A native of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, James Hinchliffe completed his 11th season of IndyCar Series competition in 2021. Hinch” as he is known to his peers and fans has had a roller coaster career. From early success in the minor leagues of racing to having the bottom fall out when he was getting his big break, James has never been one to back down.
In 2015 he suffered a serious accident at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that left him clinging for life. He made a full recovery and had a Cinderella story comeback starting on the pole for the 100th Running of the 500 the following year.
The Dancing With the Stars Season 23 runner-up has captured one pole position (Indianapolis 500, 2016), 16 podium finishes and six victories . The 2011 IndyCar Rookie of the Year and Tony Renna Rising Star Award winner is also a fan favorite and was voted IndyCar Favorite Driver of the Year in 2012 and 2018.
The 2019 season was the 32-year-old’s fifth consecutive season with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and in 2020 he transitioned back “home” to Andretti Autosport where he won numerous races earlier in his career. While running a part time program in 2020, he filled out his schedule taking his broadcast talents to the NBC Sports IndyCar Team where he was flawless in front of the camera.
2021 saw him back full time at Andretti Autosport as well as providing commentary for the SRX Series. And 2022 will see him back in the broadcast booth full time for NBC on its IndyCar and IMSA races as well as a few one-off on track events to stay sharp in the seat!
Off the track, Hinchcliffe is a restaurant owner (Root & Bone Indianapolis), enjoys bourbon hunting with his fellow racers, helps raise money for charitable partnerships through his Stop N Go Foundation and enjoys the outdoors with his wife Becky and their two dogs.
PACCS’ principal, Paul, is a prominent leader in the engineering industry as he is a Professional Engineer and a Certified Building Official. He has earned countless certifications and licenses to further his knowledge from residential and building codes to now include a remarkable understanding of fire codes. His more than fourteen years with ICBO and ICC as a staff Engineer/Technical Services Manager for ICBO and ICC Vice President of Architectural & Engineering Services has provided him a unique knowledge and expertise about the code that is more in depth than any other code consultant. Furthermore, his engineering style combined with his unequalled knowledge has gained him industry-wide recognition. He has taught countless seminars domestically and internationally, and he is also the recipient of CALBO's prestigious Instructor of the Year for 2010.
Steve has been associated with Anchor Industries for over 32 years as an outside sales representative and manager. His focus has been on selling tents and related products as well as providing technical and field assistance to his customer base. Steve started his carrier on the rental side of the industry with managing rental companies in NY and PA. He has also always been very active in numerous industry trade associations; participating in trade shows, conducting seminars, and providing articles for various publications.
Nick, a New York native, began his formal career in the special events industry with Emmis Broadcasting in 1989 planning promotional events for radio stations WFAN & WQHT in the Tristate area, while running his own mobile DJ company he started in high school. After receiving a BA in Communications from St. John’s University, Nick prepared to embark on expanding his own DJ business. In 1994, he opened Tumbles, an interactive entertainment center and event space. After several successful years, he expanded the business to include Parties To Go, a division providing outdoor amusements, catering and party rentals. In 2000, along with his Brother-In-Law Sal Bileddo, Parties To Go acquired Emily’s Place Party Rental, a local tent and party rental company. The acquisition of Emily’s Place Party enabled the company to expand more aggressively into the tent rental market. Nick’s vision for growth and his strong belief in the importance of quality and customer service provided motivation for employees and a superior customer experience. These ideals supported a shift in the customer demographic, from backyard parties to large and logistically challenging events. Parties To Go became PTG Event Services, the versatile event company it is today. Nick’s commitment to quality, innovation, efficiency and safety led to the creation of a tent ballast system now known as Block And Roll®. Operating a tent rental company in the NYC area demanded mostly ballasted tents, yet building, transporting and placing ballast was an extremely difficult task and Nick was not willing to sacrifice safety by using water barrels or underweighting tents. Block And Roll’s Patented system has become the “industry standard” in tent ballasting and has allowed many companies the opportunity to properly ballast tents while maintaining efficiencies and safety. In October 2020 Nick Sold PTG Event Services and now will put all his focus into expanding B&R Innovations and the Block And Roll® system.
