William Michael “Mike” Parham, a self-storage owner and developer who also owned The Parham Group of companies, died Nov. 18 after suffering a heart attack. He was 59. Parham is survived by his wife, Ann Parham, daughters Rachel and Rebecca Parham, and son David Parham.
His memorial service will take place at 3 p.m. on Nov. 30 at Bulverde Baptist Church, 1331 Bulverde Road in Bulverde, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Boy Scouts of America or Wounded Warriors Project. Condolences can also be sent to The Parham Group at 30435 U.S. Highway 281 N., Bulverde, Texas, 78163.
“During our 30 years of friendship, I watched at meetings as Mike was always willing to share his industry knowledge and try to help point folks in the proper direction toward future success,” said Jim Chiswell, owner of self-storage consultancy firm Chiswell & Associates LLC. “He and his wife, Ann, built The Parham Group into an industry leader with a positive philosophy and a desire to make everyone benefit. I am hopeful the family’s memories of all of their good times together will in some small way sustain them during his difficult time. May God’s light shine on all of them, as I know it shines now on Mike.”
A resident of Bulverde, Texas, Mike was a long-time member of the Texas Self Storage Association (TSSA), which has posted a remembrance of Parham on its Facebook page: “We will remember Mike for his perpetual smile, his warm, supportive comments, and his willingness to always teach others.”
TSSA Executive Director Ginny Sutton told “The SpareFoot Storage Beat,” Parham was already a well-respected TSSA member when she joined the association in 1997. “Over the years, he taught more sessions and led more roundtable discussions than just about anyone in the industry,” Sutton said. “In short, he was a great educator who seemed to love teaching people about his specialty—smart development.”
Members of the online community Self-Storage Talk are discussing their memories of Parham in a thread titled, “Sad news…”
Parham attended Stephen F. Austin State University under a U.S. Army scholarship and graduated as a “distinguished military graduate” with a Bachelor’s of Science in forest management and engineering in 1974. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His advanced studies included the completion of a civil-engineering program from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer College as well as a construction-management program at Texas A&M University.
Parham fulfilled his military obligation from 1974 to 1980 and earned the rank of captain in 1978. His military career included commanding an atomic demolition and munitions regiment, brigade staff positions for logistics and financial management, and command of a heavy construction company, which built and managed government projects in Texas.
He began his civilian career in 1980 as the construction superintendent of ISC Properties, a multi-family and commercial development firm in Dallas. As a superintendent, Parham helped build 20 custom homes and two condominium properties. In 1981, he was promoted to president of DSC, the construction subsidiary of ISC Properties, responsible for all construction operations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. During his two years as president, he was responsible for the construction of two office buildings, one retail center, multi-family properties and two self-storage facilities.
Parham left ISC Properties in 1983 to become vice president of Hendry Investments, a real estate development firm in San Antonio. His responsibilities included development, design and construction of all commercial, multi-family and self-storage properties. Between 1983 and 1987, he developed a 350-unit multi-family property, a 50,000-square-foot office complex and seven self-storage properties in Florida, Kentucky and Texas.
In 1987, Parham founded National Development Services Inc. (NDS) to provide a full complement of services for the self-storage industry. The company has developed, designed and built more than 150 storage properties across the country. Over the years, its clients have included Public Storage, Security Storage, Shurgard Capital Group, Storage USA and other owner/operators nationwide.
The Parham Group includes Joshua Management, which offers management and consulting, manager training, and auditing; Learn Self Storage, an educational tool for self-storage developers, investors and operators; NDS Construction, a full-service design/build firm; and Noah’s Ark Development, which offers self-storage development, consulting, site and business planning, and feasibility. The company also owns seven Noah’s Ark Self-Storage facilities in Florida and Texas.