Storage Express Grand Opening Benefits Domestic Animals

Storage Express will celebrate the grand opening of its newest self-storage facility in Sellersburg, Ind., from noon until 2 p.m. tomorrow. In addition to festivities, the event includes a visit from the Whiskers Wagon, and a $500 check will be awarded to the Floyd County Humane Society.
 
Whiskers Wagon, operated by the Humane Society, will bring dogs and cats available for adoption to the self-storage site for pet-lovers to meet. Storage Express owner/president Jefferson Shreve launched an Adopt-a-Friend campaign earlier this year to provide support to animal-rescue shelters. He’ll present a check to WW during tomorrow’s event.

Festivities will also include refreshments and prize drawings, including a grand-prize weekend getaway provided by the Eagle Point Golf & Tennis Resort on Indiana’s Lake Monroe. There will be a ribbon-cutting at noon, and THE MAX radio 102.3 will broadcast live from the event.

Storage Express owns and operates 75 self-storage properties across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. This is the fourth storage facility the company has opened this year.
 
Source:
New Albany Tribune, New business’ grand opening in Sellersburg to benefit animal group

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ISS Blog

What Should I Wear to Work Today?

As a publishing company, the majority of us aren’t meeting and greeting the general public on a daily basis, so we have a pretty casual dress code at my office.

While most anything goes—flip flops and shorts included for us Arizona guys and gals—there are some articles of clothing you just really don’t want to see your coworkers wearing. You would think short shorts, very-there bra straps and grungy T-shirts would be off limits to some, but you occasionally still see it.

As a self-storage manager, you are front and center with the public every day. And while I’m a pretty progressive gal and wouldn’t expect to walk into a storage facility and be greeted by a man in a suit and tie, I’d rather not be staring down chest hair, multiple gold chains and a badly overgrown beard. Nor would I like to be shown a unit by a woman in six-inch platforms in a mini-skirt. There are some fashions that are meant for Saturday night, not Tuesdays at work.

While I know my thoughts on dress code will spark the ire of some self-storage folk who think flip-flops and Bermuda shorts are just fine for work, others will agree a more professional look is warranted on the job. A recent article on MSN.com discusses proper workplace attire, noting “casual” attire doesn’t mean “careless.” Case in point: If it’s the kind of outfit you’d wear to go clubbing Saturday night or to the beach on Sunday, it’s probably not the right outfit for work.

If you don’t have an official dress code, create one and put it in your employee handbook. That way there’s no mistaking what is and isn’t accepted.

For all of you managers who wear a uniform, I commend you. I worked in a hotel during college and wore a very formal uniform: skirt, pantyhose and a girly tie. It was excruciatingly difficult for me as a 20-year-old to suit up every night for my shift. But it was an upscale hotel and my guests were, more often than not, wearing suits and ties, too. So I did it.

And while I’m lucky to be wearing jeans today, I still shy away from wearing shorts at work, even when it’s 100-plus degrees outside. I’m just not comfortable with going that casual.

Think about your own wardrobe choices for work. What message are you sending your current and prospective tenants? Do they see you as classy or trashy? Do you look like you’re in charge, or the owner’s son on college leave? Sadly, first impressions do make a difference. Make yours count.

Share your dress code ethics with us by posting a comment below. Or head over to Self-Storage Talk and join the discussion on dress codes.

ISS Humanitarian Service Award: A+ Storage Supports the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Robert Craig, vice president of operations for A+ Storage in Nashville, Tenn., was one of four recipients of the Inside Self-Storage 2009 Humanitarian Service Award, which recognizes self-storage companies and professionals who support charitable causes. A $2,000 grant was given to the nonprofit organizations, projects, events or programs endorsed by the winners.
 
In June 2008, Craig and the team at A+ began working with the Greater Nashville Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a non-profit organization that funds research and development for the cure of breast cancer. The company not only stored items for the city’s 2008 Race for the Cure, it provided t-shirt packaging for more than 10,000 race packets.

With a team of 40-plus volunteers who invested more than 1,000 man hours, A+ Storage was also able to provide a secure, air-conditioned facility to host packet fulfillment.

“I chose to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Greater Nashville because 75 percent of every dollar raised in the region stays here and is granted to other non-profits that are on the front lines battling breast cancer,” Craig says. “The grants fund non-profit organizations that are working tirelessly with low-income and non-insured individuals, educating men and women on the value of early detection and awareness.”

