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					                        Rental Works

                                                 President’s message
 ARA of New Jersey
 board members:                                  Well, my first year as president is quickly coming
                                                 to an end. It has been a wonderful experience.
   Michael Yamrock
                                                 Looking back over this past year, we had some
   Drake’s Rental                                great meetings and meeting topics. Sorry to
   965 Route 22                                  say that some meetings were not well-attended.
   Phillipsburg, N.J.
   908-859-6050                                  The board continues to try to pick timely and
                                                 interesting topics for all members.
   Vice President
   Vern Mott
   Pioneer Rentals
                                                 One topic about health care was presented by
   80 North                                      a speaker from Hub International. At first, I
   Passaic Ave.                                  thought how boring this would be, but the
   Chatham, N.J.
   973 635-7870                                  speaker was very knowledgeable and gave an
                                                 interesting and educational talk on the subject.
   Kristen Redmond
   United Rent All
                                                  There seems to be a separation between tool
   230 Route 206                                  rental stores and party rental stores. I'm both,
   Hillsborough, N.J.                             and I have found the friends and relationships
                                                  I have received from being involved with the
   Communications       ARA of New Jersey invaluable. We all have the same problems. Our
   Steve Kohn           customers, whether renting a jackhammer or a party tent, are coming
   Miller’s Rentals
   764 US Highway 1     to us for help, either to make the job easier or more enjoyable. Try
   Edison, N.J.         coming to the next meeting. You will get out of it only what you are
   732-985-3050         willing to put into it. It might feel like there are more party people
                        there, but that's not the case; they’re just louder. :)
   Judy Boelhouwer
   Friendly Rental      I feel that in the future we all will have the same problem: We need to
   1709 Route 130       get the next generation of renters into our stores. I feel I am missing
   North Brunswick,     the 23-to-30-year-old renters! If you have the answer, please write it
   N.J.                 down and e-mail it to me or call me. You will see everyone’s responses
                        in the next addition of the Rental Works.
   Safety Chair
   David Hinck          I hope to see many new faces in the year 2011; we will have more
   A Party Center
   321 Fairfield Road   great meetings and topics. Remember, this is your organization and
   Fairfield, N.J.      we will try to do what we can for you. Call, write or e-mail me with
   973-575-1190         questions or suggestions.
   Jeff Hinck           Also, be sure to register for The Rental Show and remember all the
   A Party Center       hard-working people at national. They are always there to help you.
   321 Fairfield Road
   Fairfield, N.J.
   973-575-1190         Michael Yamrock
                        Drake’s Rental
Membership           Do you know about CSA? If you have drivers and
Howard Heller
M & R Sales          a DOT number, you need to as this will impact you!
Murray Hill, N.J.
908-508-0658         Attend exclusive webinar to learn how
Brian Higgins        The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has become
HUB Insurance        more proactive, counting and scoring more violations — not just out-
200 Connell Drive-
Berkeley Heights,
                     of-service violations — during roadside inspections.
908-790-6865         Under its new Compliance, Safety, Accountability program — formerly
                     known as the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, or CSA 2010,
Legislative Chair
Matt Holt            initiative — violations in seven Behavioral Analysis and Safety
Adams Rental         Improvement Categories, or BASICs, are being counted. Plus, now
154 Turnbull Ave.
Trenton, N.J.
                     members of the public can find out your rental company’s score by
609-689-9500         inputting your DOT (Department of Transportation) number to the
                     FMCSA database on its website.
Tool SIG
Joe Mihalko Jr.
Do-It-Yourself       What does this mean to you and your drivers? Plenty, including the
38 State Route 10    potential for increased fines and more downtime.
East Hanover, N.J.
                     Learn how to stay in compliance by attending the American Rental
Regional Director
Alan Wismer          Association’s (ARA) 90-minute educational webinar Thursday, Jan. 13.
George's Tool
Rental               This exclusive online session — specifically for those in the rental
3224 Bethlehem
Pike, Suite A        industry — will allow you to hear directly from a FMCSA representative
Hatfield, Pa.        on what CSA is and what you and your drivers need to know.

