Each year, the American Rental Association (ARA) honors individuals for outstanding service to the association and the rental industry. The following are recipients of this year’s volunteer recognition awards, which will be presented during The ARA Show in Anaheim, Calif.
Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership with long-term service to the association at the national, state, local and provincial levels. This year’s recipient is Frederick Dupy, president of American Party Rental in Austin, Texas.
Dupy has been actively involved in ARA on local, state and national levels for nearly two and a half decades. During that time, he has served on the Texas Rental Association (TRA) board, Heart of Texas Rental Association board, TRA committees, ARA’s General Tool & Equipment Shared Interest Group and the ARA Foundation Board of Trustees. He’s also been a regular attendee at ARA’s National Legislative Caucus, state legislative days in Texas and The ARA Show.
Dupy has received numerous awards for his dedication to ARA, TRA and Region Four. These awards include the TRA Person of the Year in 1998 and 2013 and Region Four Person of the Year in 2003 and 2011.
The ARA Foundation and TRA have been common recipients of Dupy’s generosity. He joined the ARA Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2018 and assists on the Foundation Scholarship Committee. In addition to these positions, he has been a supporter of the Foundation, which led him to be awarded the James Keenan Commemorative Award six times and the 1976 Club Award six times. Dupy has also been a contributor to TRA to help fund state issues.
Rarely has a year gone by without Dupy’s involvement in ARA and TRA activities. Since 1996, he has only missed ARA’s National Legislative Caucus a handful of times and has spent more time on the TRA board than off it since originally joining in 1996. His TRA commitment includes two times as the TRA president, 2001 and 2018-2019.
Meritorious Service Award
The Meritorious Service Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in a defined area of association service, such as leadership demonstrated through a committee, special project or service activity. The award will be presented to Leon Kothmann, Leon Kothmann Insurance Agency in Arlington, Texas.
Kothmann serves Texas as an ARA Insurance preferred agent, but it was his response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017 that provided a larger impact on ARA Insurance clients in Texas, the ARA Foundation and the entire equipment and event rental industry during a difficult time.
When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August 2017, many rental businesses fell into its path and Kothmann was there to assist. His self-described “week from hell” saw him go above and beyond the typical tasks of an insurance agent. Before many understood the severity of what had taken place, Kothmann was on the phone with insured members seeing how they were impacted. These calls went from early in the morning through late at night to check on the well-being and health of his clients and to see if there was anything he could do to assist. This included finding a family an RV to live in while their home and rental store recovered from flood damage. Another client developed health issues after the hurricane, and Kothmann called her for weeks to see how she was doing and get the latest news from her doctors.
Through the series of calls to clients, Kothmann wondered if there was anything ARA could do to assist those impacted. Through his suggestions, a new ARA Foundation Employee Disaster Relief Grant was established to help rental store employees who had homes and personal lives impacted by natural disasters. These grants began with Hurricane Harvey and have continued through natural disasters across the country including California wildfires, Iowa tornadoes and other hurricanes on the East Coast.
In addition to Kothmann’s concern for the well-being of his clients, his diligence in educating and preparing them for a disaster like Hurricane Harvey resulted in a surprisingly low loss for ARA Insurance. He has advised them on the importance of obtaining certificates of insurance and preparing for the potential of flooding for those near flood plains.
Kothmann’s response to this tragedy demonstrated his strong representation of ARA Insurance, his appreciation and understanding of the equipment and event rental industry and his dedication to those he serves in a time of great need.
Special Service Award
The Special Service Award recognizes a rental industry supplier who has made an outstanding contribution to the association -” and will be awarded to Rick Long, president of Power Equipment Plus, Sand Lake, Mich.
Long has taken a very active role in the ARA of Michigan as an event organizer, education presenter and leader on a legislative bill.
Long is an Associate Member Director on the ARA of Michigan board, and has organized their annual fall training sessions. These take place on each side of the state to provide all members with an opportunity to participate. Long has also been active in planning the ARA of Michigan winter conference where he lines up speakers and has even presented at the conference himself.
