At the September 27, 2016 Board meetings for the Connecticut and Massachusetts Self Storage Associations, it was proposed that the associations consider merging. It was voted unanimously to pursue the idea. A merger Committee was formed with representation from both facility and vendor members. The merged association would serve three states: CT, MA, and RI.
Working Jointly Produces Positive Results
CTSSA and MASSA have been hosting a joint meeting of the Boards once annually since 2010. We currently collaborate annually on six webinars, the Northeast Spring Retreat, and the fall Northeast EXPO. Each of these events has become more successful because of the collaboration. Working jointly, we’ve expanded our speaker base, built our attendance, offer the webinars at no cost to our members, increased sponsorships, and combined the annual meetings of the two groups resulting in a more affordable Northeast EXPO for our vendor members and increased overall attendance. Last year we eliminated the state-specific quarterly newsletters and now collaborate on a joint newsletter, the Northeast Edge.
Impact of Merger on our Members
We expect that a merger of the two associations will have a positive impact on you and your business. As one organization, we will have the same mission, governing documents, a single Board of Directors, and a united member base. Members will not lose any of their current member benefits and are likely to gain resources as the association can consolidate its efforts to produce one website with a common-core section of best practices, plus provide access to state-specific laws. For members with facilities in multiple states, this consolidation will result in one dues notice, one website login, one association office phone number and e-mail address, and one expanded membership roster. It is expected that the merged association will become larger than the combined membership of the existing associations resulting in increased revenue and participation at our events.
Our annual dues structure will change but the cost of dues should not change significantly. For some a small increase, for others a small decrease.
Our government relations efforts in the individual states will continue. This, we believe, is one of the most important things the associations do for our industry. The process and cost of pursuing legislation in each state is significantly different. Each association will bring to the merged association the money they have already accrued for the legislative efforts in their state and this money will be preserved for advocacy within that state. As additional funds are needed, the members within that state will support their state’s lobbying efforts. Each state will hire their own lobbyist when necessary and have their own Government Relations Committee.
The Process of Merging
The Association Boards have developed a relationship with an attorney who handles nonprofit association mergers. Our work with the attorney begins this month. The attorney will direct our activities and assist with the filing of state forms in both CT and MA and with the IRS. Volunteers will develop our organizational documents, for example our bylaws, and all of our organizational documents will be reviewed by the attorney before they are enacted.
Later this year both boards will vote whether to approve the merger, then the membership will vote. We anticipate both votes and all of the merger paperwork with appropriate approvals will occur in time for the new merged association to become active in October or November of 2017 with January 2018 the start date of the Northeast Self Storage Association – NeSSA.
We would like your feedback. Take an active role in the merger process and begin by giving us your feedback. What are your questions? What are your concerns? Why do you think the merger is good/bad for the industry? Note that your answers are confidential. If you would like someone to respond to your questions directly, you will need to add your contact information in the optional space provided on the form. Also, note that answers will be reported in the aggregate and no names/addresses will be shared with the larger group. The deadline for completing the feedback form is January 20, 2017 at midnight.
As we go through each step in the merger process, we will keep you informed of our progress. Our next communication will be to summarize the results of the feedback form we’ve asked you fill out. You are invited to contact anyone on our Merger Committee if you’d like to discuss the merger prior to filling out the feedback form or at any other time during the merger process.
Our Merger Committee members are:
Damon Emerson, CTSSA Director – Vendor Member
Charlie Fritts, CTSSA Immediate Past President and MASSA Treasurer – Facility Member
716-689-7377; 716-583-0419 cell; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Kane, MASSA Immediate Past President – Facility Member
508-881-8550; 508-641-1900 cell; email@example.com
Jessica Lamoureux, CTSSA President – Vendor Member
860-372-4106 x405; 914-490-8671 cell; firstname.lastname@example.org
Connie Neville, MASSA Vice President – Vendor Member
781-696-6241 cell; email@example.com
Jeff Ryer, CTSSA Vice President – Facility Member
203-778-6724; 203-470-6169 cell; firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Tranni, MASSA 2016 Past President – Facility Member
781-272-2899 x16; email@example.com
Scot Vayo, CTSSA and MASSA Director – Facility Member
Joe Victoria, MASSA President – Facility Member
401-529-1129 cell; firstname.lastname@example.org