                     The webinar will be offered from:
                        • 2 to 3:30 p.m. (Eastern time) Thursday, Jan. 13

                     To hear and view the presentation, you will need Internet access.
                     Pre-registration is required as access is limited. A computer login
                     registration is $25 per member and $100 per nonmember. That means
                     you can have all of your drivers, managers, etc., in the same room
                     listening to this webinar for one low price — a tremendous bargain that
                     could save you from paying hundreds of dollars in fines down the road.

                     Sign up today because these new regulations will affect you.
                     To register, go to

                     Selling a business … one experience
                     In early 2008, I received an e-mail from a business broker. You know
                     the one, “We have a qualified buyer, etc.” I had been getting a few
                     letters/e-mails every year. Most went into the trash. But this e-mail
                     came at a time when I realized that I was not giving 100 percent to
                     the business. And no business should be guided by an owner who is
                     not fully dedicated to that business. I guess I was tired — 27 years in
                     Shrewsbury, 10 years before in Pennsylvania, having started by
                     washing dishes at a party store in the eighth grade.

             I carefully ran the idea past
supporting   Valerie, saying, “How about selling
vendors      the business?” She has always
             supported my decisions regarding
             the business, and since the kids
             had grown, we were 50/50 in both
             family and business decisions.
             I had always seen the national
             broker ads in RENTAL MANAGEMENT
             and even called them. But the e-mail I mentioned was from a local

             I answered the e-mail, saying something like “if you really had a
             buyer, call me; if not, take me off your list.” Well, we began a dialogue
             and met them (husband/wife team). I was impressed with their
             business plan. They would have to qualify our business to see if they
             could market us. This was a six-month process to come up with all the
             information needed for an outside firm to evaluate our business to see
             whether it was sellable (profitable) and to determine a value.

             The broker gave us the evaluation and said they could market the
             business. We signed an agreement and they began the marketing
             process. They also assisted us in making improvements in the business
             to make us more desirable to potential buyers. This included improving
             our Web presence, improving the bottom line, physical upgrades and

             The timing was bad — October 2008. We realized (a little late) that the
             economy was tanking. So prospective buyers suspected that we
             wanted to sell because business was flat. We had met two potential
             buyers who did not pan out. In February 2010, we met with a prospec-
             tive buyer who eventually made an offer. I should mention that the
             listing from the broker had no price. It was up to the buyer to do their
             homework and come up with an offer price. The offer was fair, so we
             continued the process.

             For the next seven to eight months, the due diligence process was
             excruciating. When we bought the business from Pat and Keith, we
             knew the business. We had been managing it for 15 years. An outside
             buyer is nothing but suspicious. It was very frustrating because we had
             nothing to hide. They drove my bookkeeper and accountant crazy for
             months. I told Valerie after the fact that I would rather have a root
             canal, a colonoscopy and major surgery on the same day instead of
             going through the due diligence process again.

                      The bottom line is we sold the business for a fair price. The business
                      brokers received a large commission. (They earned every cent.) Our
                      lawyer and accountant should have been flagged for “piling on.”

                      So, our friends say, “What are you going to do now?” I say, “That’s
                      what Valerie keeps asking me.”

                      We will let you know!

                      Chris Ruch (Past owner and operator of The Party Corner)
                      Chris can be reached at

“La Cuchina”
                      Shades of Ireland
Orange Scones         I recently had the opportunity to travel to
                      Ireland for vacation. Ireland is called the
4 cups, plus ¼ cup    island with 40 shades of green because it
all-purpose flour
                      rains 284 days out of the year.
4 extra large eggs,
lightly beaten        Irish coffee became a necessity each day to
                      cure the dampness. Yes, I did all the tourist
¼ cup sugar, plus
                      stuff: kissed the Blarney Stone, drove the
additional for
sprinkling            Ring of Kerry, climbed the Cliffs of Mohr with 60-mile-an-hour winds
                      and stayed overnight in a haunted castle. The Irish have a wonderful
                      sense of humor; they were always asking if you saw any leprechauns.
1 cup cold heavy
cream                 If not, then you didn’t drink enough Guinness beer.