Currently, Long has been active in getting the Personal Property Tax bill through the Michigan legislature. This bill would eliminate personal property tax for rental stores in the state. Long sent emails and made phone calls to Michigan members explaining the benefits this bill would have. With his help, the bill passed the Michigan Senate 37-0.
Long is a yearly attendee to The ARA Show and stays very active in ARA of Michigan. Power Equipment Plus became an ARA member as an independent manufacturer’s representative in 2011.
Outstanding Leadership Award
This award recognizes an ARA member who has demonstrated superlative leadership at the grassroots level. This year’s recipient is Sam Castillo, sales manager at Tates Rents in Boise, Idaho.
Castillo has led the way on key issues and committees on state and national levels as he continues to grow his volunteerism within ARA. He currently serves as the ARA of Idaho president and was a driving force in getting a theft of services bill signed into law in April 2017. Castillo counted 47 meetings/hearings he attended or set up and more than 250 emails exchanged to get the bill passed. Idaho continues to be one of just a handful of states with a theft of services law on the books.
Castillo continues to grow his role in ARA of Idaho through work on the national side. He has attended ARA’s Leadership Conference, ARA’s Young Professionals Conference and ARA’s National Legislative Caucus. His role in Government Affairs continues to grow through his caucus participation. In 2016, he joined the Government Affairs Committee and served as the committee chair from 2017-2018 as he helped develop ARA’s legislative and regulatory agenda. Castillo also participated in the Construction & Industrial and General Tool & Equipment Services Shared Interest Group in 2016.
Castillo supports ARAPAC “ARA’s political action committee” fundraising and is a regular at The ARA Show and ARA of Idaho meetings. He has shared his knowledge and passion for rental by being a panelist during The ARA Show educational seminars in 2017 and 2018.
Regional Persons of the Year Awards
These awards honor members who have made outstanding contributions to the association and the rental industry on the regional, state, provincial or local levels.
Region One: Elizabeth Davis, CERP, PTG Event Services, Bethpage, N.Y.
Region Two: Courtney Tamuzza, United Rentals, Ridgefield Park, N.J.
Region Three: John Scott, First Source Rentals, Burlington, N.C.
Region Four: Cindy Barson, CERP, Eventfully Yours, Parties * Rentals * Gifts, Springdale, Ark.
Region Five: Dean Miller, CERP, Miller’s Party Rental Center, Akron, Ohio
Region Six: Roger Vajgrt, Home Rental Center & Sales Co., Marshalltown, Iowa
Region Seven: Sharon Olsen, Y-Knot Party Corporation, Mesa, Ariz.
Region Eight: Frank Orrell, All Rents Tool and Equipment, Seaside, Ore.
Region Nine: Nancy Fregoso, CERP, All Star Rents, Chico, Calif.
Region 10 – Nancy Crosby, Classic Rentals, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada
President’s Image Awards
This is a business facility or store award celebrating a commitment to improving the rental industry image through a remodeling, rebuilding or renovation project.
Region One: Taylor True Value Rental, Rollinsford, N.H.
Region One: Michael’s Party Rentals, Palmer, Mass.
Region Two: Slaymaker Rental, Washington Boro, Pa.
Region Two: Stoney Creek Rentals, Blandon, Pa.
Region Three: CE Rental, Raleigh, N.C.
Region Three: Total Rental Center d/b/a True Value Rental, Crystal River, Fla.
Region Four: Premiere Events, Austin, Texas
Region Four: V-Bar Equipment Company, Abilene, Texas
Region Four: Only 1 Rentals, Navasota, Texas
Region Four: Great Plains Equipment Rental, Lubbock, Texas
Region Five: Burns Rent-Alls, Mishawaka, Ind.
Region Five: House of Rental, Skokie, Ill.
Region Six: U-Turn Rentals, Wichita, Kan.
Region Seven: Apache Equipment Corp., Phoenix, Ariz.
Region Eight: Hardware Sales, Bellingham, Wash.
The Distinguished Service, Meritorious Service, Special Service and Outstanding Leadership Awards will be presented during the ARA Industry Awards Lunch on Sunday, Feb. 17. The Regional Persons of the Year and President’s Image Awards will be presented during the Regional Receptions on Monday, Feb. 18.
The ARA Show is Feb. 17-20, 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif.