by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville resident and Infinite Event Services owner Sheldon Fingler has been elected vice president of the Canadian Rental Association (CRA), a national organization servicing the rental and event industry. At the same time, Fingler will serve as president of the Alberta Chapter of the organization.
“It’s something that I’m looking forward to being a part of,” Fingler said. “I’ve gotten a lot of value out of the association through the years. I’m hoping to be able to turn back and give some back now.”
Fingler said when he started in the industry, it was through the school of hard knocks: no connections, and no real knowledge of available suppliers.
“Joining the association immediately opened all the doors that I never knew were even there,” he said. “I had access to some of the biggest, brightest and best companies across Canada. I’ve been able to leverage relationships and turn them into valuable information for my company to grow in the right direction and to pivot during times that are harder, like the time of COVID.”
Fingler explained connections within the association allowed a brain trust to form. That idea session led to those involved accessing hand sanitizer and hand sanitizer stations as a business pivot, simultaneously helping the companies and their customers.
Mentorship on a national level
Membership in the association has helped Fingler and other members take the guesswork out of acquiring products from suppliers.
“Now I can call anyone all across Canada and get the answers to any questions, no matter what I’m looking for,” Fingler said. “That has been absolutely incredible—the value in those relationships alone and getting access to the knowledge those people bring to the table.”
Having benefitted from the mentorship available in the CRA, Fingler is now looking forward to providing that mentorship to others in both his role of Alberta president and national vice president.
“Part of my role on the executive of the Canadian Rental Association is I’m the shared interest group chair for event and tents,” Fingler said. “It’s a specific industry sector where we have this group of people that come together from all across Canada every month and try to put together new and innovative ways of serving the members.”
That role led to Fingler sharing with others in the industry across Canada a question checklist his staff use when placing and setting up tents.
Fingler advocates local businesses taking a similar approach to that of his national association.
“Make the phone call,” he said of reaching out to other businesses for advice and ideas. “There is so much opportunity, and people should be willing to work together. People should always be welcoming of an opportunity to work with a competitor with open arms. It should be an opportunity to make both of your businesses better. If you look at it that way, everybody succeeds.”
Fingler’s presidency and vice presidency are one-year terms. After serving as vice president, he will become president, after which he will do a year as the association’s board chair.
For more information on CRA, visit https://crarental.org.