2 tablespoons         Throughout the week, our tour guide provided us with facts and
kosher salt
                      history of each town visited. I was surprised to learn that about 20
1 cup dried           multinational companies have relocated their corporate headquarters
cranberries           to Ireland over the past year because they are able to pay little or no
                      tax there. Recently, Google and Microsoft Corp. made headlines for
2 tablespoons
baking powder
                      how much they saved on taxes by conducting operations in Ireland.
                      Other corporations include Johnson and Johnson, Apple Computer and
1 egg beaten with 2   Ingersoll Rand. America’s 35 percent corporate tax rate is the second-
tablespoons water
                      highest in the world. Emerging markets have much lower rates.
1 tablespoon
                      Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent. If an American corporation
orange zest           produces in Ireland, it pays only 12.5 percent tax on its income, while
                      if it produces in America, it pays 35 percent.
½ cup confection-
ers’ sugar, plus 2
tablespoons           So here is a suggestion for President Obama: reduce or eliminate the
                      U.S. corporate income tax. Doing so would not only end tax incentives
¾ lb. cold unsalted   to outsource, but it also would invite foreign corporations to invest
butter, diced
                      here and make a great contribution to ending this recession.

4 teaspoons orange      OK, enough of the history. What I really enjoyed was the food, Guin-
                        ness beef stew, salmon, fish and chips, and potatoes. At every meal,
Preheat oven to         they served potatoes three different ways. I really loved the fresh
400. In the bowl of     cranberry scones for breakfast every morning. That’s why I didn’t blow
an electric mixer,
                        away at the cliffs because of all the scones I had eaten. Check out
mix 4 cups of flour,
¼ cup sugar, the        this month’s “La Cuchina” column for a recipe from a dairy farmer in
baking powder, salt     Limerick, Ireland.
and orange zest.

Add the cold butter     Judy Boelhouwer
and mix at lowest       Friendly Rental Center
speed until butter is
the size of peas.

Combine eggs and        Once upon a time …
heavy cream, slowly
pour into the flour     I never planned on getting involved in the rental business. It just sort
and butter mixture.     of happened.
Mix until blended.
The dough will look
lumpy. Combine          Many who are involved in this roller-coaster ride they call the rental
dried cranberries       business — my partner, Jeff, included — are products of family-run
and ¼ cup flour,
add to dough and
                        businesses and are now second-generation “rental people.” Not so
mix on low until        for me. I did not grow up with rental in my blood; however, it has
                        since become the ever-present plasmic life force that courses through
                        my veins.
Dump dough onto
well-floured surface
and knead it into a     To begin the tale, let’s take a step
ball. Flour hands
and a rolling pin
                        back in time to around 1979, the
and roll the dough      year I graduated from high school
¾ inches thick.         in good ol’ Madison, N.J. Suffice it
Flour a 3-inch round
cutter and cut          to say that at that time, I had very little idea what rental even was.
circles of dough.       (It wasn’t until years later at a high school reunion that I discovered
                        what I had written on a questionnaire filled out just before graduation.
Place scones on
baking pan lined
                        The question was about what you wanted to do in life. My answer: To
with parchment          open a do-it-yourself auto repair facility that rented garage space and
paper. Brush tops       tools! How prophetic was that?) Being an avid, passionate “motorhead”
with egg wash and
sprinkle with sugar.    and being blessed with some natural mechanical aptitude, the likely
                        course of progression seemed to become involved in a mechanical
Bake for 20-25          capacity of some nature. After spending a year as an electrical motor
minutes. Allow to
cool for 15 minutes
                        technician and a couple more as an automotive repair tech, at the ripe
and then whisk          old age of 20 or so, I began my rental career.
together confec-
tioners’ sugar and
orange juice and        Having grown sick of the dishonesty and deception, which at that time
drizzle over the        were synonymous with the auto industry, I began looking for other
                        employment options. When management got word that I was search-
                        ing the job market, I was (not very pleasantly) asked to leave. (Side
                        note: This unscrupulous dealer went out of business several years
                        later.) We were in the early ’80s at that point and the job market was

