your family and make ends meet under the so-called "new normal." However, it turned out some good sailors, specifically in the rental industry!
From ARA’s Clean. Safe. Essential. program, the Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP) certification, and the Professional Driver Education Program, to just watching how our members and industry adapted to meet and exceed the needs for not only themselves and the business, but for the employees, the customer, and even their families. I have always been proud to be a part of our rental industry. As it was humbling to see folks networking and brainstorming even during the toughest of times of how to successfully make the next move, it was also disheartening to see so many multigenerational family businesses be forced to close their doors.
-Dillon Hughes, TRA President
ARA and TRA have been a big part of our rental life over the last nine and half years, and all the thanks goes to a few people who have had a huge impact on our growth and journey. Starting with trusting Jesus in putting us in the rental business, to a former branch manager of a local Volvo Rents franchise store as we had a mutual friend, and his strong encouragement to "get involved" with the associations even though we only had four trailers when I opened Only 1 Rentals at the age of 21 as a junior at Sam Houston State University.
Next thing I knew I stumbled across Mr. Leon Kothmann quoting us insurance through ARA and James Waite's office quoting and customizing a rental contract for us. We knew equipment well as my family had been in the dirt business for over 50 years. But what we did not know was the rental industry from the behind of the counter. And my thought was if this rental industry offers their own insurance, and recommends Mr. Waite to write up the legal contracts, then somebody already pioneered the mistakes, and I could not afford to learn those the way they did. Leon's encouragement to be active and attend the shows led to me booking a trip to Las Vegas to see what all the talk was about. At the show’s Region Four reception, Mrs. Willie Strange picked me out as an unfamiliar face (for some of you who know her, you may find that as a bit of a surprise!) and started dragging me around introducing me to people. Again, with her encouragement to run for a position, I found myself as a state board of director for Texas where I selflessly served my term limit, moving to Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President, and now humbly your TRA President with hopes of being able to encourage, or give advice to someone just starting out.
I will say that I have some pretty big shoes to fill from previous presidents, specifically our immediate past president, Mrs. Angela Nussel. She was the first TRA president, and I respectfully pray the last, to ever serve during a global pandemic. Like most of the rest of the country, and of course like Texas, the rental industry is continuously ramping back up to be bigger, better, and stronger than ever. I could not be happier to be your TRA President and continue to lead the Texas Rental Association in the best direction, we as a board, see possible. I am excited to see where this next year takes us as a group and an industry and I am honored to be the one representing our members on a local, state, and national level.
Only 1 Rentals LLC
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Texas Rental Association
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1900 19th St., Moline, IL 61265
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