Steven Eisenstein is an Atlanta native that has been in the hospitality business for over 30 years.
He studied hotel restaurant management at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.
After 25 years in catering he moved into the rental field. He bought an existing party rental company and has grown it for the last 10 years. In 2016 a new rental division was added that specialized in foodservice equipment rentals. Today there are 31 full time employees that are part of the team. Classic Tents & Events serves the film production business along with many other markets in the Atlanta area. Inventory includes frame tents, pole tents and structure. Utilizing modern day technology and state of the art tools have made this company keep up with labor saving ways to stay efficient.
Steven is the husband to Lynne of 17 years and the father of 3 wonderful kids.
He is also the current president of the Georgia chapter of the American Rental Association and also is a Certified Event Rental Professional.
Biff Gentsch began his career in the Tent and Clear Span Industry in 1987 as an inside salesman at Anchor Industries. In 1989, he started his Independent Manufacturer’s Representative firm Event Products Group where he supplied the Upper-Midwest with Tent and Party Rental products for the next 18 years. Gentsch hung up his day-to-day sales spurs in 2007 to join Chuck Miller at Aztec Tents to assist in the transition from Tent and Party Rental to full-time Tent Manufacturing, and was integral to the growth and development of their sales team East of the Mississippi River as Director of Sales, Eastern Region. In 2009, he was promoted to National Sales Manager, and continued his efforts West of the Mississippi. In 2012 Gentsch returned to Anchor Industries as their National Sales Manager overseeing the sales efforts of their existing eight business units and the 32 member sales team. After eight years as National Sales Manager at Anchor, Biff has transitioned back into a day-to-day sales role in 2020 where he is focusing his efforts on the states of Arizona, Colorado and Texas as well as helping out Internationally and putting his tenting tenure and tribal knowledge to use in assisting with product development.
Gentsch served on the IFAI TRD Steering Committees from 2008 to 2018, and was Chairman of the Tent Rental Division from 2014 to 2016. He currently serves on the Codes Committee. He was one of the founding members of the now defunct T.R.A.M. (Tent Rental Association of the Midwest) and currently sits on the American Rental Association (ARA) Event Rental Advocacy Workgroup. He currently resides in Evansville, Indiana with his wife of 38 years, Sally Turner.
Martin Guthrie is an innovative, passionate business owner in the tent rental industry.
Martin started his career in the tent rental industry in 1989 in Rocky Mount, NC with Rental Showcase. Then, in 2000, Martin started his own business, Down East Tent Rentals, providing tents, tables, chairs, staging and more to locations throughout the East coast.
Down East Tent Rentals has become a household name in the tent rental business with their “No event is too small or too large for us” attitude.
Martin is committed to not only providing great customer service but also inventing equipment to help cut labor costs while ensuring the safety of the process.
In 2020, Martin demonstrated this with his invention of the T-Rex Tent Jack. With the T-Rex Tent Jack he was able to provide a better and safer way of erecting both pole and frame tents.
Martin is committed to providing excellent customer service by providing up to date rental items while paying special attention to detail for every event, no matter how big or small.
Mike started with the company in the summer of 1976 in manufacturing. Upon his graduation from High School in 1978, he became a supervisor for a tent installation crew. In 1987 he moved from installation to the sales and operations division and was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 1990. In 2011 he was promoted to President of Chattanooga Tent. In August of 2014, Mike bought the family business from his uncle.
Mike has served on Life safety, Education, Code, and Steering committees of the IFAI Tent Rental Division since 2007. He was Chairman of the Tent Rental Division in 2016-2018. And is currently a member of Education. Committee. He was involved with the IFAI TRD staking study and ballast study and currently involved with a study for “non-certified tents”. Mike served on a committee during 2013 in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to help write the current state wide code process. Mike has served as a panelist for multiple education seminars for the Rental show. He has been a member of ILEA since 2008 and joined the Nashville chapter in February 2013.
Chattanooga Tent has serviced Chattanooga, the southeast and national customers for over 80 years.
