The Highway 55 Rental Team
55 Party Rental Full-Time Staff
Jon Pederson – General Manager and Co-Owner
Jon is the general manager of the 55 Party Rental division and has been working full time since graduating from the University of Iowa’s business school in 2009 with a BBA degree in business management. Prior to graduating, Jon worked every summer at the party store since he was 14. From the early days of cleaning party equipment, Jon now directs all day-to-day party rental operations including staff scheduling, companywide payroll, planning delivery route logistics, hiring, buying equipment and providing customer service to the thousands of clients 55 Party Rental interacts with each year. Jon leads by example in his approach and can often be found loading trucks, unloading customers’ equipment, going on large setups, maintaining equipment and generally doing whatever is necessary to get the jobs of the day completed in a timely manner to move the company forward. These responsibilities are well served by his ability to multitask and effectively switch gears to accommodate the dynamic environment of a thriving event rental center. Yet, it is his thoughtful nature, practical thinking and reliable dedication to his staff, the business and the customers it serves, that contribute most to the core of the company’s ongoing growth and success.
Jon enjoys traveling domestically and internationally with his lifelong friends, participating in recreational sports and fitness, playing video games as well as his newest interest, producing videos using his drone. Jon also values spending time with his family including his newest role as uncle to his nephew and niece, serving also as her Godfather.
Chris Pederson – Business Development Manager and Co-Owner
Chris manages 55 Party Rental’s growth and expansion through marketing, new product and service development as well as acquiring and maintaining relationships with larger individual and corporate clients. Chris started working summers at the party rental store when he was 11 and continued through college. After graduating with a B.A. in Communication from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Chris spent the next 7 years helping lead early stage companies in product development, sales, marketing and branding. He began applying this experience to Highway 55 Rental when he returned in 2010. Some of his current responsibilities include creating and managing the company’s marketing and advertising campaigns, facilitating local sponsorships and strategic partnerships as well as assisting in the company’s community outreach efforts. Always one to seek new opportunities for the company, Chris is a major advocate of expanding the company’s products and services to adapt to the changing needs of the customer and event industry as a whole. Chris also works with party rental clients on a daily basis, helping them reserve equipment, plan their events and respond to customer service related concerns.
In addition to Highway 55 Rental, Chris works as the editor for the local area publication as well as consulting for a renewable energy company; a field he is passionate about. He is a proud husband and father to a young daughter and son and values greatly his time with family, friends and volunteering around the local community of Medina where he lives.
Sam Vogt – Manager
Sam has worked in the rental industry for nearly 20 years, majority of which have been spent with Highway 55 Rental. Sam brings with him a wealth of well-rounded knowledge and hands-on experience having worked in both tool rental and party rental divisions in various capacities. From large canopy installations to equipment buying to troubleshooting and repairing equipment malfunctions, Sam is a jack of all rental trades. He currently helps supervise the daily operations and party labor staff in addition to taking reservations and helping customers both over the phone and in person. Sam can always be counted on to step up wherever and whenever he is needed with only a small bit of grumbling when tasked with particularly difficult jobs, of which he has had many throughout the years.
Sam’s dry and sarcastic sense of humor paired with a high level of integrity and genuine heart make him a valuable addition to the company culture. As a proud, single father raising two sons, Sam spends his limited free time wisely. In the warm months you’re likely to find him riding his Harley or enjoying a cold one by the lake with friends and family. In the colder months, like many Minnesotans, Sam can be found indoors; trying to stay warm while watching his favorite football team, the Vikings, disappoint him for another season.
Mary Pemberton – Party and Event Rental Counter Representative
In the short time since Mary was hired, she has quickly become a valued part of the event rental team. Her previous experience with a company renting and procuring storage units has made for a more natural transition to Highway 55 Rental’s business model. She is organized, a natural self-starter and has an ability to absorb and retain information with great proficiency; a critical trait given the many rental equipment options and services we offer in both our party and tool rental divisions, where she works when needed. These traits, along with her initiative, solid work ethic and positive attitude make us feel lucky to have her. Mary is the youngest of 6 sisters and enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and being an auntie to her sisters’ children.
