InTents “5 under 40”
December 1st, 2020 / By: IFAI / Feature
An in-depth look at five young professionals who are helping the tenting industry move toward an innovative and vital future.
by Pamela Mills-Senn
You can’t discount the contribution of folks who have spent decades in the tenting industry, advancing it through innovation and hard work. At the same time, those at the start of their careers will be the ones to continue the forward momentum and carry on the good work. In keeping momentum from last year, InTents is once again calling attention to five professionals under age 40 who have decided that the tent and event rental industry is where they want to direct their energy, effort and passion. Although their stories are different, all share the same excitement about the industry and the same determination to not only get through the current challenges presented by COVID-19, but to thrive—now and in the years ahead.
Attracted by the opportunity the rental industry provides and wanting to capitalize on his experience gained over the four years he spent working in the sports and entertainment industry, Darren Randle opened his business this January.
“I was the contact who ordered tents and rental items for those events from the various providers around town—which ultimately led me to the industry,” he recalls. “I wanted to be the one others relied on for these rental needs.”
The opportunity to learn more about this industry before diving in with his own company came in 2015 when he joined a rental business in the Houston area, overseeing many complex, large installations for sporting and corporate events, product launches and festivals, among others.
“When people ask why I decided to go this career route I explain how much enjoyment I get out of helping planners, organizations, sports teams and schools host a successful event,” he says. “The tent and rentals equipment part of an event is important and with that, I’m able to get creative and use my marketing and operations background to create a fun experience.”
Still, it was never his intention to launch his own tent and event rental operation from nothing—it’s a tough road to walk. Consequently, he advises those hoping to break into this industry to find a family organization, working hard with the idea of becoming a leader or partner within that business.
IFAI is an important resource, says Randle, connecting him to other young industry professionals. And although the pandemic has cut into the number of events he’s done this year, Randle has still accumulated some memorable moments, one being showing off his newly opened warehouse to his wife and young daughter.
“Watching my daughter run around the warehouse floor was worth all the hard work and time away from them over the last year to pull this off,” he recalls. “Who knows, maybe she’ll want to run the Houston Tents & Events business many years down the road.”
Darren Randle, Owner
Houston Tents & Events
Employs: Six with plans to grow to nine
Q: What’s the best leadership lesson you’ve learned?
A: An important one was from Martin Luther King Jr. He said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” Sometimes the hardest thing to do as a leader is the right thing. It’s easier not to place importance on an employee or to undervalue a customer that only orders one small backyard part a year versus that client you work with every month. All should be a priority. There are many wrong ways to do things in our industry, but doing it right is what’s most important to me.
To read more information on all five professionals featured this year, visit: https://intentsmag.com/2020/12/01/intents-5-under-40-2/a