13th Annual Self Storage Owners Summit Speakers
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13th Annual Owners Summit Speakers



Spencer Levy, CBRE - Americas Head of Research

Spencer Levy is Americas Head of Research for CBRE and a senior member of the company’s global research team. He plays an integral role in the development and implementation of the global research strategy and business plan. A nine-year veteran of CBRE, Spencer had previously served as Executive Managing Director in the company’s Capital Markets division.

Spencer oversees the analytical activities of the CBRE research community within the Americas region and is responsible for the management of hundreds of professionals who are focused on producing market-leading insight and interpretative analysis on the latest real estate trends. Spencer supports CBRE executives in their decision-making by providing insight into the impact of market trends related to strategic business planning, and analyst call preparation.
He serves as principal external spokesperson on real estate issues in the Americas region and has considerable media experience, providing market commentary for many national television, newspaper and internet outlets. He is one of the most active and well-known speakers in the U.S. Commercial Real Estate industry.

Spencer joined CBRE in 2007 to lead the U.S. Eastern Division of the Capital Markets platform. Since then, he has assumed positions of increasing responsibility. As a part of senior management for the Capital Markets platform, Spencer provided leadership for several areas in the United States and Latin America. Spencer provided additional oversight of Retail, Auction and Investment Banking in the United States. He also directly serves a number of major clients.


 CEO Super Session Panelists


Joseph Margolis – CEO – Extra Space Storage

Joseph D. Margolis was named Chief Executive Officer of Extra Space in January 2017. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer from July 2015 until December 2016. Previously, Mr. Margolis served on the Extra Space board of directors from February 2005 until July 2015. From 2011 until July 2015, he also was Senior Managing Director and Partner at Penzance Properties, a vertically integrated owner, operator and developer of office and other properties in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Previously, Mr. Margolis was a co-founding partner of Arsenal Real Estate Funds from 2004 through 2011. Before forming Arsenal in 2004, Mr. Margolis held senior positions from 1992 to 2004 at Prudential Real Estate Investors in portfolio management, capital markets and as General Counsel. Before that, Mr. Margolis worked for The Prudential Insurance Company of America as in-house real estate counsel from 1988 through 1992, and as a real estate associate at the law firm of Nutter, McClennen & Fish from 1986 through 1988. Mr. Margolis is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University School of Law.


Dave Rogers – CEO – Life Storage

David Rogers was named Chief Executive Officer of Life Storage, Inc. (NYSE:LSI) (formerly Sovran Self Storage, Inc.) on March 1, 2012. Prior to this, Dave served as the Company's Chief Financial Officer and Secretary from 1995 to February 2012. From 1988 to 1995, he served as the Vice President of Finance of the Company's predecessor.
Dave is a co-founder of Life Storage, which invested in its first self storage facility in 1985. The company is one of the largest self storage operators in the world, operating over 46 million sq. ft. of storage space in 29 states.


Arlen Nordhagen – CEO, President & Chairman of the Board – National Storage Affiliates

Arlen Nordhagen is a co-founder of NSA, where he serves as CEO, president and chairman of the board of trustees. Previously, Nordhagen served as president and CEO of NSA’s predecessor, SecurCare Self Storage, a company he co-founded in 1988, and in which he retains majority ownership while serving as chairman of the board. Nordhagen also founded MMM Healthcare, Inc., the largest provider of Medicare Advantage health insurance in Puerto Rico. Additionally, he has served as a managing member of various private investment funds and held various managerial positions at DuPont and Synthetech, Inc. Nordhagen graduated with high distinction from Harvard University with a MBA degree and summa cum laude from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering.

 Strategy & Investment Panelists


Michael Schwartz – CEO – SmartStop Asset Management, LLC

H. Michael Schwartz is the CEO of SmartStop Asset Management, LLC, a diversified real estate company comprised of self storage, student and senior housing assets. The company has a managed portfolio that currently includes more than 68,000 self storage units, approximately 7.9 million rentable square feet and approximately $1.3 billion of real estate assets under management. The company is the asset manager for more than 100 self storage facilities located throughout the United States and Toronto, Canada, with a pipeline to develop at least another 500,000 square feet in the Greater Toronto Area. SmartStop Asset Management is the sponsor of three public non-traded REITs focused on self storage: Strategic Storage Trust II, Inc. (SST-II); Strategic Storage Growth Trust, Inc. (SSGT); and Strategic Storage Trust IV, Inc. (SST-IV); as well as one private non-traded REIT: Strategic Student & Senior Housing Trust, Inc., which is focused on student and senior housing properties.
In 2007, Mr. Schwartz founded SmartStop® Self Storage, Inc. (SmartStop), a fully integrated, self-administered and self-managed self storage company, owning and/or operating 169 self storage properties in 21 states and Toronto, Canada. In 2015, Mr. Schwartz negotiated the $1.4 billion sale of SmartStop to Extra Space Storage, Inc., the second-largest storage operator in the United States.
In 2016, Mr. Schwartz developed a $33 million mixed-use facility in Ladera Ranch that includes self storage, corporate office space and a 63,000-square foot, state-of-the-art sports center. The Ladera Sports Center has eight basketball/volleyball courts, a concession area with seating for 130 patrons, 28 LCD monitors and live streaming capabilities from each court.
Mr. Schwartz has more than 27 years of experience in real estate, securities and corporate financial management. During the last 14 years, he has transacted more than $3 billion in office, industrial, retail and self storage properties. He is a renowned expert on commercial real estate, REITs and 1031 structures; is frequently invited to speak at national conferences; and has been interviewed by major news media.


