My “last word” should most definitely be thankful. I have so very much for which to be thankful. I started in the storage industry not long after my 21st birthday, so I have grown up while working as a vendor in the self-storage industry. However, having just celebrated my 49th birthday, I can’t help but think back on the path that almost wasn’t.
Originally, I started at Porvene or ASTA Door company; they manufactured both the self-storage roll-up doors as well as the larger commercial roll-up doors. I felt I would enjoy working in the commercial door side of the business and not the self-storage side. I had been able to get some weekend jobs installing both styles of doors and enjoyed the larger commercial door jobs, probably because they paid better. I worked inside sales there for a while before moving over to DBCI to do the same inside sales position. I really wanted to move into outside sales, but the only position that came open was in the self-storage division.
I ultimately accepted it and I’m so glad that I did because of the opportunity it offered me to expand my knowledge of this great industry. I learned a tremendous amount about the self-storage industry from my boss Dan Curtis, who was over the outside sales division. I was always amazed at his consultative approach to sales and the way he would help people get into the self-storage business. Through his leadership and example, I learned how to become an effective outside salesperson and how to efficiently layout storage sites and buildings. I still use those layout skills today as I later transitioned from selling roll-up doors to selling metal framed self-storage buildings.
Having worked most of my adult life in the self-storage business, I have encountered many great people, both fellow vendors and customers—many of those I sold doors have also become customers to whom I now sell buildings. I have made incredible life-long friends in this industry. I even met my current business partners Chris Pearson and Chad Wood. We started Storage Structures in 2007. In the beginning, it was just me, Chris, and Chad. We have now grown to over 50 employees in multiple offices and hundreds more in the field erecting the buildings. At Storage Structures, we have been blessed with awesome and dedicated employees. We have also added more leadership personnel in the last few years and would definitely not be where we are today without them. Most recently, we were able to create and patent a revolutionary new self-storage framing system that we have high expectations for in the coming years. I’ve been a part of the self-storage code council that effectively changed the International Buildings Code in favor to add a fourth level in height to unprotected multi-story buildings. I’ve also been able to give back and serve on self-storage association boards in various positions.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being in the self-storage industry all these years. There have been good years and lean years, but I am thankful that I chose the path I did. I have been humbled by the relationships I have made over the years through this industry and am truly thankful for them.