ARA board names executive vice president/CEO

(Oct. 20, 2016) MOLINE, IL: The American Rental Association (ARA) board of directors has named Tony Conant to the position of 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 his COO 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 the leader of the certification, publications, membership, research, finance, IT and human resources functions, Conant helped to enable ISM’s vision by managing project prioritization, decision ownership, effective resource alignment, measurement and accountability across the company.

Conant 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. Previously, he was the vice president of operations and share services at One Touch Direct, an innovative direct marketing company, where he oversaw 200 percent revenue and headcount growth in his five-year tenure.

“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 of Science degree in operations management from Madonna University, Livonia, Mich., and an MBA, finance and international economics, from the University of Florida, Gainesville. He also completed his Six Sigma Black Belt certification from the University of California at San Diego.


About ARA: ( The American Rental Association, Moline, Ill., is an international trade association for owners of equipment rental businesses and the manufacturers and suppliers of construction/industrial, general tool and party/event rental equipment. ARA members, which include more than 10,000 rental businesses and 1,000 manufacturers and suppliers, are located in every U.S. state, every Canadian province and more than 30 countries worldwide. Founded in 1955, ARA is the source for information, advocacy, risk management, business development tools, education and training, networking and marketplace opportunities

ARA Contact:
Christine Coleman (
800-334-2177, ext. 266, or 309-277-4266