Canadian Rental Service Magazine has identified the top ten leader under 40 List in the Canadian rental industry, and we are very proud to announce that four of these ten innovative young minds also are Point-of-Rental users! We greatly value their leadership skills and dedication to service as the new face of the Canadian rental business.
Check out their amazing stories as seen in the CRS’s article: Top Ten Under 40.
Peter Aaron Bonish, 36, Pete’s Party & Tent Rental
When younger generations embrace tradition and take over the family business, beauty lies in continuity. As Pete’s Party & Tent Rental’s human resources manager, this top ten leader inspires pride as much as he gave his family an appreciated sense of relief.
“Peter always knew he wanted to take over the shop,” says his mother, Sue Bonish. “Aside from his mandatory HR placement job required to graduate, working here has always been his only job.” She recalls those times when Peter’s paternal grandfather – the store’s founder – made him screw nuts and bolts together for one penny apiece when young Peter was around four or five years old and the shop still bore its original name, Peter’s Radio and Rental. The store became Pete’s Party & Tent Rental in 1971 after giving up the radio part of the business. Later, as a teenager, he was “promoted” to other jobs such as cleaning chairs and as member of the tent crew.
Since his graduation in human resources management, Pete’s Party & Tent Rental created a job post as HR manager to accommodate him. Nowadays, he’s the de facto general manager and also a part of the top ten leader list!
“He took us into the 21st Century,” says Sue. “He did so much to improve our management and take care of such issues as workplace safety that no one else was qualified to do.” She admits she doesn’t know what Peter’s plans are for the future, but is far from worried about the company’s.
The Opinion Leader
Mike Maltby, 33, Ingersoll Rent-All
“Profit isn’t a four letter word,” says Mike Maltby when asked what makes for a successful entrepreneur. “To me it means that sometimes it’s better to have our equipment sit idle than match a competitor’s low-ball price.”
As a member of the top ten leader list and vice-president of Ingersoll Rent-All, a business purchased by Mike’s dad, Don, in 1989, Mike encourages a straight-talking approach from those he works with. “Have an opinion. Nothing is more useless than a group of people who agree with everything you say. If you think I’m wrong about something let me know. Sometimes we learn most by having a healthy debate with someone who disagrees.” These are components that have made Mike Maltby a top ten leader under 40.
The company, located in southwestern Ontario in a region renowned for cheesemaking and a bustling automotive parts industry, has grown from a one-man operation operating out of a commercial strip mall, to a thriving rental operation on 3 1/2 acres of land with five full-time employees. “We serve the small to mid-sized contractors and homeowners in the area,” notes Mike, a former president of the Canadian Rental Association for Ontario (2011 – 2013) and current Ontario representative to the national CRA board. His company is among the area’s largest Stihl outdoor power equipment dealers, with both sales and service.
Mike’s main mission: making a difference in the community, and helping people succeed. “I really love helping a first time DIY customer work through a plan to complete a project,” he enthuses. “What I like best about the rental business is driving around town and seeing the results of a project that our equipment was used on and knowing that we helped build that.”
To stay ahead of the competition, Mike insists that you have to surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.
“Employees are the pulse of the business,” he emphasizes. “Our employees are the people that our customers see most of the time. I don’t want to develop a culture where employees don’t think they’re allowed to deal with day-to-day issues with our customers. I think that goes a long way to building our employees’ willingness to act, when necessary, to further our business.”
He urges his industry colleagues to reap the rewards of community involvement and to seize the opportunities offered by engagement in the trade association. “I find that the more people I meet through my work with the association, the better off our business is. Every time I go to a meeting or event I walk away with something that can be used in our business.”
The Risk Taker
Remi LeBlanc, 29, Parkland Party & Equipment Rentals
Remi LeBlanc knows that doing the same old, same old just won’t cut it nowadays. So when Parkland Party & Equipment Rentals went up for sale, he saw the potential, took a risk, and bought it on the spot in early 2014. He hasn’t regretted the decision.
Now Remi and his management team are focused on bringing the 50+ year-old downtown Red Deer, Alta., retail landmark into the new millennium. “We want to take this business to the next level,” enthuses the 29-year-old owner and operator of one of the city’s largest party rental stores. “The previous owners grew the business to a respectable size by creating relations with other businesses and people in the Central Alberta area.” His goal, Remi likes to emphasize, is to cement those relationships, go to the customer, and expand the company’s market reach.
Since opening its doors in the 1960s, Parkland has been recognized as the destination stop in Red Deer for home renovation, landscaping or small construction equipment rental. Under LeBlanc’s present leadership, Parkland Party & Equipment Rentals is diversifying its product range to include party and wedding accessories, and widening its selection of event decorations and rentals. Parkland is also capturing more customers by leveraging its geographic position located at the midpoint of the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor. “In the past this company has stayed mostly local, but as I see, it if the customer wants us to be at a different location, we will put in the extra miles for them and do what we have to make it happen for them,” affirms Remi.
Putting in the hours is what makes this business hum. “Remi is incredibly dedicated to his job and his customers,” nods Chris Windrim, Parkland’s marketing and sales manager, who nominated Remi. “He’s always looking for every opportunity possible to grow this business across Central Alberta. He is an incredibly hard worker and a true top ten leader, not just a boss. He creates a positive work environment by sparking a continuous stream of new and creative ideas. In a word, Remi is relentless.”
Now truly family owned, Parkland Party & Equipment Rentals is led by the LeBlanc clan. Remi’s dad, Marcel, is a partner involved in the decision-making, and brother, Steven, 23, is fast learning the business. Remi remembers visiting the Parkland store as a youngster with his dad. “It was something of an adventure to me,” he recalls with a grin. “The adventure continues, as I’m learning that running a rental business is a lifestyle, not a nine-to-five job. I see us a guarantors of customer satisfaction: if they aren’t happy, we’re not happy.”
The Resilient One
Troy McDonald, 31, Nor-Val Equipment Rentals
Valuable work and life experience often come with age, though sometimes fate accelerates the process. Nor-Val Equipment Rentals owner Jim Clipperton’s praise of 31-year-old Troy McDonald comes with relative ease. McDonald’s job performance draws commendation by itself, and they’ve also known each other for more than a decade, since Troy’s first day on the job.
“He’s been working with me since he was 18 years old. He first came in for about five years before leaving to work on a oil rig,” said Clipperton. Troy’s gig on the rig lasted for approximately four years before tragedy struck. He was gravely injured in a truck accident which he barely survived and cut short his employment.
“Troy had planned to stay there and work on the rig as a career,” Clipperton explains. Fortunately, both had stayed in contact and Clipperton took him back at Nor-Val, where this top ten leader quickly became one of the company’s top assets, swiftly making it to his current position as operations manager in a few short years.
Jim Clipperton gives a lot of credit to McDonald’s oil rig experience. “He had to gain a lot of knowledge and he learned to deal with a lot of different people while working there,” he said, describing him as a people person, a critical trait in the rental industry and key to be able to manage his current 40-person crew.
Troy’s devotion to the trade also goes noticed. He volunteers at the British Columbia local trade show as well as on the Canadian Rental Association’s local board.
“Troy is an unbelievable individual,” concludes Clipperton.
Congratulations to these extraordinary individuals who made the Top Ten Leader under 40 List! Read the full article from Canadian Rental Service here!