CEO and Co-Founder of SOHO Tents and Events, and CEO and Co-Founder of Decal Doodle
Josh Kohn is CEO and Co-Founder of SOHO Tents and Events and also CEO and Co-Founder of Decal Doodle, both based in Fairhope, Alabama. With more than 25 experience in the hospitality industry, Kohn, alongside wife Amy Kohn, have grown SOHO to be a leader in the event industry along the Gulf Coast over the last seven years. A small, start up business that began with 50 chairs in a garage now boasts over 35,000 square feet of warehouse space to hold an expansive rental inventory. Kohn is a graduate of the University of South Alabama. He and his wife Amy are residents of Fairhope with their three children: Carson, Cooper and Caroline.
Joe Langehaug’s 16 years of Tent & Event Industry expertise began in 2004 as a rental business owner. He is proud to continue his career representing Losberger De Boer as their Southeast Regional Sales Manager. Losberger De Boer is your global provider for high quality German engineered clearspan tent structures & rapid deployment systems. In 2020 he joined the IFAI Tent Rental Division Steering Committee to help bring awareness of industry products, safety, and services. Joe is a strong communicator with a true passion for the tenting industry creating the optimal customer experience by building lasting relationships and putting client’s needs first. Outside of the office, Joe resides in Tampa and lives an active lifestyle with his wife and two kids. They spend their time outdoors enjoying nature, boating, hiking, golfing, and cheering on his kids at baseball games and swim meets.
International Sales Manager & Part Owner, Fiesta Tents Ltd.
Alex Renaud is the International Sales Manager and part owner of Fiesta Tents Ltd. He has been on the TRD Steering Committee for the last six years and has recently become the TRD code committee chair. Alex has been in the tent industry for 25+ years and has experience in both manufacturing and rental. Alex has actively participated in many non-staking tent installations ranging from 10x10 marquees to 25M clear span tents and have been involved in many permit applications and engineer certifications for temporary fabric structure installations.
Rita has over 20 years of experience in human resource management and is currently the President and CEO of the Employers Network, a private, not-for-profit employers association located in Spartanburg, SC. She has extensive human resources experience in manufacturing. In Rita’s current role she assists organizations in the upstate of South Carolina in attracting, developing, engaging and retaining human resources. She is also the go-to source for compensation and benefit trends in the local market.
Business Director, Johnson Outdoors Inc. / Eureka! Big Tents Division
Jim Reyen is the Business Director of Johnson Outdoors Inc/Eureka! Big Tent Division and is also a Past Chair of the IFAI's Tent Rental Division. Over the years Jim has contributed to the industry through his work at Eureka and also the numerous educational events and projects that he has been involved including the popular "Training for the Tent Professional", the development of the Tent Rental Division Guide for safe tent installations and overseeing the creation and launch of the IFAI Ballast Study. Jim has over 30 years of experience in the industry and has presented on countless topics ranging from how to properly sell tents, to safe practices, industry standards, and how to properly prepare and train your crews.
Brian is the President of L & A Tent & Event Rentals in Hamilton New Jersey.
He has more than 40 years’ experience in the Tent rental industry and has served on both the MATRA and TRD Board of Directors and was recently elected Region 2 Director of the American Rental Association
A 45 year veteran of the equipment and party rental industry, Michael Tharpe’s name is synonymous with tent safety and training. As National Sales Manager with Rainier Industries in Tukwila Washington, Michael has helped build the company’s strong reputation for putting quality and safety first, making it one of the leaders in the tent rental industry.
Michael has served on the American Rental Association (ARA) Board of Directors, Mid-Atlantic Tent Rental Association (MATRA) Board of Directors, Industrial Fabric Association International (IFAI) Steering Committee and is the Chairman of the TRD Steering committee. He is a trusted leader in the educational support to all of these organizations in developing the most respected and professional training programs in the tent rental industry. He has received numerous awards including the ARA Special Services Award, the IFAI Inspiration Award (Training for the Tent Installer) and elected to the MATRA Hall of Honor.
Michael’s commitment to safety and training is evident in the legacy he has built during his service to all these organizations. His professionalism, dedication and knowledge make him an asset to the entire equipment and party rental industry.