                                                    5             not exactly what you would call stellar. After floundering around with a
                           couple of part-time jobs that I took in order to pay the rent, there
We are proud to
announce the partner-      came a chance meeting that would forever change my life.
ship between Event- and P.R.E.
                           I was spending a weekend on a boat in Forked River with my girlfriend


                           and her parents when friends of theirs showed up for drinks. (You
P.R.E. Sales has been      know how they can party at a marina!) I was discussing my tale of woe
a leader in the party
rental equipment
                           regarding the current job market to one of the guests. He informed me
wholesale business for
more than seven
                           that his brother-in-law, whom he described as tough but fair, was look-
years.                     ing for a replacement for a long-time employee who had just left. He
Now,   sm   suggested that due to the nature of the work, I may be interested.
is their new East Coast
warehousing, sales         The following Monday, not knowing what to fully expect, I headed
and distribution center.
                           straight to inquire about the job at Pioneer Rentals. The rest, as they
                           say, is history. After a very short interview that went something like
specials                   this: “When can you start?” my rental career was off and running. I
                           was thoroughly intrigued with the vast diversity of it all, and began
                           with great fervor to immerse myself in all of the day-to-day operations.
aluminum edge
                           That good friend of my girlfriend’s parents turned out to be my partner
rectangular                Jeff’s uncle, and brother-in-law to none other than Harold “Dewey”
$64/$69                    Sheats, who, along with his wife, Doris, took me under their wing and
8-foot                     taught me everything there was to know about the rental business.
rectangular                Treating me as if I was their own son, I was taught all aspects of the
                           business, from equipment maintenance to front desk and back office.
60-inch round              When it came time for their retirement, I, along with Jeff, was offered
$91/$95                    the extraordinary opportunity to purchase Pioneer.
72-inch round
$125/$130C                 I have now been involved in the rental industry for roughly 30 years,
                           more than half of my life. I simply could not imagine doing anything
White, brown or            else. I eat, drink and breathe rental. This business is like no other in its
black poly: $9.95          capacity to provide a plethora of headaches as well as enormous
White resin,               satisfaction. Each day offers an unusual challenge that needs to be
padded: $22.50             solved and a different customer interaction. Yes, indeed, rental is an
                           interesting business. Frustrating at times and rewarding at others, but
Black resin,
padded: $22.50             I would not trade it for anything else. And as for that girlfriend who is
                           the common denominator in this rental equation, we recently celebrat-
Folding bars:
                           ed our 25th wedding anniversary.
White……… $165
Marble………$165              Vern Mott
                           Pioneer Rentals
1 Passaic St.
Bldg. 56
Wood-Ridge, NJ

While supplies
                        A day in the life of …
Save by using
ARA services
                        Each day starts before dawn, with the
                        exception of the middle of summer when
In my travels           the sun comes up around 5 a.m. Weekends
around New Jersey       are no different as three cats make it clear
and other areas, I
am surprised at the     that they are most important and, by the
number of rental        way, they will surely die if I don't get their
store operators who
                        food ready for them prior to 6 a.m. It
do not take advan-
tage of the services    should be noted that they generally find
provided by the         themselves asleep on various beds, couches or chairs for most of the
American Rental
Association. The
                        day, making their 5 to 6 a.m. ritual not an issue for them.
programs offer
great information       Most Sundays, Megan and I compare calendars, since her three-year
and are quite
affordable – even       commitment to Rotary and the district governor position makes her
for the most frugal     days and evenings as busy as mine, combined with her business
                        activities. We find that we end up, on average, out four or five nights
For instance:
                        per week, often at more than one event or meeting each night and, on
                        occasion, at the same event or meeting.
                        Most weeks are a blur, as no day is any different from another — a
Register (NER)
                        combination of rental work and county and state commitments, with
Equipment theft can     the multitude of committees I have been assigned to represent. I
be costly for rental    personally thrive on the activity, often bored if I find myself with a rare
store owners and
their insurance car-    few days of normal work hours. However, the combination of work-
riers. The American     loads seems to work, albeit requiring a focus on balance that makes
Rental Association
                        sense. Certainly, the activity level and the inability to sometimes be in
has partnered with
NER to allow ARA        four places at once teaches you to say “no” — not always a bad thing.
members to register
up to 1,000 pieces
of equipment FREE.
                        Days end somewhere around 10 p.m., with Megan and I often waiting
The equipment is        to eat dinner until we are both home, allowing a chance to sit and
downloaded into         catch up. Marriage works best when two people can find a mutual life
NER’s database,
which is available to   together and yet, at the same time, find those areas of individuality
law enforcement         that allow each person to shine. Not sure when we will slow down, per-
agencies 24/7 and
                        haps never. There is far too much to do, see and accomplish, and life
helps them identify
and recover stolen      can be just too short. That being said, we don't mind a quiet evening,
equipment. In addi-     a glass of wine and a good book or movie once in awhile to let the
tion, some insur-
ance companies will
                        batteries recharge.
waive the deducti-
ble if your equip-      Merry Christmas to all of you. Happy holidays as well. Our best wishes
ment is stolen and
is registered with      for a continued improving 2011.