This past April, A+ Storage took on a bigger role in the second annual event. The company’s Clarksville, Tenn., facility, one of 10 in the state, helped stage the race, which attracted more than 750 participants and raised $73,000, according to Craig.

“The Susan G. Komen team has been a pleasure to work with. They are totally committed to working toward their goals and of the ongoing collaboration to address breast health,” Craig says. “They were certainly thrilled to learn about the $2,000 check awarded through the generosity of Inside Self-Storage.”

Despite the economic downturn, Craig believes there are many charitable people willing to step up and support worthy causes. “There is the concurrent responsibility of those who continue to prosper and give back to the communities that have been so instrumental in helping us achieve the success and growth we have achieved,” he says. “Much of the benefit that accrues to our facilities is the intangible goodwill that no marketing budget is able to buy.” 

About the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation 

When Susan Komen lost her life to breast cancer in 1982, her sister, Nancy Brinker, vowed to do everything in her power to put a stop to the disease. She established the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, now the world’s largest grassroots organization of breast-cancer survivors and activists. To date, the group has raised more than $1.2 billion in funds for research, patient care and public awareness. For information on how you or your company can donate or volunteer, visit www.komen.org.

 

Portland's Pearl District Gets New Self-Storage Facility

On Tuesday, property developer Williams Dame & Associates and its partner, BDC Advisors LLC, will break ground on Pearl Storage, a 100,000-square-foot, 750-unit self-storage facility in Portland, Ore. Nestled in the Pearl District, the facility will managed by West Coast Self-Storage.
 
The building was designed by Holst Architects and is being constructed by Pacific Development. First Republic Bank provided construction financing. The project is scheduled for completion in April 2010.
 
Source: Portland Business Journal, Williams Dame & Associates starts storage project in Pearl District

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75-Year-Old Woman Living in Carroll Self-Storage Unit

A 75-year-old former schoolteacher living in a self-storage unit has authorities concerned in Carroll, Iowa. The disabled woman has trouble lifting the unit door and police are concerned she could become trapped, according to Police Chief Jeff Caylor. They also have concerns about her health and the extreme summer temperatures.
 
The unit is furnished with a couch. Police paid for a night in a motel, but the woman didn’t want to stay there.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Police worry about woman making storage unit home

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New Partnership Provides Clean-Energy Solutions for Self-Storage

J. DiNardo Consulting of Reading, Mass., and Nexamp Inc.of North Andover, Mass., have formed a marketing partnership to deliver solar photovoltaic solutions to self-storage operators throughout the state. DiNardo, a self-storage operator and consultant of 20 years, will collaborate with Nexamp to work with self-storage facilities that can benefit from the company’s turnkey clean-energy solutions.
 
Nexamp analyzes, designs, finances, builds and maintains clean-energy projects that reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. The company specializes in renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy management. Its goal is to make clean energy simple and profitable for clients.
 
DiNardo provides general business consulting for self-storage operations in New England, performing feasibility and market studies. He was the founding President of the Massachusetts Self Storage Association and currently serves on the board of directors for the national Self Storage Association. For more information, call 617.966.8278, or e-mail jimdinardo@comcast.net.

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ISS Blog

Management: Thats Why You Get Paid the Big Bucks

Gina Six Kudo is the general manager for Cochrane Road Self Storage in Morgan Hill, Calif. She is one of four recipients of the Inside Self-Storage 2009 Humanitarian Service Award.

If you're a self-storage manager, you know it's tough to find a good "second in command." There's no shame in admitting it. As assistants go, there have been some real doozies out there.

I personally experienced the "Single White Female" scenario in my own office. While this person did stop short of killing anyone, the mimicry, from emulating my clothing, personal items, hairstyle and handwriting, was quite unnerving.

Or there was the guy who, in the two days he worked for me, consumed literally 10 pounds of chocolate and untold boxes of cookies. I am so happy the job "didn’t work out" on his end, or the company would have gone bankrupt purchasing "customer" treats.  

After various rounds of classifieds that yielded nothing great, I once got very specific in an ad. It read, “If you know the difference between a broom, a push broom and a mop. please apply immediately.” That’s what it took to find a wonderful man who has now worked with me for more than eight years.

