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Jefferson Shreve

Professional Overview

Jefferson Shreve is an entrepreneur and business owner. He has worked over the past quarter century years to grow Storage Express, an organization he founded right out of college. Today, Storage Express is the largest self-storage company headquartered in Indiana. His company owns and operates approximately 100 storage facilities in communities across five Midwestern states.

Storage Express has developed and fine-tuned an innovative model, whereby it is able to efficiently centralized rental activities for all of its properties out of one Indiana office. Rather than relying upon managers at each location, all of their storage spaces are rented out of a central Indiana office. The company employs a platoon of Field Service Reps across its markets, who move around their territories each day servicing their properties and keeping the company’s inventory of rental spaces current.

Shreve developed the germ of this innovative operating model while still at Indiana University. At the time, Shreve was interning for an Indianapolis shopping center developer that had extra land adjacent to several of their strip centers. That retail developer liked the then-nascent idea of building storage facilities but wanted to manage the properties from a central location, as none would be large enough to support the overhead cost of an on-site manager. Jefferson formulated an initial plan that made this notion feasible. When that retail developer lost interest in the project, Shreve begged, borrowed (but did not steal!) the money to pursue his project. That was followed by a second, then a third, and so on…

Shreve has observed that the best part of owning a successful business is the sovereignty it affords. Storage Express has allowed Jefferson opportunities to invest in other ventures over the years. He notes that there are myriad challenges that face small business owners. Competition is a challenge businessperson must contend with. And as Jefferson competes in numerous smaller markets, he observes that there’s the mixed blessing of unsophisticated competition. These included competitors who may offer rental rates that are lower than the market average, or who may open facilities at locations that aren’t ideal.

Over the years Jefferson Shreve has learned numerous lessons related to success in business. The value of persistence stands out as the most valuable lesson, though. Every business faces its shares of difficulties, and persistence is often the factor that determines whether the venture succeeds or fails in the end. By harnessing the power of online search, Storage Express has been able to expand its customer base over the years.
Location is one of the primary factors that help a storage facility succeed which is why Jefferson and his team work hard to select locations that are attractive to customers. Storage Express properties are clean, secure, easy to access, and there for customers when they need a place to store their belongings.

Education & Volunteer Experience

In addition to his BA in Political Science from Indiana University, Jefferson also earned an MA in International Studies & Diplomacy from the University of London. He went on to earn later an Executive MBA in Agribusiness from Purdue University.

Over the years, Shreve has given back to his home state through service on numerous boards and commissions – both public and private. He has been elected to serve on the Indianapolis City-County Council the board of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the State Workforce Innovation Commission, and served as National Chairman of the Indiana University Alumni Association.

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