                        Matt Holt
ARA Professional
Driver Education
                        Adams Rentals

Drivers have so
many responsibili-      Safety training/risk awareness
ties: loading equip-
ment, securing it,      Just when I thought matters were under control regarding tent fasten-
unloading it, under-    ing safety, I found out otherwise. It was a very windy day. As the truck
standing and follow-
ing regulations,        pulled out of the loading dock, I cautioned the installation crew to be
making sure the         sure they were going with long stakes and enough stakes to secure the
customer signs the
                        tent for the weather conditions. They assured me the stakes on the
rental contract,
providing excellent                          truck were adequate and that they were planning
customer service,                            to use heavy-duty straps as well. I felt better. We
                                             were prepared.
Any mishap during
this process can                            On arrival, the installers of the frame tent assem-
result in fines,
                                            bled the frame and fastened the fabric to it. They
violations and
possible injury.                            drove stakes into the ground, but had difficulty on
To avoid that, you      three sides with impenetrable ground conditions. The stakes stopped
need trained
                        after six inches. (We later found out landscaping and grass was thinly
                        layered over the top of a concrete slab).
ARA has created
the first-of-its kind
                        Our installers called the store and requested weights to secure the
Professional Driver
Education Program       remaining three sides of the tent. We loaded and dispatched a truck
for drivers in the      at once. We could not see what the circumstances were at the site.
construction and
general tool rental
                        We failed to advise the installers to strip the vinyl from the frame or
industry.               otherwise secure it to our truck or something else. Before we could
                        arrive with the weights, the wind flipped the tent. The tent dented a
The features of this
                        car and broke its windshield. The moral of the story is: You want to
online, rental-
specific education      fully protect yourself from everything. You and your employees have
include:                to think of everything.

 •   Nine Web-
     based interac-     Training on work details needs to be fully inclusive. And if you don’t
     tive modules.      want to repeat the negative experience, employees must understand
 •   Pre- and post-
                        and agree with your safety direction. Better yet, they should know why
 •   A comprehen-       the methods are safer and what the possible consequences are of not
     sive exam.         following company safety guidelines.
 •   A Coaching
     Guide for
     supervisors to     A suggestion for getting employees to understand and “embrace
     use to make        direction” was described in an article in RENTAL MANAGEMENT maga-
     sure that what
     has been           zine. The article recommended calling together small groups of three
     learned is being   or four employees to discuss and “problem-solve” safety subjects of
                        concern to management. It suggested this training arrangement to
     on the job.
                        improve understanding of the role everyone can play in keeping the
Preview the             work environment safer. This method strengthens employee involve-
program by              ment and therefore recognition of the action they need to take in
clicking here.
                        future similar potentially dangerous circumstances. It definitely beats
This is a cost-         the general employee meeting in which management is “talking AT
effective program       employees” with a “zero employee thought process.”
that can improve
safety and save you

money.                    Then there was the out-of-the-blue experience. We were erecting a
                          frame tent when a customer, who was concerned about whether we
Other driving
offerings include:        were possibly damaging her lilac bush on the property, without notice,
                          ran under and through our “half-way up” and “unsecured” canopy with
Defensive Driving         her newborn in her arms.

