Paul joined the moving and storage business as a teenager in 1981 and soon found the movers trade association in the UK, a valuable source of information about best practice and methods.
Paul appreciated the openness of operators to share information and the value of meeting trade suppliers, via the association meetings and conferences.
He soon saw that the trade association was a positive influence on the industry generally, directly and indirectly, promoting high standards, which in turn improved the consumers image of the industry. He could see it was an important voice for the industry and was often called upon to defend the industry and its interests.
Paul despite only being in his early 20’s, soon got enthusiastically involved in various association committees, working groups and became a board member.
The movers association was highly developed 100 years old, had a large executive team and training department and staged high quality conferences.
In 1999 Paul joined the Self-Storage Industry, which in Europe and the UK was approximately 10% of the size it is today and understandably for such a small industry it had a very small trade association. The SSAUK was run by a lady who worked part time from home.
Paul, understanding the value of trade associations got involved with the SSAUK as soon as he joined the sector and became a director the following year.
During the first 2 years as a Director, Paul worked tirelessly to develop the UK Self-Storage association having experience of the highly developed Movers association. He upgraded its conferences, launched the Association “Focus” Magazine (that still serves the Association today), created working groups and committees, involved the national operators in the sector, for the first time, upgraded the association executive management by talking on a full time CEO, team and association offices, where they are still based.
In 2004, recognising the small, but widespread growth of the sector, in many European countries, Paul was the initiative behind the formation of FEDESSA and became its inaugural President, encouraging the small but growing number of operators in many countries to set up their own national association with the support of FEDESSA.
Paul was President when FEDESSA brought together its member national associations to create a “European Standard/Kite Mark” for the Industry. This served to protect the sector from the moving industry who had loosely promoted itself as self-storage operators, when they weren’t. The standard differentiated the true operators.
Paul was a director of the UK SSA for 7 years including 3 years as Chairman, a director of FEDESSA for 10 years including 3 years as President. Now back on the UK SSA board for the last 4 years, Paul has been a serving self-storage industry Director continuously for the last 18 years.
Paul has been a guest speaker at conferences in the US, and other countries.
Paul considers himself an small operator, having established or acquired 5 different self-storage brands/small portfolios worth over £100m and selling on to national operators.
He has a small but growing UK self-storage portfolio and retained an interest and management role in EasyBox in Italy when he sold that company last year
As a side “hobby” Paul has advised operators, or would be operators, in a consultancy capacity, in several Middle eastern countries and most European countries over the last 20 years.