Area District Vice President
For nearly 20 years, Bill Rains has served U-Haul through his leadership, diligence and a customer-centric approach. Today, he has as much influence and direction on the Company’s thriving operations and revitalization efforts in Metro Detroit as anyone in the U-Haul system.
Rains was appointed Area District Vice President of Region 7 in 2013 after proving himself in almost every field position that a U-Haul Team Member can. His current responsibilities include: overseeing field operations in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio; supporting seven marketing company presidents in their implementation of programs and procedures; and identifying new acquisitions and developing them into rental locations and self-storage facilities.
Prior to his current role, Rains served as president of U-Haul Company of Central Michigan. His previous positions include customer service representative; assistant manager; general manager; area field manager; and field relief manager. Rains moved to Michigan in 2002 after working for U-Haul Company of Central Indiana. Among Rains’ accomplishments has been establishing Central Michigan as a profitable area while cultivating a network of field personnel focused on the customer.
Rains has participated in adaptive reuse projects in Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Akron, Toledo, Grand Rapids and other Midwest cities. He is most proud of Team U-Haul’s efforts on the NBC reuse project in Detroit’s New Center community, which involved rehabilitating the abandoned Nabisco factory into a U-Haul store and self-storage facility. Open since 2012, it stands as one of the largest and most notable adaptive reuse projects in U-Haul history.
“It was nice to see the businesspeople and citizens of the area stop, see us work on the building and thank us for rehabbing it instead of tearing it down,” Rains said. “The properties around us made an effort to become more appealing and aesthetically pleasing. To this day, people comment on the original hardwood flooring, brickwork in the showroom, and the coal scoop on display that would distribute enough coal to power the Nabisco ovens for that day’s baking.
“The project taught us that adaptive reuse is a good, feasible and sustainable process. It’s nice to show the NBC building to other municipalities when we explain our sustainability platform and the many things we can do for a community. We invest in something and hope it gives back. When it does, you feel it, the people feel it and the community feels it.”
Rains recently helped oversee the reuse of an abandoned Kmart building in northwest Detroit, which has been renovated and brought life back to a vacated area of the Motor City. The facility showcases 1,200 storage rooms and adds jobs while providing a needed service to this corridor.
Rains, 46, is a native of Anderson, Ind. The former U.S. Navy Search and Rescue Swimmer and Avionics Technician has been married to wife Tricia since 2011 and calls Hartland, Mich., home.
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