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Simply Self Storage Names Senior-Level Executives, District Managers

Simply Self Storage (SSS), which owns or manages 187 self-storage facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico, named eight new senior-level executives and promoted three other employees.

Update 4/7/16 – SSS has promoted Kyle Schmutzler from senior vice president and authorized housing counsel to executive vice president of real estate. Before joining the company in 2004, Schmutzler had been employed for three years at the Indianapolis-based law firm of Bingham McHale LLP. As a member of the company’s real estate practice group, his focus was on land planning as well as commercial and residential acquisition and development matters. He’s represented national and regional companies in the acquisition, development and sale of properties.

While at Bingham McHale, Schmutzler assisted SSS in the development, finance and purchase of real estate throughout the Midwest, according to a press release. In his most recent role with the company, he was responsible for all legal and real estate related matters, including more than $1 billion in self-storage transactions. His promotion comes at a pivotal time for SSS as it strategically positions itself for accelerated growth in 2016, the release stated.

“I am excited for Kyle’s promotion. He has worked very hard and a great deal of Simply’s success is due to his efforts,” O’Brien said.


3/25/16 – Simply Self Storage has hired three more senior-level executives: Roger Burgin, vice president of business development; Brandon Dickens, vice president of development; and Wylie Klyce, vice president of development.

Burgin was most recently the executive portfolio manager at DealPoint Merrill LLC, where he developed budgets and business plans as well as set and managed financial and operational goals. He was also responsible for recruiting and developing talent. Burgin was formerly the regional vice president of operations for Platinum Management Group Inc.; senior district manager for Public Storage Inc./Shurgard Self-Storage; and regional franchise consultant/district manager for New World Restaurant Group Inc. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dickens has more than16 years of real estate experience. Most recently, he was vice president of development for Apartment Investment Management Co., where he was responsible for leading redevelopment and ground-up projects in the Western United States, highlighted by a $250 million, 800-unit apartment community in Venice, Calif. His project oversight included a design team of architects and engineers, entitlements, financial reporting, lease-up to stabilization, and marketing, and permitting.

Dickens was also the former development manager for First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. He began his career as an analyst at Catellus Development Corp. in 1999 and was later promoted to project director, a position he held until his departure in 2005. Dickens graduated from California State University with a degree in business administration/finance with an emphasis on real estate.

Klyce was formerly a real estate manager for Charlotte, N.C.-based Family Dollar Stores where he was responsible for leadership, oversight and coordination of the company’s preferred brokers and developers in relation to the brand’s expansion. He was also tasked with financial-analysis site selection and operational viability in reviewing and approving new sites.

Prior to Family Dollar, Klyce was the head of development of ArgoTrade Inc., where he was in charge of all aspects of development and instrumental in executing more than 50 leaseholds within 18 months. He was promoted in 2012 to vice president, overseeing all departments and field personnel. Klyce was also the director of real estate for Aldi Inc., where he was promoted to district manager in 2006. In this role, he was in charge of the development process, from site selection, entitlement and oversight of construction to store opening. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University.

“We are excited that these best-in-class professionals will be joining the Simply team,” O’Brien said.


2/10/16 – Simply Self Storage (SSS), which owns or manages 187 self-storage facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico, named five new senior-level executives and promoted two other employees. The new executives are John Hirschfeld, vice president of corporate strategy; Katya Hristova, vice president of pre-development; Charles McPhee, senior vice president of development; Cameron Urry, vice president of digital marketing; and Rich Windisch, regional vice president. David Welsh and Terry White were promoted to the position of transitional district manager.

An SSS employee since 2006, Hirschfeld served as a district manager primarily responsible for field operations in Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri. He was also responsible for leading teams in Illinois and Ohio as well as training newly hired district managers. In his new role, he’ll oversee the company’s information technology, marketing and training departments. Prior to joining SSS, Hirschfeld was as a district manager for Chuck & Don’s pet-food outlet.

Hristova is an architect with more than 10 years of experience managing and coordinating the design and construction of mixed- use developments, large campuses and institutional projects. She has extensive knowledge of sustainable-building concepts, and was involved in numerous Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects while working for design firms in Boston and Cambridge, Mass. Hristova is an active member of the U.S. Green Building Council and Urban Land Institute as well as a Certified Commercial Investment Member. She’s a LEED-accredited professional and has in-depth comprehension of energy preservation, practices and principles. Hristova has a real estate license in Chicago and earned a Bachelor of Architecture with honors from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She’s currently studying for a Master of Real Estate Development at Auburn University.

McPhee was most recently senior vice president of development for self-storage real estate investment trust (REIT) Public Storage Inc., where he was responsible for hiring a development team of 17 professionals in Atlanta, Dallas, New Jersey, Seattle and Southern California. He’s built an active pipeline of approximately 60 development projects in major Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Prior to Public Storage, McPhee was executive vice president of development for Catellus Development Corp., overseeing the national development platform for the company’s private and public versions. He was also senior vice president of development for several organizations, including Howard Hughes Corp., Macerich Co. and Prologis.

Urry joins SSS from self-storage REIT Extra Space Storage Inc. He’s been in digital marketing for 14 years and has experience in agency and the client side of advertising. Urry was recognized as an innovator and for pushing the limits of digital technology during his time at Extra Space, according to an SSS press release.

Windisch has more than12 years of self-storage industry experience. In his new role, he’ll be responsible for the company’s self-storage operations in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Puerto Rico. Most recently, he was the vice president of operations for Strategic Storage Trust Inc., a publicly registered, non-traded REIT that changed its name to SmartStop Self Storage Inc. in 2014. While there, he was responsible for overseeing 168 self-storage facilities in 21 states and Ontario, Canada. Windisch holds a Master of Business Administration in finance from IONA College.

Welsh has been a part of the SSS team since 2014. Prior to joining the company, he was an area sales manager and operations manager for Dillard’s Inc., and a market leader with Inkstop Inc. In his new role, he’ll be instrumental with conversions and adding new properties to the company’s managed portfolio, the release stated.

An employee of SSS since September 2014, White will also be involved with conversions and growing the company’s third-party management program. Prior to joining SSS, he was a senior manager for FedEx Corp. and managing director for the Hair Club for Men and Women. White began working in the U.S. in 1998, following a transfer by TVI Inc. to be the district manager for the Great Lakes area.

“Each of these key additions bring with them a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to the Simply Self Storage leadership team,” said Kurt O’Brien, CEO and company founder. “We are positioned for accelerated growth in 2016 and look forward to an exceptional year. I’m confident these individuals will play key roles in enhancing our brand, growing our portfolio and increasing revenue in the immediate future.”

Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., SSS owns or manages facilities in 18 states and Puerto Rico. Its properties comprise 14.9 million square feet of storage space. The company ranked No. 7 on the 2015 Inside Self-Storage Top-Operators List.

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