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ARA Announces Industry Contributor Award Recipients

SACRAMENTO, CA — Each year, the American Rental Association (ARA) honors individuals for outstanding service to the association and the equipment and event rental industry. The following are recipients of this year’s industry contributor awards, which will be presented at The ARA Show 2021 in Las Vegas.
Industry Ambassador Award: Dale Blackwell (deceased), Aba Daba Rents, Sacramento, CA
This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated long-term leadership and service to the association at the national, state, or local levels.

Dale Blackwell, Aba Daba Rents, was a well-respected member of ARA and a Director and Officer of the California Rental Association (CRA) for 17 years. He was the Chair of the CRA Insurance Committee for 14 years. In 2006 he became Executive Director of CRA until his passing. In his role as Executive Director, he was instrumental in promoting the rental industry and encouraging collaboration with ARA.

Blackwell’s leadership was especially helpful in bringing the ARA and the CRA closer together. He reached out to ARA’s new CEO, Tony Conant, in 2016 and opened a dialogue that has led to joint yard parties, combined board events, and a deeper understanding of how the two organizations can work together to achieve their shared goals.

Blackwell was a supporter of ​ARA’s Political Action Committee and the ARA Foundation. He served on the ARA Dues Committee in 2001 and 2002 ​​and was the Region Nine Person of the Year in 2002.

Exemplary Service Award: Ron Holbert, Owner, JoRonCo Rentals, Bakersfield, CA
This award recognizes an individual or group who have made a significant contribution in a defined area of association service (such as government affairs, education, technology, or workforce development).

JoRonCo Rentals is engaged in many community events and was invited to speak at a press conference for the cancelation of a large annual event due to the coronavirus. Ron Holbert used this opportunity to represent not only the event rental industry, but the live event industry as well. His remarks included statistics from ARA's weekly COVID-19 surveys that reflected the enormous revenue loss the event rental industry is experiencing and his desire that the event rental professionals be allowed to be part of the solution.

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Holbert has been an active ARA member, with service on ARA's Event and Tents Task Force from 2013 to 2016. He chaired this taskforce from 2014 to 2016 and was the driving force behind the "Why Didn't I Think of That" session, whose ideas became the foundation for ARA's 150 Ways to Make Money in Rental. Without Holbert's leadership in developing this session, it would not have been a success. Holbert spent hours calling members who submitted entries to learn about their idea.

Holbert attended ARA's Leadership Conference in 2012 and 2014 and joined the ARA of California board in 2013 as a Director-at-Large. He became the board Treasurer and a member of the Legislative committee in 2014. Moving up the ranks, Holbert has served as Vice President, President, and now Past President of this active state chapter. He is an active participant in the board meetings and has assisted in planning many of the California meetings and events, including the successful Clay Shooting event in August of 2018.

He is an ARA Foundation and ARA Political Action Committee supporter. Holbert received the Region Nine Person of the Year award in 2018.

Leadership Impact Awards
This award recognizes an individual in each of ARA’s 10 regions whose leadership benefited their state, local, and/or provincial association and its members over the past year. The award winner in the California Builder & Engineer area was:
  • Region Nine: Dale Blackwell (deceased), Aba Daba Rents, Sacramento, CA

The American Rental Association is an international trade association for owners of equipment and event rental businesses and the manufacturers and suppliers of construction/industrial, general tool, and party/event rental equipment. ARA members, which include more than 11,000 rental businesses and more than 1,000 manufacturers and suppliers, are located in every U.S. state, every Canadian province, and more than 30 countries worldwide. Founded in 1955, ARA is the source for information, advocacy, education, networking, and marketplace opportunities for the equipment and event rental industry throughout the world.

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