Photo by American Rental Association

Bruce Campbell, Jay Chapin to be Inducted in ARA’s Rental Hall of Fame

Dec. 7, 2023
Campbell and Chapin will be inducted formally at the ARA convention in New Orleans this coming February.
Photo by American Rental Association

The American Rental Association is inducting Bruce Campbell, of Do It Best Corp., Fort Wayne, Ind., and Jay Chapin of Taylor Rental Corp., Springfield, Mass., to its ARA Hall of Fame. Campbell and Chapin will be inducted formally at the ARA convention in New Orleans this coming February.

Campbell, pictured above, began his career in 1968 in Fort Wayne Ind., as an employee of an independent rental store. In 1974, Campbell relocated to the Cincinnati area where in 1984 he founded L&B Equipment Rental in Harrison, Ohio. Campbell served a term as vice president of the ARA of Ohio and two terms as president of the Greater Cincinnati Tool Rental Association. In 1989, he earned an ARA President’s Image Award for L&B Equipment Rental. Campbell sold his rental business in 1992, retired, and became a rental consultant.

In 1994, Campbell was instrumental in the launching of a rental program for Do It Best Corp., then known as HWI (Hardware Wholesales Inc.) Do It Best Corp., a cooperative that supplies products and services to independent hardware, lumber, and home improvement retailers, was looking for an expert with rental knowledge to help develop the program. Campbell contributed his consulting services to the initiative and helped many Do It Best Corp. members become successful rental operators.

Campbell helped create the Do It Best Rental School, a member education event through which he provided extensive knowledge of equipment, procedures, safety, the latest trends and strong financial knowledge. Through this program, Campbell aimed to instill high standards and the importance of product quality, inventory and customer service.

Over the years, Campbell has worked to continuously enhance the Do It Best Rental School’s curriculum and offerings. He has served as a resource for learning all aspects of the rental industry for program members across the United States and abroad. He also advocates for his Do It Best Rental School students to become active in the ARA.

Jay Chapin, Taylor Rental Corp., Springfield, Mass.

The late Jay Chapin of Westfield, Mass., past president and co-founder of Taylor Rental Corp., began working at Dealer Supply Co. in 1959, the same year that the organization put together the first Taylor Rental franchise. He became vice president of Dealer Supply Co. in 1963.

Chapin was named company president in 1971, and in 1972 Dealer Supply Co. became Taylor Rental Corp. Seven years later, there were 626 Taylor Rental Centers in full operation in 49 states. As president of the organization, Chapin helped family-owned, small business entrepreneurs proper by backing them with the knowledge, experience and opportunities that a major corporation could provide.

In the 1970s, under Chapin’s leadership, TRC was at the forefront when digital information was in its infancy in the rental industry. In the late 1970s, he introduced TOPIC, the TRC equipment of Taylor’s proprietary point-of-sale computer system, CompuRent. In 1982, he made CompuRent available to independent rental outlets. 

Chapin developed multiple products, programs and services that enabled TRC franchises to grow and expand the rental concept in communities throughout the U.S. He instituted a team of business management consultants to provide onsite guidance and support to franchisees, developed private-label products to enhance brand recognition, created in-store designs and signage, built a 100,000-square-foot warehouse to allow for faster delivery of products to franchisees, and instituted national advertising programs. And Chapin encouraged TRC members’ involvement in ARA.