The American Rental Association (ARA) board of directors has named Tony Conant as the organization's new executive vice president/CEO, effective mid-November. He succeeds Christine Wehrman, who is retiring after 16 years with the association.
Conant will become the fourth executive vice president/CEO of the ARA since its founding in 1955. He most recently served as chief operating officer (COO) at the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), headquartered in Phoenix. In that position, Conant has been responsible for enabling operational excellence across the company and building capabilities for ISM’s future growth.
ARA President Roger Vajgrt, owner of Home Rental Center & Sales Co., Marshalltown, Iowa, said, “The board of directors is pleased to have Tony join the ARA. We look forward to his leadership and contributions to advance the forward momentum of the association. His professional career experience and education is a definite asset to ARA as we look ahead to the future of the equipment rental industry.”
As ISM's leader of certification, publications, membership, research, finance, IT, and human resources, Conant managed project prioritization, decision ownership, effective resource alignment, measurement, and accountability across the company.
He has spent more than 20 years developing advanced practices in operations and supply chain at world-class companies, including Intel, BASF, Whirlpool, and Bank of America. He previously was the vice president of operations and share services at One Touch Direct, an innovative direct-marketing company, where he oversaw 200% revenue and headcount growth in five years.
“I welcome the opportunity to join such a dynamic organization and staff team,” said Conant. “Hallmarks of the organization are innovative and strategic thinking that represent the equipment rental industry very effectively. I look forward to building upon that ARA legacy with the volunteer leaders and staff members.”
Conant is a native of Detroit. He earned a bachelor's degree in operations management from Madonna University, Livonia, Mich., and an MBA in finance and international economics from the University of Florida, Gainesville. He also completed Six Sigma Black Belt certification from the University of California at San Diego.