Self-storage industry veterans Ken Woolley and Barry Hoeven were inducted into the Self Storage Association’s Self-Storage Hall of Fame during the organization’s annual fall trade show in Las Vegas.

The Hall of Fame award “recognizes annually the contributions of storage professionals to their business, to this industry, to the Association and to their communities.”

Woolley (top photo) is executive chairman and former chief investment officer at Extra Space Storage, a publicly traded REIT.

Woolley founded Extra Space in the late 1970s. During his tenure as chairman and CEO, Woolley grew the company into a prominent player in the self-storage industry. Following the sale of its portfolio in the early 1990s, Woolley helped aggressively grow the company again, and Extra Space went public in 2004. A year later, Woolley oversaw Extra Space’s acquisition of more than 400 facilities from Storage USA in a deal valued at $2.3 billion.

Barry Hoeven
Barry Hoeven is founder and chairman of self-storage operator Westport Properties.

Hoeven is founder and chairman of Orange County, CA-based Westport Properties, a self-storage development and management company that operates 80 facilities in 12 states. The Westport portfolio operates under the US Storage Centers brand.

Hoeven also is the founder of Kure It, a nonprofit foundation that raises money for research into kidney cancer and other “underfunded” cancers. Since 2007, the foundation has raised more than $2.7 million.

Marcus & Millichap

Michael Mele
Michael Mele has been promoted to senior vice president of investments at Marcus & Millichap.

Self-storage broker Michael Mele of the Tampa, FL, office of Marcus & Millichap has been promoted from first vice president of investments to senior vice president of investments.

Mele joined the firm in 1999 as an agent and was promoted to senior associate in 2002. Six years later, he was promoted to first vice president.

“Mike has been a top self-storage investment specialist for well over a decade, and a huge contributor to the success of the Tampa office,” said Richard Matricaria, vice president and regional manager of Marcus & Millichap. “With his in-depth knowledge of the self-storage investment sector, dedication to providing superb client service and strong leadership abilities, Mike truly deserves this honor.”

During his career, Mele has closed more than 200 self-storage transactions valued at over $800 million.


Dirk Wakeham
Dirk Wakeham is the new CEO of StorageAhead.

Dirk Wakeham has been named CEO and a board member of StorageAhead, a provider of websites and other technology services to the self-storage industry.

StorageAhead, based in Westwood, KS, is a subsidiary of Red Nova Labs.

For five years, Wakeham was president of RealPage, a major software provider for the apartment industry.

“I’m excited to be joining StorageAhead at this point in the company’s lifecycle,” Wakeham said. “I look forward to bringing the company to the next level and addressing the full platform of needs of all store owners, both large and small.”


Alexander Harris