June 15th, 2020 – Phoenix, AZ, OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative smart connected technology solutions for the self-storage industry, announced that is has become a Platinum Sponsor of the Self Storage Association Foundation (SSAF) thru its $50,000 donation to the SSAF Scholarship fund in honor of Jim Knuppe, his wife Bobbie and son Michael. This gift seeks to honor the Knuppe Family’s long-standing commitment to making dreams come true.
The SSAF is a charitable organization dedicated to providing relevant industry information, communication and exceptional educational experiences for SSA members, owner-operators and investors. The SSAF also recognizes professionals who have contributed to the betterment of the industry and contributes to worthy causes for educational purposes on its behalf.
The Knuppe Family owns and operates self storage facilities in California and Hawaii along with a portfolio of other real estate. Prior to selling 12 of their 15 properties to Extra Space Storage in 2007, they owned and operated 2.4 million sq ft (55.39 acres; 18,720 units) with several of their facilities having over 2,000 units each. The Knuppes are pioneers of the self storage industry, dating back over 40 years when it was still referred to as mini storage.
Jim Knuppe has always been an innovator. When he first ran across OpenTech in 2004 he was very impressed with what the company was trying to do. He had already attempted to have a self-service kiosk built for his storage business. After testing out an INSOMNIAC kiosk in the founders’ garage, he decided to purchase 15 of them and made a capital investment in OpenTech. Mr. Knuppe and his COO Katie Bartels still serve on the board of OpenTech helping to guide the growth and direction of the company.
“Meeting Mr. Knuppe at one of my first SSA conferences changed my life,” said Robert Chiti, OpenTech Chairman and CEO. “I had a dream of starting a company that would bring innovative ideas, superior service and a long-term commitment to the self storage industry – but things were moving pretty slowly. When the Knuppe family decided to buy 15 kiosks and become an Angel investor, I felt like I had been given my chance. Throughout Mr. Knuppe’s career, he has helped many people realize their dreams, so we are very proud to honor the entire Knuppe Family with this donation.”
Each year the SSAF will award a $5,000 Education Scholarship in the Knuppe Family’s name. Since its inception, the SSAF Scholarship program has awarded over $410,000 to support the education of 173 students with roots in the self storage industry.