Approximately 25 self-storage owners and operators have banded together to form the Self-Storage Association of Michigan (SSAM), the first organization supporting the industry in the state. The members met in the spring to fund the start-up and nominate a board of directors. On August 3, the new board gathered in Okemos, Mich., for its inaugural meeting. The group established a mission statement, adopted bylaws and elected officers.
The board of directors includes Dan Morris of Fidelity Bank as president; Maurice Pogoda of Pogoda Cos. as vice president; Jon Hutto of Hutto Investments as secretary; and Mark Floria of Sperry Van Ness as treasurer. The other board members are David Leonard of Grand Central Self Storage, Kevin Cannon of Simply Self Storage and Brian Lott of Lott Insurance Agency.
"Most major industries have trade associations," said Morris. "As owners, operators and associates, it is time to unite our industry and provide state representation for the new association members."
The SSAM will have a working relationship with the Michigan Manufactured Housing, Recreation Vehicle and Campground Association (MMH & RVCA). This 65-year-old association will share its building, administrative services and legislative expertise with the new start-up, including the guidance of its veteran Executive Director Timothy J. DeWitt.
"We realized that we had 20 existing MMH & RVCA members who were also involved in the self-storage industry, but lacked representation, commented DeWitt. It was a natural fit. Together with the board and founding members, I feel we can build an association that will help Michigan's self-storage industry expand and prosper."
Michigan has approximately 1,500 storage facilities, making it one of the top 10 states in terms of industry square footage. The SSAM works to improve the business climate for its members and encourage growth in all areas of the industry through legislation, education and marketing. For more information, call 888.308.SSAM; visit www.selfstoragemichigan.com.