It is inevitable that when December rolls around we all start casting an eye back to the year that was. In some cases there are amazing events, in other cases there are difficult stretches to be navigated. In the end, we always hope that the positives outweigh the negatives and good things are accomplished. And that certainly was the case for the California Self Storage Association in 2013, as the organization truly came through with stellar efforts to help CSSA members.
The CSSA played host to many highly successful events and added a number of benefits and programs for members. The CSSA also moved to a new headquarters (4000 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 600, Newport Beach, CA 92660) and added new staff member Amaris Burkel (Manager of Operations & Member Relations), while Erin King (Executive Director) and Brenda Lafontaine (Online Business Development & Marketing Manager) maintained their usual high level of dedication, energy and sense of humor.
Here are a number of 2013 highlights, as well as a preview of what is coming in 2014.
Listen Up, Bootcampers!
The CSSA decided to get tough about self storage legal issues by hosting four different Legal Bootcamp sessions. Jeff Greenberger led attendees in Sacramento, San Jose, San Diego and Santa Ana. The gatherings were so successful that the CSSA will offer more bootcamp-style classes in 2014, including a revamped legal session and other new topics, as well.
Wine, Women and Song…and Self Storage
So, you want to host an event in a place that everybody loves and will have a great time attending? What better place than Napa? The CSSA organized its 1st Annual West Coast Self Storage Owner’s Meeting in Napa with over 200 attendees. Erin and Brenda made sure that the content was solid, the oysters were fresh, the networking was in high gear and the bocce ball event to raise money and awareness for Kure It came off without a hitch. The good news is that the event will be back again in 2014 with Dr. Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics serving as the keynote speaker. Don’t miss it!
Hitting It Big in Newport Beach
The CSSA’s 9th annual Summit in Newport Beach this past July was the CSSA’s biggest one to date. The event saw over 260 attendees on hand for the CSSA’s usual winning combination of serious and important content and fun events. Ron Havner answered questions while Jim Sullivan of Green Street Advisors served as the moderator. That session was followed by a capital markets presentation and an owner’s development and acquisitions panel. On the light side, Kure It’s Poker Fun Run once again was a big hit. The 10th annual gathering in 2014 will likely see over 300 people attending with event hours extended.
Pancakes, Coffee, Anyone?
The CSSA’s Owner’s Breakfast Program was a success in 2013 and will continue in 2014. The program allows owner and vendor members the opportunity to meet, discuss local trends and results, and exchange information.
Meanwhile, the CSSA will continue to host coffee meetings throughout the state that are free for anyone to attend (well, except for the coffee). The meetings are typically led by Erin King or Mark Beck, 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.
Fighting the Good Fight in Sacramento
Everyone was amazed when a bill that the CSSA had hoped to move through this year’s California Legislature hit a snag in the California Senate Judiciary Committee. Bill AB 983, intended to help self storage operators dealing with lien laws, was surprisingly voted down (the bill had moved smoothly through three prior committees). The CSSA has pinpointed the area that likely caused the bill’s downfall and is now proceeding with a new version it hopes will make it all the way through the California legislature starting in 2014.
Member Benefits Keep on Coming
The CSSA kept the benefits coming for members in 2013. The two new programs were offered: (1) a new portion of the CSSA store that allows its members to purchase forms and other paper products with printing options through Optimal Outsource and (2) special discounted pricing on moving supplies from New Haven Moving Equipment. As for the benefits, the CSSA came up with a new Employee Manual and anaccompanying user workshop, access to the Self Storage Legal Review Network, a Self Storage Operator Forms Packet, and an Office Depot Discount program.
Stepping Up in 2014
The CSSA will continue to add and improve in 2014, with renewed efforts in Sacramento, more gatherings and a new, informative and exciting newsletter.
"We feel like we had a terrific year in 2013 and our members are as enthused about our direction as we are,” Erin King concluded. "The CSSA is dedicated to doing as much as we possibly can for our members, while keeping our events both informative and fun. We expect more of the same in 2014.”
Stay tuned, stay involved and Happy Holidays from everyone at the CSSA!