Highway 55 Equipment Rental Full-Time Staff
Gary Goodrich – General Manager of Highway 55 Rental
If you’ve rented a truck or tool from Highway 55 Rental in the last 20 years, chances are you’ve met Gary. As the General Manager of Highway 55 Rental for over 20 years, Gary has 3+ decades in rental, having worked in Salt Lake City prior to moving to Minnesota. Gary helps oversee all of the day to day operations of the Equipment Rental and Moving divisions of Highway 55 Rental. Some of his responsibilities include accounts receivable, equipment and supplies ordering as well as the general maintenance of the companies Point-of-Rental software and other computer related issues. He also manages the day to day operations of the Medina Mini Storage facility, one of the company’s partner businesses. Gary is an extremely reliable GM who can always be counted on to come in early or stay after hours when duty calls. This paired with his ability to complete various administrative tasks in a timely manner, while still tending to the fluctuating needs of daily customer interactions, make him a true company man. Gary’s gregarious personality, sense of humor and storytelling nature keeps customers laughing and can lighten the mood among staff on hard days.
Gary is a proud husband and a father to a son and daughter. In his free time, he enjoys Nascar, driving his Mustang and dining out at his two favorite Maple Grove restaurants, Malone’s and Granite City. However, he looks most forward to vacationing annually with his wife to Orlando, Florida where he seeks the theme park thrills that Universal Studios, Sea World, and Disney parks have to offer.
Jim Koehn – Tool Equipment Rental Manager
Jim is the Manager of the Equipment Rental and Moving Rental store and has been working in the rental industry for over 30 years, 20 of which have been with Highway 55 Rental. Jim’s extensive experience in tool and equipment rental gives him a depth of knowledge few others have in the industry. This coupled with Jim’s excellent listening skills translates to both an ability to help customers find the right piece of equipment for any size project as well as seeking out new pieces of equipment for the company to offer. Whether it be a DIY home remodel or a commercial grade landscaping project, he has you covered.
However, it is Jim’s genuine care for customer satisfaction above all else, that makes him so valuable in maintaining Highway 55 Rental’s reputation as a full service rental center. Jim enjoys fishing and spending time with his wife, 2 daughters and 2 dogs in Shakopee, Minnesota where he lives. He’s also loyal fan of the Vikings and the Minnesota Wild and has been known to teach guitar as well.
Ferris Peterson – Senior Mechanic and Tool Equipment Counter Representative
Ferris has been with Highway 55 Rental’s tool division for nearly 2 decades. Prior to that he worked over 15 years repairing cars and building at a local auto service company. Ferris has applied this valuable mechanical experience to Highway 55 Rental for the last 15 years. He has helped countless customers troubleshoot service related equipment while playing a critical role in helping to maintain our extensive fleet of rental trucks, bobcats and any other mechanical equipment including small engine repairs. Ferris has loyally served the company in various key roles throughout his career including as back shop foreman. He currently works the front counter applying his extensive equipment knowledge and signature charisma to servicing customers on the phone and in person. Customers can always count on Ferris’ offbeat sense of humor, smile and easy going personality to make for a positive rental experience. In addition to being a skilled mechanic, Ferris is the unofficial company chef. As a past restaurant owner, Ferris is known to cook up various dishes on special occasions as well as spontaneously baking up sweet treats throughout the year for an appreciative staff. In his free time, Ferris also enjoys gardening, woodworking and antique furniture restoration at his home in Rockford, MN where he has lived since his childhood.
Cory Linkert – Tool Equipment Shop Foreman and Mechanic
In the relatively short time Cory has been with Highway 55 Rental, he has become a valuable addition to the company by taking on the role as our Tool Shop Foreman. In this role, he helps manages the day-to-day operation in the Equipment Rental shop, he may be found managing day to day operations, repairs and servicing customers. Cory is married with a young boy and another on the way soon. This keeps him very busy when not working at Highway 55 Rental, though he still is able to find some time to pursue his passions of woodworking and making furniture.
Al Hanson – Lead Tool Equipment Rental Mechanic
Al has been working as the company’s Head Mechanic for over 5 years. In this time, he has helped maintain, diagnose and repair small engines, large pieces of mechanical equipment and pretty much anything the Highway 55 Rental’s customers or staff can throw at him. Al is an incredibly skilled mechanic and takes pride in doing the job right for both external customer jobs and internal company work. For example when servicing and repairing customer lawn mowers, snow blowers or other small engine related equipment, Al takes great care to thoroughly go through each and every component of the machine before moving onto the next. His quiet tone of voice and reserved demeanor are well-suited for the type of work he does, helping ensure his focus remains on the intricacy of the job at hand despite being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a busy rental center.
