In honor of Public Storage’s 50th anniversary, we want to celebrate this golden moment by looking back at how our founders Wayne Hughes and Ken Volk started at a time when the industry was relatively new.
After 50 years of building relationships with customers, we now have more than 2,800 locations nationwide and are eponymous with the self-storage industry.
“This is an exciting time for Public Storage as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. And we have much to celebrate,” shared Public Storage CEO Joe Russell in an internal memo. “Over the last five decades, we have been the leader in the self-storage industry. Those that began our great company were truly pio¬neers.”
The company was officially formed on August 14, 1972 which also happened to be the birthday of our cofounder, Ken Volk.
We opened our first location right next to a freeway in El Cajon and it wasn’t long before we were helping our first customer—who was the San Diego distributor for STP Motor Oil and desperately needed a place to store his inventory.
“We built No. 1 and took it from there,” the late Wayne Hughes recounted in a book about Public Storage.
Public Storage is now a publicly-traded S&P 500 business and an employer of more than 5,000 talented employees who everyday strive to help make the customer experience the best it can be. It’s hard to imagine a time when we had just one employee!
That first employee joined the team to help our founders and continued to work at our corporate offices until the early 2000s. Longevity with the company was not unique. To this day we have dozens of employees who have spent decades with us because of the company culture. We’ll be sharing their stories on our blog in the coming months in celebration of our anniversary and as a recognition for their time with us.
Employees are the cornerstone of our success and we value their commitment by helping them reach their fullest potential. As a result, many employees choose to grow their careers with us. We’re honored that Public Storage was recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Large Employers in 2022 and certified a Great Place to Work.
Russell thanked our employees for helping us continue to transform the company with the use of innovative technology.
Since we first rolled up our iconic orange doors, our employees helped us go from an entirely paper process to an online system that enhances the customer experience. We’ve lead the way in the self-storage industry with our eRental process, and launched our app to help customers gain access to their facility with a touch of a button.
“Visionary innovation could not have been achieved without the talented employees that we have had and that we have today,” Russell said. “From our corporate offices to each and every location, we are committed to going above and beyond for our customers, through great customer service and innovative technology solutions."
To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we’re giving customers a chance to win prizes all month long!