The newest inductee for the Rental Hall of Fame is the late Herschel “Hotch” Manning. He will be formally inducted on Feb. 28 at The Rental Show in Las Vegas.
Manning was chosen for his commitment throughout his life and rental career to exemplary character and dynamic leadership, heartfelt belief in the value of people being the key to success in the rental business and devotion to making the rental industry better.
“Hotch was a devout ambassador for our industry who knew no strangers, fit into every audience and engaged with people in a manner that made every individual better for the experience,” said Hal Roe, American Rental Association (ARA) president from Bradley Rentals, Cleveland, Tenn.
“Hotch was a ’people person,’ the rental guy everyone knew, liked and respected. He had the insight to realize that this industry takes all kinds of people to make it work, and he wanted everyone to know there was a place for everyone in this great business. He was a tireless ambassador on behalf of our industry each day from when he entered the business in 1979 until the day he passed away.”
Manning focused on the image of the industry, raising identity of the appearance, layout and design of a rental business. He led development of a national advertising program for the industry through his leadership role within ARA. Manning heightened awareness of technology and education/training as critical to the success of a rental operation. He was an advocate to advance the understanding and perception of the equipment rental industry. He noted that the most critical business success factor was the staff employed by the business, and it was up to the owner to help each staff member be successful.
Manning served as ARA president from 1995 to 1996, and was actively involved with the association throughout his rental career at the state and national level. His accomplishments on behalf of the association were many, and Manning was serving as an ARA Foundation Rental Executive Advisory Program (REAP) at the time of his death. He also served on the board of ARA Insurance throughout his leadership service.
Manning was involved in the rental industry for more than 18 years. He was a self-made rental success who built A-1 Rental Centers into a multi-million dollar operation in and around Las Cruces, N.M. Before entering the rental business, Manning served 22 years in the U.S. Air Force. He retired in 1979 with the rank of sergeant-major, the highest non-commissioned rank. He purchased his first rental store in 1979, borrowing against his military life insurance policy. He was a successful business man, a respected community leader, a pilot and rancher.
“Hotch was an inspiration to many in this industry. He was a true leader who advanced the understanding and recognition of the industry by bringing out the best in people,” Roe said. “His sincerity, passion, the manner in which he conducted his business and his strong belief in volunteerism touched many people who continue to carry on his legacy today in the rental industry.”
ARA created the Rental Hall of Fame in 2000 to foster an appreciation of the historical development of the rental industry and the leaders who have made the industry what it is today. Each year, nominations are accepted to recognize individuals who have made a substantial impact on the industry at the national or international level. The induction ceremony is held during the keynote session at The Rental Show.