Interview with Marlin Senenig

Marlin Sensenig has quite a following. Of course, you may notice that many of the tentmen walking along with him look quite similar. Tents for Rent is a family run business with two of his sons, Daryl and Brian, employed full time along with Marlin's wife, Martha. Four youngsters are up and coming part time staff and his first grandchild is still in training, but showing a lot of energy! Marlin was first exposed to tent rentals in 1978 at the age of 17 when he was hired by an auction company that owned two or three tents. The company used the tents at auctions, but started to rent them out to other customers as well. By 1984, Marlin had purchased the company and, with his wife who was responsible for office administration, began focusing exclusively on renting tents. Today, Tents for Rent has over 400,000 square feet of tenting, ranging to 80' widths, and has expanded the business to include tables, chairs and lighting rentals. Marlin states, "Having a passion for and loving what we do helps our effectiveness and makes it very rewarding." He has had many unique rental opportunities including beach weddings, rooftop events, events for Governors and Vice Presidents, Presidential campaigns and the 2009 Inauguration. He attributes the solid growth of his business to this wide variety of activities. As a businessman, Marlin feels that slow, steady growth is the most sustainable and has helped him weather economic downturns. He also believes in a strong service ethic. He tries to provide service that is "second to none." This ethic supports his company's slogan, "Our Goal: On Time…Everytime." Extremely active in the MATRA organization, Marlin has been a member for over fifteen years. The education he has received through MATRA has enabled him to expand his rental industry knowledge and form great partnerships and friendships. Tents For Rent normally sends 10-15 employees to attend the MATRA Conference and compete in the MATRA games. They have created quite a competitive tradition and his company has had many winners over the years. Marlin is the proud recipient of the Golden Sledgehammer Award in 1998, 2001 and 2005. Most recently, Marlin has won the "Over 40 Overall" Competition in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2008. Marlin looks to his employees to provide him with an invaluable source of feedback from the Conference which helps the company grow. Many employees from Tents for Rent have been with the company for years. Marlin says, "Although the risks and stress of running a company can be challenging, it is also rewarding to have trusted employees and family." Marlin and his family also have a deep, abiding faith in God which helps sustain and motivate them. For several years his firm has supported a very effective and frugal organization known as Christian Aid Ministries. This year, Tents for Rent was instrumental in acquiring and sending more than 10,000 tarps to Haiti to assist recovery efforts following the tragic natural disaster. Employees and staff volunteered hours of donated time arranging for the timely delivery of tarps. God has provided many blessings to Marlin and his company and he encourages others to share whenever possible. While Marlin acknowledges that he, too, is concerned about the long, slow economic recovery ahead, he also believes that, "it gives the industry a chance to take a closer look at its businesses. This will, in turn, help us all be better prepared to take advantage of future opportunities." MATRA extends its best wishes and congratulations to Marlin Sensenig and Tents for Rent for its longtime support and for its fine record of accomplishment in the tent rental industry.

Reproduced by permission from MATRA March/April Newsletter.