Sunbelt Opens First Mississippi Branch in Ocean Springs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sunbelt Rentals recently announced the opening of its newest full-service rental branch in Ocean Springs, Miss. The branch was Sunbelt's 23rd opening of the recent fiscal year ending April 30, 2006, and brings the company's location total to 209.

The Ocean Springs location is Sunbelt's first in Mississippi and further expands the company's rental business in the Gulf. The branch is nearly 9,800 square feet on 3 acres and is centrally located in the heart of Ocean Springs. It is well situated to serve everyone from homeowners to the large industry of Biloxi and Ocean Springs, and just minutes from such large corporations as Chevron and Northrop Grumman.

Already much involved in reconstruction of the south Mississippi area most devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the branch, near Gulfport, will facilitate Sunbelt's ability to service the region.

The branch's fleet includes a wide range of specialty, industrial and commercial contractor equipment, as well as a substantial inventory for the do-it-yourself and small contractor markets.

Branch manager David Williams is from Ocean Springs and previously managed a Sunbelt branch in Savannah, Ga., since 2001.

“This new facility let David come back to work in his hometown, and I know he's proud to be involved in the reconstruction of the community after Hurricane Katrina,” said Jason Thompson, division manager.

The company also recently hosted open houses at all three of its equipment rental locations in Chicago. The events featured autograph signings from Chicago Bears football players, including Alex Brown, Charles “Peanut” Tillman and Roberto Garza.

Sunbelt Rentals opened its newest Countryside, Ill., location in February. It also has a specialty pump and power business serving the city's needs and plans to add new locations in the coming year.

New managers were recently named for several of Sunbelt's California branches. Mark White was named manager for the company's Southern California division, and Lawrence Pruitt was named manager for its Los Angeles division. White, formerly branch manager of Sunbelt's Fontana, Calif., location since 2001, developed a team there that regularly surpassed service and revenue goals. He will manage branches in Fontana, La Mirada, Orange and San Diego, as well as a new pump and power specialty location.

Pruitt joined Sunbelt last year when the company acquired Brookstone Rentals, where he was director of sales and operations. He will manage branches in Glendale, Northridge, Palmdale and Lompoc, Calif. Pruitt has been in the rental industry since 1991 and has served as driver, rental manager, outside sales and West Coast transportation manager.

Rob Courtney was promoted to branch manager of the Fontana branch, replacing White. Courtney has 12 years experience in the rental industry, joining Sunbelt in December 2001 as outside sales representative. For the past two years, Courtney has been the top revenue-producing salesman in the region.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Sunbelt Rentals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ashtead Group plc, is No. 4 on the RER 100.

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