As an ARA member,         Equipment on the truck that day needed to include caution tape, safety
the cost for the          cones and/or stanchions. It is not like the good old days. You have to
National Safety
                          be ready for anything and everything! If you forget, make sure you
Council Defensive
Driving Course is         have insurance. Better yet, make safety a priority for you and your
very affordable and       employees!
well worth it. The
course is offered
online and takes
about four hours to
                          David Hinck
complete. If your
insurance carrier         A Party Center
knew that your em-
ployees had com-
                                                                  Meetings of the future
pleted this class,
you would probably                                                On Dec. 1, 2010, history was made.
qualify for discounts
you wouldn’t other-
                                                                  The ARA of New Jersey held the first-
wise receive. In                                                  ever webinar meeting hosted by our
fact, the discounts                                               national association. To some, this
would most likely
be more than the                                                  was not a big deal, but in the scheme
cost of the class.                                                of things this was, as Neil Armstrong
                                                                  correctly stated, “One small step for
Certified Event
Rental Profes-
                                                                  man, one giant leap for mankind.”
sional (CERP)             ARA’s Miles Stevenson (left), Allison
program                   Box (center) and Ruth Bloom facili-
                                                             If you have been around the block
                          tated the ARA portion of this first-
                          ever meeting webinar.              as much as I, you have seen many
Designed for the
party rental indus-                                          things change, some for the good
try, this certification   and others for the bad. Attendance at the ARA of New Jersey meetings
program is one of a
kind. Employees
                          is one of the things that has declined over the years for many reasons.
complete self-study       Many other groups and associations also can attest to the fact that
modules and must          getting people to attend meetings has become a difficult challenge.
pass an exam to
obtain certification.
The course is a           We can go on and on with reasons, but I think it comes down to three
great development
                          simple facts: First, our lives have become more complicated. Secondly,
tool for employees
and helps differen-       we have more choices for spending our limited spare time and, finally,
tiate your company        the way we interact socially has changed.
from the competi-
                          For meeting planners and organizers, this has become a real challenge.
Other general risk        Rather than look for ways to get people to meetings, maybe it’s time
management and
                          we look at ways to bring meetings to people. Fortunately, technology
safety products:
                          has given us this window of opportunity.
ARA Risk
Series, which in-

cludes guides for     I’m sure many of you have received invitations to attend webinars
risks associated
with your
                      online to see presentations on a gamut of topics such as new products,
employees,            new sales techniques and even live demonstrations.
equipment and
facilities.           Well, a new concept that is being tried is to hold meetings online for
                      target groups such as the ARA of New Jersey. The first step is to see
                      whether it can work. We certainly proved this at In-Tents Rentals in
“Winning With
Towable Safety”
                      Wood-Ridge. The 50 guests who attended were able to watch a presen-
DVD                   tation live from ARA national headquarters in Moline, Ill. For this first
                      attempt, the video aspect of a true webinar was left out, but attendees
“Safety Training
                      were able to hear, see and ask questions about the topic. In this case,
System” CD
                      the topic was The Rental Show that will take place Feb. 27-March 2
Trailer               in Las Vegas.
System Guide
                      For this meeting, your physical presence was a requirement, but in
Trailer safety        the not-so-distant future, we will have the ability to log in from any
decal                 computer, wherever you might be, and participate in the meeting.

ARA membership
provides a lot of     Think of the possibilities and the economies of scale involved here.
benefits. Since       Besides the convenience of not having to leave your office or home, a
you’re already pay-
                      much broader base of topics and speakers can be presented. The way
ing to be a member,
why not take          it currently is structured, it does not make sense to bring in a costly
advantage of them?    speaker or program when attendance is at a minimal level, but if liter-
You and your staff
might learn some-
                      ally hundreds from not only our state but nationwide could participate,
thing new and you     it would make great economic sense.
could save some
money on your
insurance             Meetings could be much more structured and through the use of acces-
premiums. In          sories, such as E-vite (which is an online invitation system), you would
today’s economy,
                      know exactly who would be attending the webinar well in advance of
that’s not a bad
thing.                the presentation.

