The Self Storage Association (SSA) is a not-for-profit tax-exempt organization formed in 1975 under Section 501-c-6 of the Internal Revenue Code. For more than 38 years the Association has served as the official trade organization and voice of the U.S. and international self storage industry. SSA is the registered lobbying entity representing the industry’s 46,500 facilities before the U.S. Congress and federal departments and agencies. The association is also quite active in representation of the industry before state legislative and regulatory bodies. The
national SSA is formally affiliated with some 31 state and regional associations within the United States. In addition to its U.S. relationships, the SSA is affiliated with 4 international organizations representing another 12,000 self storage facilities situated in Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, Latin America and South America.
The self storage industry in the United States grosses $20+ billion in annual revenues (2011). The industry has been the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the last 30 years and has been considered by Wall Street analysts to be “recession resistant” based on its performance since the economic recession of September, 2008. The industry pays approximately $3 billion each year in local and state property taxes.
There are five public corporations operating in the industry: Public Storage, Extra Space Storage, U-Store-It Trust, Sovran Self Storage and U-Haul International. The industry has hundreds of large independent firms that operate chains of from 10-100 stores; also, there are some 4,000 firms that own and operate between 2 and 9 stores. However, the vast majority of owner-operators in the industry own and operate just 1 facility.
The SSA is governed by an elected Board of Directors of 12 persons as well as ex officio seats for the President and CEO and the General Counsel. The Board meets quarterly and the Executive Committee meets more frequently, as needed. The Association has a staff of 10 professionals headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. The annual budget of the Association is in the $4-5 million range.
The Association has several areas of core competency: Collecting and dissemination of industry data, advocacy and lobbying at the federal, state and local levels, conducting conventions, trade shows and seminars, issuing periodic membership communications and publishing a magazine (SSA Globe with a monthly circulation of 15,000), conducting executive education and employee training programs, conducting research, maintaining an internationally utilized web site and relations with more than 29 other industry associations, publishing books, manuals and various industry studies, providing
legal education and information.
Important among the SSA’s most recent activities is the process of working on a state-by-state basis to update and streamline the regulatory requirements of the respective state Lien Laws that govern the operation of self storage facilities and the customer relationship. Many of the current state lien laws were written 25-35 years ago as the industry emerged. Current language is many laws is cumbersome in the light of state-of-the-art communications – such as the Internet, smart phones, email notifications, etc. – thus, SSA and its state affiliates are working
diligently to revise and modernize these lien law statues. To-date 23 state lien laws have been revised with several more being reviewed currently in the legislative process this session.
SSA membership comprises nearly 6,000 corporations that own, operate and/or manage some 22,000 self storage facilities in the U.S. and internationally. The Association conducts three national meetings per year – a Spring Convention & trade show, a Fall Convention & trade show and an annual Winter Ski Workshop. The SSA Globe magazine is distributed monthly to some 15,000 industry leaders and a weekly electronic newsletter is disseminated to SSA members. Lastly, a recent survey indicated that 95.4 percent of current self storage owner-operator members would
recommend membership in the SSA to their market competitors.
Vision Statement: “Everything we undertake and accomplish – we do for the viability, success, and prosperity of those who have made an investment in self storage. We do this through responsive leadership, proven advocacy, relevant education, timely and accurate data, and the effective use of communications and social networking.” -- Adopted by the SSA Board of Directors at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO - July, 2011.
It shall be the Mission of the Self Storage Association (SSA) and its subsidiaries to become the world's premier not-for-profit trade organization representing the best interests of the self storage industry. The Association shall be the industry's foremost communicator as well as informational and educational resource to its membership, the general public and the news media.
Specifically, the Association shall labor diligently to enhance the business viability of its members and to expand the industry through promotion of the usage of self storage. Also, the SSA shall strive to advance public awareness of the industry and to enhance the image of the industry in the eyes of the general public, government, the news media and our residential and commercial customers.
The SSA shall represent the industry before the U.S. Congress, federal regulatory agencies, and work with other national, regional and state associations to represent the self storage industry's interests before all other governmental entities.
The SSA shall work to bring together multi-national, national, regional and state self storage associations to fulfill its Mission and to serve as the principal clearinghouse of industry data and information, working toward common goals.
The Association will strive to serve all of its members equally regardless of type or size and to maintain an industry environment of fair competition at all times.
Adopted by the SSA Board of Directors (at San Diego - 1/10/2008)
The SSA Board of Directors is comprised of duly-elected industry leaders from all of SSA's various constituencies including affiliated associations, member companies of all sizes as well as vendor firms.
They are assisted by an able SSA Headquarters staff of association professionals that manage everything from our national facilities database, advocacy and lobbying, meeting planning, communications, educational programs, research, technology tools, membership relations (and member rewards and benefits), association relations, publications & content, and legal information.
SSA sponsors two national events each year. Each September, industry professionals gather in Las Vegas for the SSA Annual Fall Conference & Trade Show -- the industry's premier conference and trade show -- designed for those who have already made a major investment in the industry. Each Spring SSA hosts the Spring Self Storage Conference & Trade Show, located in various cities east of the Mississippi. The spring event in 2012 will be held at the Gaylord Palms Resort, Orlando, FL, April 25-27.
Additionally, the SSA offers a variety of executive education and employee training programs at various venues and online. The SSA Valuation and Acquisition Course is a graduate level financial analysis program for direct members and indirect members of the Association, and is offered in June and November each year. The SSA Annual Executive Ski Workshop provides an excellent networking experience for owners while offering insight on the state of the industry and other timely topics. The SSA Regional Supervision Program is a six segment course for those who currently (or aspire to) oversee more
than one property and management team. It is offered in a series the day prior to each of SSA's semi-annual conferences. Programs offered through SSA's Online University include the SSA Managers Certification Program , an intensive course providing a solid foundation for self storage management, with an opportunity to pursue the SSA Certified Self Storage Manager (CSSM©) designation . Also offered online are SSA's live monthly webcasts free to SSA members and downloadable training through SSA's "Education to Go" and Webcast Recording Library.
The SSA also publishes the monthly SSA Globe magazine. It is the largest paid-circulation periodical in the self storage industry with 17,000 subscriptions per month and an annual readership in excess of 500,000 persons. Also, SSA publishes several new books, manuals and electronic data studies each year. Please go to the SSA Web site: www.selfstorage.org and hit “Online Store” and then “Publications” for details.
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