The unemployment rate at that time was low, and pickings were slim, no deference intended toward this gentleman. Some who applied in all seriousness thought, “Like all I have to do is like answer the phones and like talk to my boyfriend to like keep from getting bored right?” Eek! End this interview quick!

The retired gentleman I was fortunate enough to hire is a godsend. You can set your watch by him. He has never missed a day of work and, most important, he takes great pride in doing his job so he sleeps well at night. His one little flaw is that he prefers to work the grounds, not the office. Despite what he believes his shortcomings are, they are far from the truth. When he shows a unit, the potential tenant returns to the office laughing and ready to rent. No follow-up sales pitch by the office staff required.  

Along the way, he and I have had some varied co-workers, some quite colorful, some as dense as a wooden block. Some people interview well, but when it comes down to brass tacks, they’re less than optimal.

One thing I believe concerns most managers is the lack of motivation, intelligent thought processes and even pride in a job well done by their assistants. One would think if the office needed dusting or the toilet paper restocking that a grown adult would not need to be reminded of it ... repeatedly.  

Sometimes no matter how hard you, the manager, tries there are those you cannot motivate or push to think and do for themselves and for the good of the company. As the manager you have to step it up, and this adds wear and tear and motivation on your part. So what do you do?  

Across the board there are hiring tricks, interview techniques and more, but how does a manager with limited human resources get through this sometimes long and arduous process to find the right person to become part of the team? Isn’t being a well-honed team what we are all striving for?

If you have employee motivational techniques or insight into hiring for a small office, why not share your ideas? We’ve got a great group of people helping each other along for the betterment of our industry, and they are just a couple of mouse clicks away. To share your thoughts, post a comment below or join the discussion at Self-Storage Talk.  

Mysterious Winnipeg Storage Facility Opens in Historic District

The newly opened Adelaide Mini-Storage in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, converted from one of the city’s heritage buildings, is part of the renaissance of the Exchange District National Historic Site. The 350-unit self-storage facility was created from an 80-year-old, four-story, brick and stone building, and several of its units feature secret doors that lead to curious passageways.
 
The building originally served as the Adelaide Street Stables for City Dairy & Silverwood Western Dairies. Some of the units have a second door on the back wall that leads to odd stairwells and compartments that were used to lead dairy-cart horses to the upper floors. There is also evidence that motorized vehicles were once used in these passages.
 
The facility is managed by Gwen Pasveer and Glenn Tewnion, a husband-and-wife team. It is owned in part by Shelley Hagen, a Calgary-based real estate investor. The building was listed at $1.5 million and cost less than $5 million to develop, Hagen said.
 
Multi-story self-storage building and conversion projects are becoming more popular throughout Canada, according to George Gray, president of Grayveld Builders Corp., Based in Barrie, Ontario.
 
Source: Winnipeg Free Press, Unique white knight for heritage

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U-Haul Raises $1M for Go Zero Tree-Planting Program

Phoenix-based U-Haul International Inc. and The Conservation Fund have collected $1 million in donations from U-Haul customers to support the Go Zero program, which plants trees to trap carbon dioxide emissions. Since the organizations partnered in 2007, more than 287,000 customers have made donations, allowing Go Zero to plant in excess of 133,000 trees.
 
The fund has planted oak, hickory and pecan seedlings in Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas and Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana. The trees are expected to trap 156,000 tons of carbon dioxide as they grow.
 
U-Haul is North America’s largest do-it-yourself moving operator, providing self-storage and truck-rental services. Customers can make donations to Go Zero to offset the carbon emissions generated by their move.

Source: The Business Journal of Phoenix, U-Haul marks $1M in carbon offset donations

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Ranson Self-Storage Collects Donations for Fire Victims

AAAA Self Storage in Ranson, W.V., is serving as the drop-off location for goods being donated to a family of 10 who lost everything in a fire last month. Facility owner Noah Mehrkam decided to get involved after reading an article about the incident in a local newspaper. After contacting the Red Cross, facility managers Tina Inflinger and Jessica Viands were put in touch with the homeowner, Gary Bowlin. The storage business immediately donated free storage and is collecting non-perishable food, blankets, clothing, toys and household items for the family.
 
Source: The Journal (Martinsburg, W.V.), Ranson company helping family

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