The computer rental industry lost a good friend last week, Julian Sandler. Julian was founder, president and CEO of SmartSource Computer and Audio Visual Rentals, formerly Rent-A-PC.
Julian was a pioneer in the computer rental industry, starting Rent-A-PC in 1984, the same year IBM introduced the IBM AT. He started one of the computer rental industry’s first companies. I started my company, Rentacomputer.com (Formerly Rent-A-Computer) 3 years later in 1987.
He grew his Rent-A-PC organization by hard work, organic growth and acquisitions. Under his leadership, the company made 16 acquisitions and currently has 22 full-service locations nationwide with more than 250 employees.
I met Julian two times at International Technology Rental Association (ITRA) meetings. Due to his illness, he was unable to attend this year’s meeting.
The last time I met Julian was in San Diego at the Coronado Island Marriot Resort. There I really got to know the wit, wisdom and charm of Julian Sandler.
Dinner Tour of San Diego Harbor
About 50 ITRA conference attendees took a Dinner cruise of the San Diego Harbor. I had the pleasure of sitting down across from Julian for dinner and speaking with him at length. You could tell he was South African, or British by his accent. He had a charming way with words. At evenings end, I was thoroughly impressed by his wit, wisdom and knowledge of the industry.
He was a gentleman who was firm in his ideas, yet diplomatic in his conversations about business, politics, economics and life. He never bragged about his education or success, yet he had much to brag about. Unbelievably, Julian had a Ph.D. degree in experimental nuclear physics! SmartSource is estimated to have done over $55 Million USD in 2008, which would put his company near or at the top of the computer rental industry.
Julian Sandler was a man of charm, optimism and grace.
Goodbye my friend. Your knowledge and wisdom will live with me, the members of the ITRA and the computer rental industry always.
Peace and goodwill be with you, your friends and your family.