Retiring after 29 years of work is a significant milestone in anyone’s life. It marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter filled with time to relax, pursue new interests, and spend time with loved ones. After a company reorganization, Craig Foley closed a 10-year chapter of his career and embarked on something new—in storage! These days it’s rare to stay at a company for even 10 years, but 29 is an accomplishment on another level.
We asked Craig to share some details about his journey with Extra Space Storage. Here’s what he had to say.
When did you start at Extra Space Storage?
I started in storage 29 years ago, in October 1994. I initially worked for Storage USA, which eventually merged with Extra Space Storage after an acquisition.
What brought you to Extra Space Storage?
I worked at Hertz Rental Car for 10 years when I found myself out of a job after a company reorganization. Believe it or not, I answered an ad in the Dallas morning newspaper before job postings were online. I had a phone interview initially and then an in-person interview with the President and CEO of Storage USA, Karl Haas. Karl was passing through Dallas on a flight back to corporate headquarters in Columbia, MD. That was when anyone could walk to the airport gate to meet someone. So, I met him at the gate, we had lunch, and that was the interview!
What roles have you held over the years?
I became a District Manager when there were about 50 properties in the Storage USA portfolio. Later I became a Regional Manager for Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
What kept you at Extra Space Storage all these years?
The people and company. In the years I’ve been with Extra Space, it remains true that the company highly values the people in the field. I worked at other places where that was not the case. I appreciate how we treat our people—especially the team members who run our stores.
Do you have a favorite memory about your time at Extra Space Storage?
I was involved in many acquisitions, especially during my first few years. I was training District Managers then and would travel to different markets. On one trip, Karl Haas and I were flying from Oklahoma City to Dallas when he asked me how everything was going. The company had just gone public, and we were buying a bunch of properties. I was overseeing 29 properties in four different cities, so I told Karl, “If I had 29 properties in one market, it wouldn’t be too bad, but spread across four markets is tough.” That’s when he told me they were testing out how many stores a District Manager could handle, and I was their test subject! We joked about that, but I always enjoyed those times, especially the opportunities to help other District Managers.
Do you have any parting advice for your Extra Space Storage coworkers?
I always tell our Assistant and Store Manager that we’re a company that promotes from within. So, as far as you want your career to go, it’ll take you there. Your career is in your hands. I know District Vice Presidents that started as Assistant Managers, and many teammates at the corporate office who have worked up to Directors, Vice Presidents, and Senior Vice Presidents.
What are you looking forward to in retirement?
Travel! I have four grandkids ranging in age from three to seven—those are such fun ages. I have family in New York and Florida, so I’m excited to visit them.
Messages From Craig’s Peers
“Craig, no one stays with one company for 29 years anymore. What an accomplishment! Who will Extra Space go to when they need one District Manager to manage 30 stores during a growth spurt?”
-Karl Haas, Former President and CEO of Storage USA
“29 years! You’ve helped so many people along the way, including me. Fish, play golf, and do whatever you want now. But you can’t move to Florida like everyone else. We’re full!”
-Dave Stafford, Senior District Manager
“You gave me my first department and made an unpopular decision to put me at a store with high visibility that would change the course of my career. You had belief in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”
-Cassie Dsouza, Director of Learning & Development
“Your presence will always be in the Dallas market and with Extra Space. I’m a better person for knowing and working with you.”
-Jeff Craig, Facility Services Manager
“Thanks so much for showing me the ropes. I still apply things you taught me every day.”
-Kate Stapleton, District Manager
“Extra Space would not be what it is today without Craig. He genuinely loves and cares about his team and those he works with. Many of us would not be here without the support that Craig provided.”
-Megan Hammer, District Vice President
“I’m so appreciative to have had the opportunity to work with you over the years. Your industry knowledge and get-it-done mentality will always be part of us at Extra Space.”
-Rashede Peoples, Senior Vice President of Operations
“You’ve seen it all and done it all. The only locks you have to check now are the ones at your own house.”
-Tina Uribe, District Manager
“You’ve been a mentor, a leader, a confidante, and most importantly, my friend.”
-Gary White, Craig’s trainee in 1998
Thank you, Craig, for your hard work and for being an example of the Extra Space Storage values for 29 years. Congratulations on your retirement!
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