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Qualified Storage Manager: Core Curriculum Instructors

Linnea Appleby
President, PDQ Management Solutions

Linnea Appleby has been actively involved in management and finance for 27 years and the self-storage for 10 years. She is the president of Sarasota, Fla.-based PDQ Management Solutions Inc., which specializes in self-storage facility management and services such as operational consulting, new-facility startup, property audits and the “Income Finder Service.” PDQ also manages the Florida Self Storage Association, for which Linnea is a past president.

Linnea has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of South Florida and a background in financial planning. She is also an active member and past president of Toastmasters. She is a frequent presenter at industry tradeshows and writes a regular column for Inside Self-Storage magazine.

Sydney James “Jim” Chiswell
Owner and President, Chiswell & Associates LLC

Jim Chiswell is the president and managing partner of Chiswell & Associates LLC in Palmyra, Va., and has been involved in the self-storage industry for 23 years. He started his own consulting company in 1990, through which he has conducted countless feasibility and due-diligence studies for clients as well as prepared and presented customized manager training sessions. Prior to that, Jim was vice president of Sovran Self Storage, managing its portfolio of 34 facilities in 10 states.

Jim is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and tradeshows including Inside Self-Storage Expos and events hosted by national and state self-storage associations. He is a member of the Inside Self-Storage Editorial Advisory Board and has written the magazine’s “Thoughts From The Road” column for eight years. He is also a moderator for Self-Storage Talk, an online, interactive forum for the industry.

Megan Eckert
Executive Vice President, USstoragesearch.com

Megan Eckert is the executive vice president of Omaha, Neb.-based USstoragesearch.com. Her marketing and information-technology background have helped the company achieve its rapid growth and become one of the premier Internet marketing firms in self-storage. She is a frequent speaker at industry events with a passion to educate on the benefits and best practices of online marketing. Having analyzed years of online traffic and behavior trends of self-storage consumers, and having seen more than 5,000 facilities successfully implement Internet marketing, Ms. Eckert is equipped with knowledge every owner/operator must know to profit from the lucrative online marketplace.

Jeffrey Greenberger
Partner, Katz, Greenberger & Norton LLP

Jeffrey Greenberger is a partner with the law firm of Katz, Greenberger & Norton LLP in Cincinnati, where he focuses on commercial real estate and real estate litigation. He represents owners of self-storage facilities and other property types. He also has a concentration in debtor and creditor rights.

Jeff is counsel to many state self-storage associations and a regular contributor to industry publications such as Inside Self-Storage. He speaks frequently at conferences and tradeshows and is a moderator for Self-Storage Talk, an online forum and community for the industry. His website at SelfStorageLegal.com is designed to be an informative resource for facility owners and managers.

Mel Holsinger
President, Professional Self-Storage Management

Mel Holsinger is the owner and president of Professional Self Storage Management LLC in Tucson, Ariz. The company operates 42 facilities in five states and is ranked as the 28th largest storage operator in the country, according to the 2008 Top-Operators List published by Inside Self-Storage (ISS).

Mel has been involved in the self-storage industry since 1983. He serves on the Arizona Self Storage Association Board of Directors and is a member of the ISS Editorial Advisory Board. He is a long-standing contributor to ISS magazine and speaks frequently at industry conferences and tradeshows. He is also a moderator for Self-Storage Talk, an online interactive forum for the storage industry.

Randall “Randy” Johnston
National Accounts Sales Manager, BETCO Inc.

Randy Johnston is the national accounts sales manager for Statesville, N.C.-based BETCO Inc. He previously served as director of sales and development for Digitech International, which has provided comprehensive security tools for the self-storage industry for more than 25 years. Prior to joining Digitech, Randy spent 17 years in sales, primarily in the petroleum industry, as a national and distributor accounts sales manager. Previously, he served four years in the United States Coast Guard. He completed business school at NYU Stern in 1988 and attended several sales and development courses throughout his 20-plus years in sales.

Jamie Lindau
National Sales Manager, Trachte Building Systems

Jamie Lindau, the national sales manager of Trachte Building Systems, has spent the last 23 years helping property owners plan, develop, build and profit from self-storage. He is a regular contributor to Inside Self-Storage magazine and other industry publications as well as a speaker at national conferences and tradeshows. Drawing from his own experiences as a former self-storage business owner, Jamie has conducted more than 200 self-storage development seminars for Trachte since 1988.

Tom Litton
President, Litton Management & Consulting Inc.

