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Cochrane Storage Named Business of the Year

February 22, 2002

Cochrane Road Self Storage was selected by the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce as the Business of the Year for 2002. Gina Six is the energetic, fulltime manager. Both are stalwarts of community activities.

Six is an enthusiastic ambassador for the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, and gives year-round support for local organizations.

In a former life Six worked in the corporate world as a hardware support engineer with an hour and a half commute to Sunnyvale. When the company sold she was happy to accept the offer from Cochrane Self Storage. “It’s a great commute,” Six said pointing to the office door leading to her kitchen. Soon after taking the job she moved her three children to the two-story manager’s house on the grounds. The children are grown now; her daughter is married and her two sons are attending DeAnza College and Gavilan.

Six runs the business with the help of Terry Zaffonato in the office and Fred Inglin as part-time caretaker.

Six, as manager, and Cochrane Self Storage offer support to many parts of the community. They provide storage at nominal cost for the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center (WERC). Employees put together and frame puzzles to make beautiful pictures to hang in seniors’ rooms at convalescent hospitals. Staff shared a table with San Pedro Self Storage handing out candy during the Downtown Safe Trick or Treat, and sold Christmas ornaments to help raise $7,000 for a children’s fund for September 9/11 survivors.

“As a business owner myself, I know that dedicated and enthusiastic employees are the most valuable assets any company can have, said John Tarvin of Hot Spot Printing. “Cochrane Road Self Storage is indeed fortunate to have an outstanding manager in Gina Six, who has boundless energy, and dedication to doing for others.:

In addition, the company supports the Fourth of July IDI parade, helped increase the number of bins and toys collected for Toys for Tots, particularly in the business park, and helped Hands Across the Bay furnish clothing and toys for children displaced by fires. They shared the Santa Clara County Firefighter’s booth at the Taste of Morgan Hill benefiting survivors of 9/11.

The company is also a sponsor of ChildSpree, a project in which letters go to school principals to give to needy children among their students. Accomplished in conjunction with Mervyn’s Department store, the letter congratulates the student on winning a shopping spree. On a set date, adults act as counselors to Shepard each child through the store where they can choose new clothes, shoes, bookbags, etc. Funds are raised by barbeques during the summer, cooked by Jesse Nazzel of Betsy’s Restaurant. Food can be eaten at the Grange Hall or taken out and eaten at the Friday Night Music Series downtown or at home. Thirty thousand dollars was raised in 2001.

A current project is www.YourMorganHill.com, a web site to explore discover and contribute to your town. It includes information about people, news, discussions, calendars and polls, Kid Zone and more. Steve Kudo, a database programmer and Bob Snow have contributed expertise to this project.

Six recalls coming to Morgan Hill for the Fourth of July parade when she was growing up in the Lake Almaden area.

Her responsibilities now take her to a number of conferences, trade shows and training sessions throughout the year.

“We have a managers’ support and information network, with a good group of managers.” Some of the interesting storage items Six remembers included a zoo supplier’s toys for animals, such as large balls for horses, and different types of gloves for working with various species of monkeys. Another fascinating item was an old printing press from the 1800’s, beautifully cared for and later moved, perhaps to a museum.

Cochrane Road Self Storage was developed and is owned as a partnership between William Kenney, a San Mateo attorney, and TBI Development with Charles Toeniskoetter, developer and owner of Cochrane Business Ranch. Kenney has a long history in self-storage and is the former National President of the Self Storage Association.

Since opening in 1997 at 411 Woodview Ave. with 400 units, the business has nearly doubled the number of units to more than 100,000 square feet of storage. The pristine units vary in size to accommodate a variety of needs for storage of business records, household or office furniture, boats, classic cars, even contractors’ tools. The floor of each unit is coated with epoxy, units are insulated and have individual sprinklers, making them safe for storage of hobby materials, old daguerreotypes, antiques and memorabilia.

“Cochrane Road Self Storage is wonderfully cooperative,” said Ken Tougas (Man of the Year 1999). “They are wonderful to work with and I’m really proud of them for getting this award.”

The Chamber of Commerce Showcase dinner is Saturday night at the Golden Oak Restaurant. The event is sold out.

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