Curt Moore – Lead Tool Equipment Rental Yard Tech
Curt has been working hard in the Equipment division’s back shop for over 5 years. His high energy, work ethic and reputation for being the first to respond on the two-way radio to customer equipment load requests, has earned him the nickname "Turbo." Curt began his career washing U-Haul trucks in Michigan in his early 20s and has worked for a variety of rental companies ever since accounting for over 35 years of work in the rental industry. This experience makes him a valuable asset to Highway 55 Rental’s customers by being able to efficiently instruct them on how to operate various types of tool equipment so they feel comfortable before heading to their work site. Curt appreciates music and in his off time plays drums as well as guitar, after being taught by his co-worker, Jim Koehn. He also loves movies, particular super hero films, with his favorite character being Nightcrawler of the X-Men.
Hunter Eye – Tool Equipment Rental Yard Tech
Hunter is a skilled Yard Tech whose positive attitude and hard work ethic make him a valuable asset to the tool equipment rental shop. Friendly by nature, he can be found helping load customers, instructing them how to operate machines and helping clean and maintain tool equipment. Hunter will also assist the Event Rental division when needed. He considers himself a comic book nerd and enjoys playing first person shooters and platform based video games. He is the middle child with an older brother and a younger sister.
Company Owners Reg Pederson and Jeff Pederson
As owners, brothers and co-founders of Highway 55 Rental, Reg and Jeff have dedicated over 40 years to their family-owned and operated business. Starting in the late 70s, their father Harold, "Pete" Pederson helped them secure the property, which at the time was surrounded by fields and very few homes or businesses. From there, the brothers worked 7 days a week, sun up to sun down and reinvested what little money they made back into the business. In time, their hard working leadership, steady persistence and a bit of luck would eventually turn their small rental shop into a company serving thousands of customers per year in a community that has grown along with them.
Reg Pederson – Founder and Owner
Reg’s commitment to achieving a balance between the business’ bottom line while keeping equipment up to date and new to maximize customer satisfaction has been critical to ensuring steady and manageable growth throughout the company’s history. A quick thinker by nature, Reg has demonstrated great proficiency to get to the root of a problem, propose a practical solution and begin directing and delegating to solve the problem in the most effective and expedient manner possible. His philosophy in business has always been to focus on providing the best service possible at a fair price to customers while holding his team to a high standard of work ethic and reliability, which customers have come to expect when doing business with Highway 55 Rental. In turn, the loyalty of the company’s full-time staff, the majority of whom have been with Highway 55 Rental for over 15 years, is a testament to this and his ability to help maintain an independently owned business for over 4 decades of varying economic conditions and dynamic industry changes.
In Reg’s free time he enjoys playing golf at Medina Golf & Country Club with his friends where he once served as Club President in addition to serving as President of the Northwest Chamber of Commerce where he received a Community Service Award. He has also served on the Board of the Minnesota Rental Association and as Chairman of the Medina Relations Committee among other leadership roles throughout his time as a business man and respected member of the community. Reg has two sons, Jon and Chris who are also dedicated to the family business and places great value on spending time with them, his wife, daughter-in-law and as "Papa" to his two new grandchildren, who keep him on his toes.
Jeff Pederson – Founder and Owner
Jeff’s hands-on work ethic and drive to seek out new ideas for growth has been a critical part of the company’s historical success. Jeff sets the bar high when it comes to overseeing the maintaince the large fleet of tools, machines and moving vehicles. Despite being in the business for over 40 years, he still can be seen taking on the various hard manual labor tasks associated with the business. Whether it be hooking up a customer’s trailer, negotiating large equipment purchases or expertly educating a customer on how to run a heavy piece of machinery, Jeff can and is willing to do whatever is necessary to serve the business. There are few in the rental industry who know landscaping, tool and contracting equipment as well as Jeff and even fewer who are able to explain it to the wide range of customer skill sets that come through Highway 55 Rental’s doors. Above all, he understands the importance and value of relationships and makes a conscious effort to ask customers how their project or event went whenever he can.
Jeff enjoys outdoor sports such as cycling and rollerblading and shows great dedication to keeping himself fit, as has been illustrated when staff half his age try to keep up with him on certain projects. He also owns Medina Mini Storage and manages various rental properties in the area. Jeff is currently serving his 3rd term on the Medina City Council in addition to having served on the Medina Planning Commission and as both President and Vice President for the Minnesota Rental Association. As someone who cares greatly about his hometown, it is not uncommon to see him attending and supporting events in the local community he has lived in and loved for over 50 years.