People news

By Murray Pollok17 March 2008

• Paul Clark (pictured) has joined start-up company Liebherr Rental Ltd in the UK as general manager and managing director designate.

Mr Clark was previously general manager of the UK operation of Demarec in The Netherlands, a manufacturer of demolition and recycling equipment.

Liebherr Rental Ltd is headquartered at Liebherr UK's facility in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, and will begin operations at the beginning of 2008, said the company.

Liebherr said it is expanding the initial rental fleet from the 55 machine, £7 million (€10 million) investment first planned. Equipment available for both short- and long-term rent will now include the new Liebherr telehandler range launched at Bauma in April this year. The company is still “finalising” the fleet's composition and number, a spokesman told IRN.

Liebherr Rental will also operate from Liebherr's regional centres in Wigan and Bathgate. The UK rental company joins the existing Liebherr Mietpartner rental network in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

• Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the US has announced that two members of the third generation of the Vermeer family have joined the company.

Jason Andringa (pictured), son of co-CEO Mary VermeerAndringa, joined the Iowa-based company in 2005 as an environmental solutions segment manager. Allison Van Wyngarden (pictured), daughter of co-CEO Bob Vermeer, joined the company in 2007 as an industrial distribution manager.

Mr Andringa had been a staff engineer for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a research and development facility managed by the California Institute of Technology. Ms Wyngarden joined Vermeer after five years as an investment and market analyst at Principal Financial Group in Des Moines.

Vermeer family members follow a rigorous process to join the company. It includes: working elsewhere for a period of years while demonstrating professional advancement, obtaining a master's degree (recommended), and approval of the Vermeer Family Employment Advisory Council, which consists of board members and non-family senior management members.

• The three new rental leaders to be inducted into the American Rental Association's Rental Hall of Fame at The Rental Show in Las Vegas next February will be Bill Begley from the Republic of Ireland and Tom Hawthorne and the late James Keenan, both from the US.

Mr Begley, now retired, was founder of Hire-All Event and Party, the largest party and event rental company in Ireland. He began his rental career in 1963 when he and his business partner purchased their first tool rental store in Dublin, but it was a trip to one of ARA's annual exhibitions that converted the business to party and events.

ARA said; “Mr Begley is credited with opening the eyes of those in Ireland to the rental concept, with a vision and a business sense ahead of its time for the industry”.

Tom Hawthorne is chairman of the board and founder of Hawthorne Machinery Co, the Caterpillar dealer based in San Diego, California, which now includes eight divisions, including Hawthorne Rent-It Service, one of the top 40 equipment rental companies in North America. ARA said it was the creation in 1970 of Hawthorne Rent-It Service, and its subsequent success, that “led Caterpillar to create what is now known as The Cat Rental Store. Those within the Caterpillar organisation and dealer network often refer to Mr. Hawthorne as the ‘father' of the Cat rental business.”

James Keenan, who died in 2004 aged 93, was chairman of the board for Keenan's Rental Service in Omaha, Nebraska from 1959 to 2000. ARA said he was “both influential and instrumental in the formation of today's ARA”.

The induction ceremony will be held during the keynote session at The Rental Show on Tuesday, 12 February at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, US.

• Rolf J Persson (pictured) has been appointed new managing director of Alimak AB, the hoist manufacturing business within Alimak Hek. He replaces Nils-Erik Häggström who has moved to Alimak Hek's industrial division as group business area manager.

Mr Persson, who took up his post on 15 October, comes from Franke Futurum, a Scandinavian manufacturer of cooker hoods, where he was managing director for the past five years. He also has nine years experience with Volvo Truck Corporation.

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