Three rental leaders that span the 50-plus years of the industry were announced by the American Rental Association as the newest inductees for the Rental Hall of Fame.
Thomas M. (Mitch) Hoxie was one of the rental industry’s early and influential pioneers. Hoxie also was one of the first to join ARA. He was elected to the board of directors in 1959 and appointed executive vice president for 1961-1962. He was honored as Rental Man of the Year in 1964 and received ARA’s Distinguished Service Award in 1968. He was the first director at large on the ARA board when that position was created in 1975 to represent the Association’s past officers and directors. In the early 1970s, Hoxie organized the Tucson Equipment Rental Association and served as its first president. He retired from Aero Rentals in the early 1980s. Mitch Hoxie passed away in 1984.
Bradley S. Jacobs looked at the industry from a fresh perspective when he co-founded United Rentals in 1997. United Rentals became the North American rental industry leader in just 13 months and today is the largest rental equipment company in the world with more than 700 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Jacobs was responsible for the strategic direction of the company and oversaw all operations including planning and analysis, sales and marketing, business development, national accounts, human resources, risk management, information technology and corporate communications. He served as chairman of United Rentals until August 2007.
Harold (Hal) Taylor Plugge Jr. began working in the purchasing department of his father’s hardware wholesale company, Dealer Supply, in 1958. During the next year, he developed the idea of a tool rental program for hardware and lumber dealers. He was elected vice president and director of Dealers Supply in 1959. The first tool rental program for the company was introduced in 1962. The following year, the Taylor Rental Program was offered on a franchise basis. In 1971, Plugge was named chairman of the board (now Taylor Rental Corp.). Plugge’s understanding of the rental industry enabled hundreds of small business owners to become successful entrepreneurs by operating under a brand-name identity that contributed to a high standard image for the rental industry. He taught seminars to franchisees and at ARA conventions. Plugge passed away in 1993.