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Mini-Storage Messenger's Look Who's Talking: The AZSA 2022 Conference with Amy Amideo

By Erica Shatzer, Editor
Mini-Storage Messenger, Self-Storage Now!, and Self-Storage Canada


After being postponed twice due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Arizona Self-Storage Association’s 22nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow is on track for Feb. 16 to 18, 2022, at a new, elevated location: the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in Ft. McDowell, Ariz.

While commemorating the association’s 25th anniversary, the conference aims to impart attendees with knowledge for being progressive in a changing business landscape.       

“We are excited to be back together,” says Amy Amideo, executive director of the Arizona Self-Storage Association (AZSA), who notes that the association’s last conference was in September of 2019—nearly 2.5 years ago. “Twenty-five years as an association is worth celebrating!”

Spectacular Site
According to Amideo, the 22nd annual conference is designed to be grander than any years past. For starters, the We-Ko-Pa (“Four Peaks” in Yavapai) Casino Resort is more luxurious, with a four-diamond rating from AAA. The resort boasts fine dining, a decadent spa, upscale amenities, and posh furnishings, as well as a “fun-filled gaming floor.” However, We-Ko-PA is best known for its two award-winning golf courses: the Cholla Course and the Saguaro Course. Receiving acclaim in Golfweek, Golf Magazine, and Golf Digest, the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club has been called “one of the best golf experiences in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area.”

The AZSA’s annual golf tournament, sponsored by Janus International, will be played on Feb. 16 on the Saguaro Course, which is set in the picturesque Sonoran Desert’s Fountain Hills that offers spectacular views of the McDowell Mountains, Red Mountain, Four Peaks, and the Superstitions. Boxed lunches will be available before the tournament begins, and a 19th hole reception will follow with awards and prizes for the winners of the tournament’s five contests: Hole in One, Closest to the Pin, Beat the Pro, Ball Launcher, and Longest Drive.  

This year, the AZSA golf tournament will benefit StorageGives, a not-for-profit charity founded by Lonnie Bickford, owner of Appletree Storage facilities in Louisiana and founder of Bickford created StorageGives to support eight charitable organizations (Autism Speaks Inc., Free Wheelchair Mission, Homes for Our Troops, Mission Feeding, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, RescueLife, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and Water for Life) through auction proceeds. For every unit sold on, the company provides five meals to a child in need, at no cost to the self-storage owner-operator. users can also commit funds from their auction proceeds, from five percent to 100 percent, or make direct donations any time for any amount.


An Awesome Agenda
Following Wednesday’s golf tournament is the 5th annual Owners and Investors Summit on Feb. 17., which is hosted by Shawn Hill, principal and founding member of Chicago-based The BSC Group. Registration and a continental breakfast begin at 8 a.m. A tribal blessing is scheduled to occur before the tradeshow floor opens at 8:45 a.m.

Then, at 9 a.m., Keynote Speaker John Chang, senior vice president and national director of research services for Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, will deliver an hour-long presentation titled “Can the Worst of Times Deliver the Best of Times?” Chang’s presentation will address questions such as: Will the gains be sustainable? Will the surge of capital establish a new price standard for the sector? What are the key metrics, economic trends, and events that will shape the self-storage outlook?

After a short break, Scott Zucker, a founding partner in the Atlanta, Ga.-based law firm of Weissmann Zucker Euster Morochnik & Garber P.C. and a partner in the Self Storage Legal Network, a subscription-based legal information service for self-storage owners and managers, is scheduled to speak about the legalities of the “new normal” in his 2022 Self-Storage Legal Update. Zucker will review the lien law process, notices, and timeline; discuss the effects of COVID on the self-storage industry; and provide insights about utilizing technology in your self-storage operations. This will be Zucker’s first time speaking at an AZSA conference.


At 11:15 a.m., the tradeshow floor will reopen for two hours. Lunch is scheduled from noon till 1:30 p.m.

R. Christian Sonne CRE, MAI, FRICS, executive vice president of Newmark Valuation & Advisory, takes center stage at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the latest on the economics of self-storage. An hour-long legislative forecast by Barb Meaney and Lourdes Pena of Triadvoates will precede 2.5 hours of open tradeshow time.

To round out the day, the 25th Anniversary Celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. Though she hesitates to call it a gala, Amideo says it’s one party you won’t want to miss. “It will be a great time!”


On Fri., Feb. 18, registration for the Operational Symposium begins at 7 a.m. Breakfast and a tribal blessing then pave the way for the welcoming address on the tradeshow floor. The morning sessions include a two-hour presentation by John Manes, CEO and co-owner of Pinnacle Storage Properties and Pinnacle Storage Managers, as well as an inspirational, uplifting speech by Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor of the Yarnell Hill fire tragedy of 2013 and author of My Lost Brothers.

Manes’ presentation focuses on the importance of using and understanding management summary reports, revenue management, and data tracking. Some of the topics include how to understand a management summary on a granular level, why being 100 percent occupied isn’t a good thing, and why you should have ancillary income at your self-storage facility.

The afternoon agenda provides time for attendees to receive Brendan McDonough’s autograph, eat lunch, and make rounds on the tradeshow floor. Vendor raffles and the second half of Manes’ presentation will occur as well. The conference is scheduled to end at 4:30 p.m.


Celebrate Good Times!
With all elements of this year’s annual conference and tradeshow being chicer than ever before, Amideo urges self-storage operators to reserve their spots sooner rather than later. Though space is not limited, the discounted rates for early registration are set to expire on Jan. 17, 2022.

Like Oprah Winfrey once said, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” And after nearly two and a half years since the last AZSA conference—not to mention record-high rental rates and occupancies being enjoyed by the majority of owner-operators throughout the state—it’s safe to say that the association and its members have plenty to celebrate!

Come on!

Event Sponsorships
AZSA’s 22nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow has numerous industry sponsors that make the three-day event possible. Deans & Homer is the 2022 title sponsor. MiniCo Publishing’s Mini-Storage Messenger is the promotional sponsor. The stage sponsors are Janus International, TLW Construction, and Caliber Metal Buildings. Other major sponsors include MiniCo Insurance, CubeSmart, BPI Capital, Cox's Armored Mini Storage Management (CAMSM), StoragePro, OpenTech Alliance, and Mako/Rabco. The golf tournament title sponsor is Janus, International and the shirt sponsor is Campbell Development, while Near-Cal Corp, MiniCo Insurance, Caliber Metal Buildings  and RKAA Architects are par sponsors. MiniCo Publishing is sponsoring the daily tribal blessings.

Registration Details
Though the time has passed to become an event sponsor, Amideo says attendee registration will remain open until the day before the conference. To register for the AZSA’s 22nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow, visit and click on the “Annual Conference” link under the “Events” tab.

Hotel reservations can be made by calling the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort at (480) 789-4957.  Keep in mind that We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is a boutique hotel with fewer rooms available, so don’t delay!


This article is provided courtesy of AZSA with the permission of Mini-Storage Messenger magazine. © MiniCo Insurance Agency LLC. All Rights Reserved. It is not intended for further reproduction/distribution without the exclusive permission of MiniCo Insurance Agency LLC.

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