Call ARA Member       Although nothing could ever replace face-to-face contact and the great
Services at 800-
334-2177 or go to     opportunity of seeing quality rental operations and unique vendor     facilities. This meeting format can be used hand-in-hand as an added
for program details
                      value to meeting participation.
and to order.

By Brian Higgins,     I understand change is not always good, but in situations such as
HUB Insurance         meeting planning, this might be the new era. I am certainly glad that
                      the ARA of New Jersey was chosen as the test group.

                      There are many things you can say about New Jersey. Unwilling to
                      accept change is not one of them.

Happy               Please send me your feedback on the meeting. I would like to hear
holidays from       what you liked and didn’t like and how we can make it better next
all of the          time.
members of          There will be a next time … .
the ARA of
New Jersey          Steve Kohn
                    Miller’s Rentals

                                                          Spotlight on “A Party Center”
                                                          A Party Center, owned by David
We wish                                                   and Norene Hinck, is an out-
everyone                                                  growth of a United Rent All store
a safe,                                                   founded by Joe and Nora Perry
healthy and                                               (Norene’s parents) in 1963.
                                                          David worked part time in the
New Year                                                  business while in Caldwell High
                                                          School, where he originally met
                                                          his future wife (1970) and part-
                                                          ner, Norene. Rutgers called, and,
Special note:       after graduating, David went to work at Bloomingdale’s and later at
                    Gimbels, where he learned merchandising and buying — a great expe-
A special thanks    rience for the rental business!
goes to our newly
retired social      Norene went to Katherine Gibbs Business School and William Paterson
chairwoman,         University, where she learned the ABC’s of running a business. She
Valerie Ruch.
                    worked as office manager for about two years for a business. She then
Valerie and her
                    rejoined her father by request at his business, A Rent All Center (after
husband, Chris,
                    he dropped the United Rent All franchise.)
have just sold
their business
and are now as
                    In 1983, Dave left Gimbels and, with Norene, spun off the party side
Chris puts it,      from A Rent All Center. A Party Center was born. The first location was
“not retired but    in Parsippany, a 4,200-square-foot operation. They remained in this
between careers.”   location until 1988. In 1989, they moved to Fairfield to allow growth in
                    a 10,000-square-foot facility. Eventually, they outgrew that space and
Chris and Val       moved again to their present location on Fairfield Road, a beautiful
have been great     17,000-square-foot warehouse and showroom. The new location was
friends and         selected because it was larger, more efficient, attractive and visible
supporters of       to customers.
the ARA of New
Jersey for more     Dave says they always are looking for new ideas and for niche items
than 29 years.      and markets. His mind is always busy, creating new things or new
We wish them the    slants on existing products such as keder brackets, lighted columns,
best of luck in     barstools/cocktail tables, portable bars and folding outdoor chafers.
their future
                    It takes a joint effort or teamwork to provide good customer service.
                    Noreen keeps accounts payable and payroll in line. Colleen Braue has

been with A Party Center since it started. As office manager, she plays
a pivotal role directing delivery functions and accounts receivable!

Son Jeff, a chef who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America,
joined the business full time in 2002 after a culinary stint. Jeff has
brought an extra layer of optimism, creativity and generational smarts
to the company’s programs. His technical wizardry has brought them
to the cutting edge of website development and professional media
use. He was critical in using his expertise to create their mobile kitchen
(which is available for subrent).

A couple of interesting thoughts from Dave: “Do what you do well.
Specialize. You can’t do it all. The party and event rental market is
growing to include increasingly broader selections of products. That
means either a rental company’s investment will need to be larger or a
company will need to specialize and collaborate with other companies
to meet market demands. The ARA of New Jersey helps to develop a
professional and cooperative base to help meet those diverse market
requests. Few companies have all they need for their customers all of
the time. Subrentals help fill the voids. Today’s party and event rental
company would be well-served to have the relationships that the ARA
of New Jersey promotes.”

The staff ranges from 12 to 18 people, depending on the season. With
David, Norene, Jeff and Colleen running the show, there’s seldom a
dull moment! They enjoy running this creative party and tent rental
business. The future looks bright for the “A Party Center” crew.

     Submitted by
     Howard Heller
     M & R Sales


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