Mike Burnam – CEO – StorageMart

Mike Burnam has been in the self storage industry since 1974, has taken self storage companies public and private, completed over $2 billion in self storage acquisitions and development, CEO of StorageMart with 170 stores, 12 million square feet of self storage in US and Canada, recently completed a $1 billion re-finance of their company, was president of the SSA in 1994, served two different board terms and was on the Canadian Self Storage Association board in 2008 and most recently was the second member of his family to be elected into the Self Storage Hall of Fame in 2015.


Charles Byerly – President & CEO – Westport Properties, Inc.

Charles Byerly is an executive with Westport Properties and US Storage Centers (together "USSC”). Mr. Byerly currently resides as President & CEO of USSC, an owner/operator of just over 4,000,000 square feet of self storage space in eight states. Mr. Byerly is heavily involved in all real estate, finance and operational oversight for the company. Prior to joining USSC, Mr. Byerly was Assistant Treasurer and Director of Finance for the Americas for three years for Exult. From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Byerly spent his time with the Ernst & Young Real Estate Group focusing on REITs, homebuilders and other commercial real estate property types including self storage. Mr. Byerly earned his Accounting degree from California Polytechnic University, Pomona and his Master’s Degree in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California. Mr. Byerly currently serves as a Board Member and Treasurer for the California Self Storage Association. He’s also very active in Kure It!, a kidney cancer 501(c)(3) charity and enjoys spending time with family and friends.


Patrick Reilly – President & CEO – Urban Self Storage

Patrick J. Reilly is the President/CEO of Urban Self Storage, Inc. which operates in WA, OR, AZ, NM, and is developing in CA. Urban Self Storage started and is based in Seattle, WA. Patrick has twice served as Chairman of the Board for the national Self Storage Association (SSA), as well as its Treasurer and Secretary. He also has been president of the Washington Self Storage Association and served in different roles with the WA-SSA since its formation.

Reilly has been a partner at Urban Self Storage, Inc. since 1995. As a partner and president at Urban Self Storage, he has been responsible for developing business & financial models, investment strategies, and self storage technology initiatives which include marketing and operating. Educated at Eastern Washington University - Computer Information Systems and Seattle University – Business Adminstration.

Prior to coming to Urban Self Storage, Reilly worked at Microsoft Corp. where his experience and expertise included program and systems design, and business development.



Jim Davies - Principal - Talonvest Capital Inc.

Jim Davies is a principal of Talonvest Capital, Inc. and is responsible for sourcing and executing self storage and commercial structured finance and permanent debt assignments for experienced storage and commercial real estate owners. Jim has developed a reputation as a leading storage finance expert over a 23 year period that includes the closing of over $4.5 billion of transactions while with Talonvest Capital, Buchanan Storage Capital and Belgravia Capital. He has a 32 year track record with experience as a direct lender, advisor and property acquisitions specialist and was a co-founding principal of Buchanan Storage Capital which became one of the most recognized brands in the self storage finance sector through representing many of the top national operators in the capital markets and through exclusive partnerships with firms such as GE Capital and the Royal Bank of Canada. Jim has arranged several billion dollars of capitalizations in all phases of the investment cycle including bridge loans, permanent loans, joint venture equity and construction financing.

Jim is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, served for 7 years on the Board of Directors of the California Self Storage Association, is the founder of the popular Self Storage Owners Summit held each July in Newport Beach and served on the national Self Storage Association’s Foundation Board.


 Jim Sullivan - President - Green Street Advisory & Consulting Practice

Jim Sullivan is President of Green Street's Advisory Group, which provides strategic advice to commercial real estate owners and investors located in the U.S. and around the globe. He has managed the Group since 2014. Clients of Green Street Advisory include private real estate companies considering IPOs, publicly traded and non-traded REITs seeking strategic advice, C-corps considering REIT conversions/spin-offs, operating companies evaluating real estate monetization strategies, as well as investment vehicles including hedge funds, long-only funds, pension funds, private equity firms, and family offices.

Jim joined Green Street in 1994. During the subsequent 20 years, he was Green Street's lead research analyst covering REITs in a variety of property sectors including office, industrial, malls, strip centers, self-storage, health care and manufactured housing. Jim managed Green Street's North American Research, comprised of 30+ analysts covering 80+ REITs, from 2010-2013. Throughout his 23-year career at Green Street he has been quoted widely in the financial media and has been recognized as an All-Star REIT analyst by The Wall Street Journal. He is a member of NAREIT and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).


Gary Sugarman - COO - The William Warren Group, Inc.

Gary Sugarman directly oversees national growth initiatives for the StorQuest brand.
Prior to joining The William Warren Group, Gary served the past five years as COO of Edison Properties LLC, where he maintained full P&L responsibility for all business units of Edison’s real-estate portfolio, including direct accountability for all aspects of operating the notable Manhattan Mini Storage portfolio. Prior to his role at Edison, Gary spent 20 years operating several national retail chains, and practiced as a Wall Street corporate finance attorney. Gary is a graduate of Harvard Law School and The University of Michigan, and has served as Chairman of the New York Self Storage Association, a Board Member of the national Self Storage Association Large Operators Council, and a Member of CubeSmart’s Board of Strategic Advisors.