For Dan St. Peters, co-owner, St. Peters Hardware & Rental in Alton and Edwardsville, Ill., the American Rental Association (ARA) is an essential resource for his family-owned-and-operated business.
The connection with ARA first came about when St. Peters’ True Value operation included ARA membership in its franchise fees. “I started going to The ARA Show™ and taking advantage of the association’s resources,” St. Peters says.
His involvement in ARA took a more active stance when “Matt Noonan, who was president of the ARA of Illinois at the time, called and said the board was looking for more representation from downstate Illinois. At the time I was coming off our library district board, so I was ready to join the ARA of Illinois board,” says St. Peters, who has served on the board in many capacities, including as president in 2021.
For St. Peters, serving in this way allows him to give back.
“I always think that giving back is a big deal,” he says. “No. 1 for me is that ARA is a huge resource for anybody in rental. It is like our computer system. I don't know how anybody could be in this business, either retail or rental, without a computer system. The same thing applies to ARA. I think of ARA just like my computer system. It is a necessary thing that I need to be involved with, whether that is being on the board or just using the resources that are given to us. We use ARA Insurance, ARA’s training resources, its vendor locator, etc. It is just a massive resource for anything you need. No. 2 is that I benefit from the networking and the understanding of the business climate perspective in the state by talking with other members. It is nice to get a feel for what is going on throughout the state.”