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Highlights of 2015 for CSSA

Tuesday, December 1, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin King
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Highlights of 2015 for CSSA

The holiday season is upon us, a time of celebration and remembering the year that is about to conclude while getting revved-up about the future. That pretty well describes the California Self Storage Association at this time of the year – celebrating another highly successful year and gearing-up for a new one. The CSSA sets a personal mantra every year to keep moving forward in legislative matters, top-notch conference and trade shows, educational visits to every corner of the state and new benefits for members.

“We can never stand still,” says Executive Director Erin King. “The times are changing, self storage is changing and we need to stay ahead of the curve. Our members deserve the best we can give, so we feel obliged to deliver more and more with each passing year. That said, it is fair to say that 2015 was a very good year for the CSSA.”

The CSSA’s 2015 highlights included another highly successful West Coast Self Storage Owner’s Conference in Napa in mid-May, a sold-out 11th annual Self Storage Owner’s Summit at Newport Beach in July, the 2nd annual Tri-State Conference in mid-October, numerous breakfast gatherings, legal classes and being tabbed by voters as the Top State Association in ISS magazine. Again.

Here is a look at the individual 2015 highlights:

A Vintage Gathering in Napa

Some traditions, like some wines, get better with time. Such is certainly the case with the West Coast Self Storage Owner’s Conference in Napa. As one might imagine, being located in the heart of the wine country is a good starting place for any gathering, but add in top-notch presentations and panels, and you have something very special. The 2015 gathering featured a Small Owner’s Forum that sold out, keynote speaker Mike Parks, and a wealth of panels and presentations by some of the brightest minds in the business.

“Napa was another great success,” adds King. “We had over 200 people in attendance and over 40 new owner/operators show up in comparison to other years. This year we introduced our small owners forum session. This session is designed for owner/operators with up to five properties. We focus on topics that will give small owners powerful immediate takeaways that we believe will help them operate more efficiently. This year that session will cover OSHA & ADA information, employment law updates, the importance of tenant insurance and turning leads into customers.”

The 4th annual Napa gathering will take place in 2016, from May 4-6. Registration is now open.

Ueberroth Owns the Owner’s Summit

The CSSA and Talonvest Capital combined their resources for the 11th Annual Self Storage Owner’s Summit on July 23 at the Balboa Bay Club Resort in Newport Beach, CA. The event featured keynote speaker Peter Ueberroth, acclaimed for having headed-up one of the most successful summer Olympic Games ever (1984 Los Angeles Games), as well as having been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. This year’s Summit featured a Financial Leadership Forum, headed by Wayne Brandt, Managing Director, US Loan Originations, Wells Fargo Capital Markets, as well as a Self Storage Investment Trends presentation. The event, as has become the norm, was a sellout.

Another Solid Tri-States Conference

In 2014 it started out as a kind of voyage into the unknown – three separate state associations pooling their efforts to create a single conference and trade show. The result was a terrific Tri-States Self Storage Conference at The Golden Nugget in Laughlin, Nevada which featured the leadership of the CSSA, Arizona Self Storage Association (AZSA) and Nevada Self Storage Association (NVSSA) and numerous top-notch speakers. So how did the follow-up fare this past October? Just great. The final headcount was virtually the same as in Year One, but the feedback from both owners and vendors in attendance was that the conference stepped up to a higher level. Attendees loved the content and the location (fun and affordable).

Among the speakers at the Tri States gathering were keynote speaker Marc Boorstein with an analysis of the industry from public self storage companies to private operators, self storage attorney Jeffrey Greenberger and Connie Kadansky with a presentation regarding how to set more appointments from inbound calls. The three states are currently meeting to determine if there will be a 3rd annual event in 2016 and King feels there is a very good chance that such will be the case.

CSSA Again Voted the Best State Association

People often say that when something is beginning to sound like a broken record it must be boring. But being tabbed as the nation’s top state association for the fourth time in the last five years is hardly boring for the CSSA. Once again, the CSSA was voted by readers of Inside Self-Storage (ISS) as the winner of the 2015 Best State Association category.

“We feel that winning that award so frequently just means that we must be doing a lot of things well,” King says. “We certainly don’t take it for granted and we hope to keep the streak alive in 2016 by giving our members even more.”

A New Resource for Human Resources

One of the most successful upgrades in 2015 offered by the CSSA has been a Human Resource Program with impressive benefits. The CSSA paired with the California Employers Association (CEA) to provide members with a free Human Resource Hotline. CSSA members are now able to speak to a human resource expert who can provide California HR information and support by phone from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. CSSA members can reach the HR Hotline by calling or emailing their dedicated phone number or email address. The program is available to ALL CSSA members FREE of charge.

“Members can have a variety of HR questions answered ranging from wage and hour issues, hiring/firing, leave of absence questions, policy questions and more,” says King. “It is a great benefit.”

Visiting All Corners of CA

The CSSA will continue to host coffee meetings throughout the state that are free for anyone to attend. The meetings are typically led by Erin King or another CSSA director or volunteer, take place from 7-9 a.m., and are very informal with the agenda often dictated by the group on hand. It serves as a terrific opportunity to meet people, catch up with members and see what is happening in the field. The CSSA hosted 15 events across the state for members in 2015 and has some new program ideas and content in the works for 2016.

Coming Up in 2016

Any end of the year wrap-up would be less than complete without a look ahead. And 2016 figures to be an important one for the CSSA. For Erin King, that means a new look on the internet and new energy in legislative matters.

“In 2016 the CSSA will bring members a brand new website which will be easier to navigate and provide even more relevant content to our members,” King adds. “We will be working closely with the SSA to define our legislative agenda for the 2017-2018 legislative session. This includes identifying a lobbyist, determining our bill priorities, completing the due diligence we need to ensure success and working to raise funds from the membership to cover the coming expenses. It will be SO important that everyone support our effort.”

But for now, as 2015 winds down, it is safe to say that the CSSA can reflect on a job well done over the last year.