Women have played a vital role in both the establishment and growth of our parent company, Ocean Atlantic Rentals and our wedding & event rental business, Ocean Atlantic Event Rentals. With March being Women’s History Month and March 8 being International Women’s Day, this is a perfect time to celebrate our inspiring women. We reflect on how women have made their mark on our rental business and are continuing to forge a stronger voice for all women in the industry — those who are in the midst of their careers and those who are just getting started.
When Greg Honeycutt began renting beach and cottage gear to Outer Banks vacationers in the late 1970’s, his small business idea would have never taken off without the help and incredible spirit of his wife “Miss Eden”. Eden began establishing the high quality standards needed in our rental business, but did so much more, day in & day out. With reservations she created an innovative and effective reservation system on paper notebooks (before computers). She also cleaned equipment and ran her own store location. Eden is a tiny woman in size, but she could load a delivery truck with the best of them. She has done every job in our business, faster and more efficiently than most. Miss Eden leads by example, with southern hospitality and sincerity. No OAR employee has ever wondered what she “thought” about them, or their work skills, for that matter. She wears her big heart on her sleeve, and everyone who works at OAR is one of “her kids”.
Women have always kept OAR organized and running best. Many have brought their incredible skills for creativity, order, multitasking, and quality to our business. In the past, Gene was a manager in our Nags Head store that could do anything. Vicki was our bookkeeper for over a decade, and many of her family members worked at OAR as they grew up on the OBX. In the 90’s, with lean staffing and slower growth, the OAR management team were mostly men.
The new millennium brought a return to our real company identity, with women back in leadership on all levels of the company. Savannah, Jessica & Mikaela have managerial positions in three of our four stores, and have raised the bar for everyone. Theresa, in bookkeeping, keeps the warehouse staff in order, and most importantly, the owners and the books. Kerri returned to our reservation department and has redefined the way we serve our advance customers. Kasey leads our marketing and area relationships with grace and excellence. Our core business would not be the same without these incredible, talented women.
Our wedding and event business would not exist without Samantha and Remy running our showroom. Together they are experts in renting for, at times, an emotional family celebration. With their local expertise on the area and the industry, no aspect is overlooked. Amanda and her team run the back office that those items are delivered from. The attention to detail and clean, quality standards that Eden set, are still meticulously followed in their department, still to today.
In closing, the women that work along side of us in the stores and delivery trucks, many of them college students, ski & snowboarders, backpackers and travelers, lead and inspire us. For the men of OAR, so many of us are “who we are” at work because of the support and encouragement from our wives, girlfriends, and partners. They are the reason we work hard, play hard, and live our lives on a sandbar “making rental dreams come true”. Thank you, and Happy International Women’s Day! –Chris Marik, General Manager