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The ARA Experience in Washington, DC

A couple of weeks ago, I had the unique opportunity to spend two days in Washington, DC participating in a legislative caucus with the American Rental Association.  This was my first experience in participating in anything like this and my first trip to DC.  To say that I was anxious, a bit nervous and incredibly excited may be a bit of an understatement.  I love learning, I love government and as it turns out I love DC!  I traveled with a group from the ARA.  Many seasoned professionals that had been on Capitol Hill many times, lobbying for their businesses and our industry and a few first timers like myself, learning our way.  I had an awesome mentor and teacher in Todd Daymont from American Party Rentals out of Durham.  Todd has been on the Hill several times and was very experienced and comfortable meeting with our elected officials.  I was able to watch, learn and become a bit more vocal as I grew more comfortable in the appointments.  It warmed this southern girl’s heart to be greeted with “hey ya’ll” and a smile in most every office that we visited.  It was encouraging to see democracy in action, and it was a bit sad to hear and see how divided we can be.

Close friends know that I can get teary in Disney and pretty emotional at Stone Mountain as I am often overwhelmed and in awe of everything around me, so there truly is no surprise that as I stood at the Capitol and looked down the Mall with the Lincoln and Jefferson Monuments in the background, tears were rolling down my cheeks. 

I am proud of the experience, I am proud of our industry, I am proud to be part of an organization like the American Rental Association and I am a proud to be an American!