John Kennedy Brings Change in ARA Insurance Leadership

John Kennedy assumes leadership role at ARAPhil Kelling is president and CEO of American Rental Association (ARA) Insurance, located in Kansas City, Mo.. He has announced his plan to retire effective Feb. 29, 2020. John Kennedy, CPA, CPL, and current ARA Insurance CFO, who joined ARA Insurance in Aug. 2017, will assume the role following Kelling’s departure.

Kelling has been with ARA Insurance since 1997 and has many accomplishments throughout his tenure. Under his leadership, ARA Insurance grew from a small insurance agency with four independent agents. It is now a premier insurance program with a network of insurance agents who support the needs of ARA members nationwide.

Additional accomplishments under Kelling’s leadership include the startup of ARA Insurance Limited, a captive insurance company, developing a rental-specific risk management program, improved insurance coverages and institutionalizing ARA Insurance’s culture to serve its members as the highest priority.

“It has been a pleasure to serve ARA Insurance for the last 22 years. The organization is in a very good position and I foresee a great future ahead for the industry and the members we serve,” says Kelling. “I’m grateful to those who served in volunteer roles to help guide the program work of ARA Insurance and make it the industry leading insurance provider that it is today.”

A wealth of experience

John Kennedy comes into the role of president of ARA Insurance with a wealth of experience in the insurance industry. His career began in public accounting at McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, and he has experience in the telecom and mortgage industries. Prior to joining ARA Insurance, Kennedy spent 10 years in the insurance premium finance industry having served as the Corporate Controller for IPFS Corporation.

Kennedy’s background includes earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Iowa State University. He also earned his Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He also earned the insurance industry designation of Certified Programs Leader (CPL).

“I look forward to the challenge of building on our successes from Phil’s tenure and continuing to improve in all aspects of our operation. Our strategic core purpose is centered around serving ARA members and striving for excellence in all of our program work,” says Kennedy.

“Phil has effectively led ARA Insurance to be the industry leader during his tenure. The ARA Insurance board of directors is proud of his achievements. They are also proud of his leadership and contributions to the equipment and event rental industry. We thank him for his dedication and wish him well,” says Tony Conant, ARA CEO. “I’m confident in John’s ability to continue building upon the success of ARA Insurance and to take the organization to the next level.”

About ARA

The American Rental Association, Moline, Ill., is an international trade association for owners of equipment and event rental businesses. It is also for the manufacturers and suppliers of construction/industrial, general tool and party/event rental equipment. ARA members include more than 11,000 rental businesses and more than 1,000 manufacturers and suppliers. They are also located in every U.S. state, every Canadian province and more than 50 countries worldwide. The ARA begin in 1955. It is the source for information, advocacy, education, networking and marketplace opportunities. The group serves the equipment and event rental industry throughout the world.

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