In Memoriam: David Blum – A big heart for the global self storage community

College closures spur spike in student self-storage demand
March 23, 2020

In Memoriam: David Blum – A big heart for the global self storage community

David Blum was a big, big big personality at the Self Storage Expo Asia and in our community. That big heart won him friends in his native America, across Asia and around the world. It even landed him in jail.

Admittedly, that jail was a pizza joint and his ‘bail’ was raised to donate funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in south Florida. But it was typical of his community approach to helping people in his home state and in businesses around the world.

Florida may be known for its oranges and alligators, but in self storage, it could be known as The Blum State. He co-founded the South Florida Self-Storage Association in 2001. Under President Blum, it grew to encompass the whole state as the Florida Self Storage Association (FSSA) which he ran until 2004. He also served on the regional board of the National Self-Storage Association and represented Florida as an FSSA Trustee Emeritus.
He was known for his deep expertise and he wasn’t afraid to share it. He came by that expertise honestly having been in the business for 24 years. He first spoke as a guest speaker at the 1983 National Self-Storage convention in Las Vegas and then formally joined the industry in 1996 with Storage USA. He rose up to become the Vice President of Operation for Budget Mini-Storage in Florida. Under his stewardship, he quintupled the number of sites from 2 to 10 in just four years, establishing it as the premier brand in the region.

David was never stingy with his experience at the Self Storage Expo Asia. SSAA Board Member Alan Tso, Founder of CBD Self Storage in Beijing, remembers his valuable and generous advice from formal presentations and over drinks in the lively evenings at the Expo. “I was very delighted to have met him; this American veteran who was so willing to share.”  In the written word, you can still find his articles in the archive of Mini-Storage Messenger, Inside Self-Storage, and The Self Storage Telegram. 

Jay Massirman of MCSS Properties first worked with David in 2005. Their collaboration grew into friendship and he remembers “traveling literally around the world with David to SSA & affiliate shows as the self storage business matured around many foreign countries. As a result we have made friends worldwide and created a great network of great operators, investors, developers and vendors in the industry.”

David passed away at the age of 71 of COVID-19 related complications on April 10, 2020. He is fondly remembered by his wife of 48 years, Beth Blum, and their two sons, Eric and Joshua, as well as his daughter in law Amanda and two grandchildren, Simon and Abigail.

We will certainly remember him across Asia as his love of the self storage game and the people playing it inspired him to cross the ocean and be part of our community.

Former SSAA Executive Luigi La Tona has these parting words, “He was a mentor, he was a builder, he was an innovator, and he was a leader. With an infectious laugh and unwavering faith, his support for the industry in Asia was second to none from both sides of the Pacific. Rest well amigo.”

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