Tom Litton is a well-known self-storage expert who began his career in the industry during its infancy and has managed more than 150 storage facilities in 11 states. A prolific writer, he has written more than 150 magazine articles for various self-storage publications as well as newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tom has conducted seminars worldwide on various self-storage topics including operation, management, development and ownership. His company, Litton Management & Consulting Inc., routinely conducts public seminars each year and is considered a leader in self-storage education and training.

Rick McGee
President, Online Self Storage

Rick McGee has been working in the self-storage industry since 1999. In 2000, he joined forces with a team of developers and completed the Internet-based technology for Online Self Storage Inc., which allows owners and operators to process rentals and payments via their websites. In 2002, the company introduced Call Maximizer as the first transaction-based call center in the self-storage market. It helps operators leverage their sales and marketing efforts by creating more rentals and interested customers.

Along with being an entrepreneur, Rick has a passion for sales and marketing and enjoys building long-term relationships. Online Self Storage is the third company he has launched from scratch. He enjoys seeing companies become successful in their respective markets.

Brad North
President, Advantage Business Consulting LLC

Brad North entered the self-storage industry in 1989. Since then, he has excelled as an owner, general contractor, developer, general manager, trainer and consultant. He has built more than 350,000 square feet of storage for himself, and trained and consulted with thousands of owners and developers throughout the world.

Brad’s company, Advantage Business Consulting & Management, offers complete turnkey management services, currently managing more than 1 million square feet of self-storage nationwide. Brad also provides on-site consulting, manager training workshops, seminars and feasibility studies. He is a recognized columnist and regularly writes for industry publications. He also speaks at state and national self-storage conventions.

Stephan Ross
President, Cutting Edge Self Storage Management & Consulting

Stephan Ross began his industry career in 1984 with National Self-Storage. He moved on to Executive Self-Storage as southeast regional director in 1987; and in 1996, he went to work for Extra Space Management of Salt Lake City, where he became vice president of operations in charge of feasibility studies, third-party management and facility operation in more than 10 states. Four years later, Stephan and his wife, Tammy, created Cutting Edge Self-Storage Management & Consulting, which manages properties in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah. Stephan is a regular contributor to Inside Self-Storage magazine as well as a frequent speaker at Inside Self-Storage Expos.

Tammy Ross
President, Cutting Edge Self Storage Management & Consulting

Tammy Ross has more than 20 years of industry experience. As an industry consultant, she has extensive expertise in the areas of self-storage training and marketing. In 2000, she and her husband, Stephan, created Cutting Edge Self-Storage Management & Consulting, which manages properties in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah. She is a regular contributor to Inside Self-Storage magazine as well as frequent speaker at Inside Self-Storage Expos.

Randy Tipton
Owner, Universal Insurance Facilities Ltd.

Randy Tipton owns and operates Universal Insurance, an entrepreneurial business that has created and provided specialized insurance coverages to the self-storage industry for 15 years. Randy is a seasoned industry professional with more than 30 years of insurance underwriting, marketing and management experience.

Randy attends self-storage tradeshows across the country, conducts insurance seminars, and speaks with facility owners from coast to coast. She is viewed by many as one of the leading self-storage insurance experts in the country and is called on for advice regarding coverage options. Her industry knowledge has led her to be a moderator and instructor for a variety of educational forums.

Susan Weinman
Vice President of Yellow Page Services, Michaels Wilder Inc.

Susan Weinman is the vice president of Yellow Page services for Phoenix-based Michaels Wilder, an advertising agency specializing in print and Internet Yellow Pages. She is a frequent presenter at self-storage tradeshows and has written articles for numerous trade publications including Inside Self-Storage, Professional Door Dealer and Rental Management.

Charles Ray Wilson
President, Self Storage Data Services Inc.

Ray Wilson is an internationally recognized authority on self-storage investment analysis. He is president of Self Storage Data Services Inc. (SSDS), a research firm he founded in 1992. SSDS maintains a nationwide database of operating statistics on several thousands of facilities, tracking trends in the top 50 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas on a quarterly basis.

In 1975, Ray founded Charles R. Wilson & Associates Inc., a firm specializing in self-storage valuation. He sold the firm in 2007 to Integra Realty Resources-Metro Los Angeles, which continues to specialize in the valuation of self-storage facilities nationwide. Ray’s speaking engagements have included Australia and Europe as well as regular appearances at conferences and tradeshows throughout the United States.

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