Each year, the American Rental Association (ARA) honors individuals who have made a significant impact on the equipment and event rental industry at the national or international level. Charles Neffle and Thomas Fouts will be formally inducted during a ceremony on Feb. 9, 2020, at The ARA Show™ in Orlando, Fla.
ARA created the Rental Hall of Fame in 2000 to foster an appreciation of the historical development of the equipment and event rental industry and the leaders who helped the industry grow and expand. Each year, nominations are accepted to recognize individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the industry.
Here is more information on the newest inductees:
Charles Neffle, All Occasions Event Rental, Cincinnati, Ohio
Charles Neffle’s active service to ARA began in 1995 when he served on the Advertising and Marketing Committee. In the coming years, there was no committee that he wasn’t part of. He moved on to serve on the ARA board, ultimately serving as ARA president in 2001-2002. During his tenure on the board, he was instrumental in the development of the Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP) program, assisting in the selection of ARA’s third CEO and the development of a strategic plan for the association.
After serving as president, Neffle went on to chair the ARAPAC Council from 2004-2006, serve on the ARA Insurance Limited board from 2007-2009 and chair the ARA Foundation board of trustees in 2009-2010. Neffle was honored with the Meritorious Service Award in 1996 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2004. He was recognized with the ARA Foundation Loyal Donor Recognition Award in 2005 and the ARA Foundation James Keenan Award in 2007. Today, Neffle serves as chair of All Occasions Event Rental. The company recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Thomas Fouts, Bledsoe Rentals, Lees Summit, Missouri
Tom Fouts began working in rental in 1970 and attended his first ARA convention in 1973 where he decided to make the rental industry his career.
Fouts has been dedicated to promoting the equipment and event rental industry and ARA on local, state and national levels throughout his 49-year career in the industry. He was an officer on the ARA board for five years and has served on more than 20 local and national committees and boards.
During his tenure on the Education Committee, he helped develop education, safety and management training systems and the "Making It Work" video training series. These paved the way for many Rental U courses in the areas of rental store management and day-to-day operations. He also helped develop the RenTech educational programs during a three-year term as chair of the General Tool Shared Interest Group.
In 2002, Fouts presented "Operation ID," which he structured to create "Intentional Development" of leadership for local and state associations. The program was presented at multiple ARA Leadership Conferences for local and state associations to recognize strengths and weaknesses, identify individuals with leadership potential and develop processes to support stronger associations.
Following his service on the ARA Board, Fouts served on the Rental Management Advisory Board and also served on and co-chaired the ARA Insurance Services Captive Board. Fouts has attended ARA’s National Legislative Caucus more than 20 times. On the local level, he worked to eliminate personal property tax on rental equipment and was successful obtaining stronger theft of services legislation.
Today, Fouts serves as chair of Bledsoe Rentals and as the coordinator of the ARA Past Presidents group.