AERO in the News

Tom "Mitch" Hoxie

Tom "Mitch" Hoxie

I was pleasantly surprised this morning to receive my weekly e-mail from Rental Pulse, and find a short article regarding Aero’s founder being honored in the Rental Hall of Fame.  Here is the excerpt:

Thomas (Mitch) Hoxie
Mitch Hoxie was one of the rental industry’s early and influential pioneers. Following his high school graduation in 1932, he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a contractor. In 1946, he and his family moved to Tucson, Ariz., where he started the city’s first rental business in 1947. It began after neighbors were frequently wanting to borrow the extensive supply of equipment he acquired working as a contractor. Hoxie eventually put up a “for rent” sign, which was successful as it further increased use of his equipment. As the demand continued to increase, he purchased an old gas station to house the business, which he named Arizona Equipment Rental Co. The name was later shortened to Aero Rental.
In the following years, the business expanded along with Tucson’s rapid growth and he opened four additional operations. That made it one of the first rental companies to have multiple locations.
Hoxie also was one of the first rental operators to join ARA, then called the American Associated Rental Operators, during the 1957 convention in Omaha, Neb. Aero Rentals has been an ARA member ever since, and continues to be owned by the Hoxie family. When it was discovered he’d owned a rental business longer than anyone else at the convention, he was placed on the program so other attendees could learn from his experiences. That was the start of his association involvement, as he was elected to the board of directors in 1959 and appointed executive vice president for 1961-1962. He served on a variety of ARA committees, helped establish the awards committee in 1962 and wrote numerous articles for Rental Age (now RENTAL MANAGMENT). He was honored as “Rental Man of the Year” in 1964 and received ARA’s Distinguished Service Award in 1968. He was the first director at large on the ARA board when that position was created in 1975 to represent the association’s past officers and directors.
Realizing the importance of communication and cooperation among local rental companies, Hoxie organized the Tucson Equipment Rental Association in the early 1970s and served as its first president.
Hoxie retired from Aero Rentals in the early 1980s, though he continued to stop in the business regularly. He passed away in 1984.