AAARents: Corporate History

Founded by Joe Hanigan, AAARents has been in continuous business for over 50 years.

After graduating with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Portland, Joe completed two years honorable service in the US Army’s-5th Army.
Upon Discharge, Joe began his career in the Party & Event Rental industry as the General Manager of Abbey Rents in Portland Oregon. At that time, Abbey Rents was the largest Party, Event and Medical Equipment Rental company in the country.
Hanigan’s success with Abbey Rents, provided him the vision to open his own Party, Event, and Medical Equipment Rental Company.

In 1960, Joe and his wife Agnes moved from Portland Oregon to Lincoln Nebraska and opened AAARents in a small store at 22nd & O St. Starting with a inventory of rental tables, chairs, china+dishware, glass+barware, catering equipment, buffet service pieces, flatware+cutlery and a basic line of tablecloths.
Agnes handled the office duties, while Joe took care of the Sales and Delivery for their new business.

After two years, the opportunity to expand AAARents appeared in 1962, and Joe opened the company’s first branch at Nebraska’s largest city, Omaha.
In 1963, with the successful startup of the Omaha branch, Mr. Leon Hammack was brought in as General Manager of AAARents Omaha.
Leon’s background as a former Abbey Rents Minneapolis Manager and General Manager of the Party and Event Rental division of Arrow Rents Omaha helped AAARents become the top Party and Event Rental company in the Metro Omaha-Council Bluffs area.
Joe and Agnes returned to Lincoln and the company’s corporate headquarters.

Tom Houlihan came to AAARents in 1966 at the Lincoln headquarters working in the Warehouse & Delivery department. Under Joe Hanigan’s guidance and direction, Tom moved up in the organization working at both the Lincoln and Omaha facilities, gaining operational experience in both Cities Delivery, Warehouse, Party & Event departments.
Upon graduation from Lincoln Pius X High School and serving honorably in the US Army’s-V Corps, Tom returned to AAARents in 1974.

After Fifteen years success in the Lincoln, Omaha Party and Event Rental business, Joe saw the opportunity to evolve and expand AAARents by opening a Total Event Company in Des Moines Iowa, that specialized in providing products and services to Event Planners-Trade Associations-Convention Centers-Arena’s-Auditoriums-Theaters-Conference Centers-Sporting Events and Hotels.
Tom Houlihan was tasked with opening and managing this new venture and it quickly grew in size as one of the largest General Service Exhibition & Special Event Contractors in the Midwest for Trade Shows, Expositions, Conventions, Meetings & Corporate Events.
This new Total Event business model was integrated into the Omaha and Lincoln operations.

The success of Des Moines gave opportunity to expand the company’s service to customers in Colorado, Wyoming, Western Kansas, Nebraska Panhandle and the Dakota’s.
The person tapped to develop this expansion was Tom Heller, a Kearney, Nebraska native & former University of Nebraska Cornhusker football player.
After honorable service in The United States Navy and while completing his education at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Tom came to work at AAARents Lincoln Branch in the Delivery, Warehouse and Trade Show Departments.
Tom opened the AAARents Denver Branch in 1978 as a General Service Exhibition & Special Event Contractor specializing in Convention, Trade Shows, Meeting & Special Event Decorating.
Heller developed a unique Specialized Outdoor Event Business Model to serve Agri-Business at the largest Farm Shows-Expos-Fairs and Rodeos in the region.
These Outdoor Event best practices were introduced into the Lincoln, Omaha & Des Moines Branches with much success. This integration allowed AAARents to seamlessly serve its Corporate Agri-Business Clients and the Agri-Business Event Industry across the Midwest.

AAARents expansion and growth in the 1970’s brought Ms. Jackie Law to the company. Originally employed as an executive secretary, she was quickly promoted to Joe Hanigan’s executive assistant.

Jackie, in addition to her administrative skills, brought a passion to Event Design, Party & Wedding Rentals. She energized the company’s Party & Wedding Rental division by refreshing, expanding and updating the product offerings and developing strategic resource partnerships with Lincoln & Omaha Event Planners, Caterers, Tent Company’s, Sound & Lighting Producers, Florists, Photographers, Bridal Shops & Special Event Venues.
These alliances provided Nebraska Brides, Event & Party Planners, a more collaborative event planning process.

Seeing the opportunity to blend Event Color & Design, Jackie created the AAARents Linen+Fabric group in 1987. This specialized division allows AAARents to offer a variety of Color, Style, Size, Weight & Texture Linens+Fabrics to the Wedding, Party and Special Event Industry.
Today AAARents Linen+Fabric Department is recognized as the Midwest’s leading innovator in the use of Linen+Fabric to the Special Event Market.

Joe Hanigan sold AAARents to his son, Richard Hanigan, and Jackie Law in 1992, with Jackie assuming the position of President & CEO at that time. Jackie relocated to Omaha in 1995 to oversee the companys largest market.
Richard Hanigan, a long time AAARents employee remained at the corporate headquarters in Lincoln working in the companies administration department and helping the operations division as needed.

Building on the strong foundation that Joe, Leon, Houlihan and Heller created, Jackie moved quickly to provide a more comprehensive customer service vision, adding new services, products and capabilities to AAARents.
Jackie’s accomplishments changed the face of AAARents.Developing a Professional team of Wedding+Special Event Designers focused on personalized service, creativity and quality, bringing clients events to life. She deployed Specialized Event Services Teams, to deliver the creative look & decor the client envisions
She encourged Employee Personal Growth and Offering Professional Development Opportunities.
Upgrading the Showroom+Design Studio’s in Omaha and Lincoln to better showcase event essentials & provide a creative environment.

In 2000, to better to serve the Special Event, Party Rental & Trade Show market in Central Nebraska, Jackie opened the company’a newest office at Kearney Nebraska.
The opening of the Kearney branch allowed AAARents to more directly expand its product & services reach from Central Nebraska into Northern Kansas and Western Nebraska.

Jackie’s leadership, market insight and industry expertise has strengthened AAARents culture of Quality & Innovation. She not only looks for the Best Practices-Jackie is looking to the Next Practices.
For Jackie Law, AAARents has never been about a job. AAARents has been her passion.
Jackie takes great pleasure working with people of character, creativity and a commitment to Excellence who have become her second family.
“Above all it is the Men and Women with whom we work that Matter the Most”.

Explore the Possibilities with AAARents.