Inside Self-Storage is proud to welcome a new addition to its staff this month: Elaine M. Foxwell, editor for the magazine's U.K. and Europe edition. Last year, ISS published its first-ever Europe supplement issue, which was circulated to more than 3,000 self-storage owners, operators, managers, suppliers and related companies throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. This year, there will be two such issues; by 2003, it is our goal to publish a bimonthly magazine specifically catered to our U.K and European audience.
Elaine's role is two-fold: First, she will serve as the primary correspondent for our overseas readership. This will provide her keen insight to the wants and needs of the audience ISS U.K./Europe will seek to serve. Second, as a native of Great Britain, she holds a special awareness and understanding necessary to fully address cross-cultural business issues. "World Watch" will be her way of communicating those issues to our American readership each month. We continue our commitment to industry evolution and progress, and wish you all the best in the next frontier for your business.
Teri L. Lanza
CHATTING ACROSS THE "POND"
Hanging in my office is a photo of Her Majesty that has accompanied me through a couple of trans-Atlantic moves. Coworkers occasionally comment on it. Even though I live on this side of the "pond" (as my mum says), my heart still fondly remains in my small village of Pyrford, Surrey, where I grew up. There, my brother and I attended private school--muddied up in blue, silver and gray uniforms--and struggled with math, French and, for me, girls' field hockey. Then we emigrated to the United States. What a culture shock! Here were big cars, country music, hot dogs and driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Life here moved considerably faster.
Patient university professors struggled with my insistence on spelling things differently, but with my first writing job, my conversion was complete--almost. My 20 years of experience writing about construction, engineering and mining achieved my immersion in American journalism; but when writing letters home, I'd revert to my English lexicon. If it weren't for my trusty copyeditors, the occasional word would wander into my articles.
Differences in language notwithstanding, there are distinctions in commerce and culture to be acknowledged by businesses venturing toward the international scene. This is part of the mission of "World Watch": to bring you news of companies abroad, as well as address the issues encountered by U.S. companies eyeing the lucrative and booming world of international self-storage. In the United Kingdom and Europe, it's an industry still in its infancy. U.S. suppliers and the worldwide public will experience quite a learning curve as they investigate new business territory. We aim to help shorten it.
Over the months, this printed dialogue will grow as we respond to reader input. Feel free to contact me with questions, comments and other observations. Regardless of spelling or differences in language, integrity will be maintained in the industry through the exchange of ideas and information.
Elaine M. Foxwell
WORLD WATCH WRITERS
Andrew Donaldson, Active Supply & Design Ltd.
Andrew Donaldson is the chief executive officer and founder of Active Supply & Design Ltd., a storage- equipment business in Cheshire, England. In its 11 years of operation, the company has been responsible for the design and fit-out of more than 100 European self-storage facilities and has established a chain of self- storage warehouses.
Donaldson also founded the Self Storage Sentinel newsletter, Rent-A-Space Ltd. and selfstorage.uk.net. He served as a director of the Self-Storage Association of the United Kingdom for three terms and was recently made chair of The Prince's Trust Cheshire Business Division. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Shell UK Livewire National Entrepreneur of 1992, Kidsons Impey Pacesetter Award 1995, Duke of Westminster Special Award 1996, Arthur Anderson and The Prince's Trust Regional Award 1996, and the Shell UK Livewire National Significant Progress Award 1999. His company is listed in the Top 10 Businesses Ever in the History of The Prince's Trust. Donaldson is judge, mentor and guest speaker for Livewire, The Prince's Trust and Young Enterprise, which helps 16- to 18-year-olds learn about business.
Graham Lomax, Rabco Europe Ltd.
Graham Lomax is a founding director of Rabco Europe Ltd. in Essex, England, which was opened in August 2001 by Olando, Fla.-based The Rabco Corp. Lomax and his partner, Kevin Lennie, met Rabco representatives while on a research trip spurred on by the phenomenal growth of the self-storage concept in the United Kingdom. Rabco is a full-service supplier of pre-engineered single- and multistory self-storage buildings in the United States and now Europe.
After finishing college in 1987 as an architectural technician, Lomax worked as a trainee surveyor/estimator for a specialist industrial and commercial refurbishment contractor. He moved on to a well-known and established international contractor and worked on large, new-build projects including refineries and prison facilities. During the six years prior to joining forces with Rabco, Lomax worked for a large, multidiscipline, public-limited company, in a division that specialized in commercial and industrial refurbishment. In addition to working on contracts for U.S. Air Force bases in the United Kingdom for the Ministry of Defense, he was responsible for converting existing buildings to self-storage facilities.