Cris Burnam, president of self-storage operator StorageMart, has received one of the highest honors that an American entrepreneur can get.
On June 19, Burnam took home this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in the services/real estate category for the Central Midwest region, which covers Missouri and Kansas. Burnam was among 23 award finalists in that region.
The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
“It’s an honor to receive this award, and a testament to the talented and dedicated people working beside me. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with my brothers and sister and learn from my mentor—my dad, Gordon Burnam,” Burnam said in a StorageMart news release. “My hope is that being recognized for achievement as an entrepreneur reminds others in the trenches that it is the courage to continue that counts.”
The Burnam family started Columbia, MO-based StorageMart in 1999. The company owns and operates nearly 150 storage facilities in the U.S. and Canada.
Before receiving the EY award, Burnam said he was focused on the road ahead for the family-owned business.
“You’ve got to have that vision going forward,” Burnam told the StorageMart blog. “Once you’ve defined your vision and know where you want to go, everything else falls into place.”
Aside from operating a successful storage business, StorageMart gives back to the community. StorageMart is co-founder of Charity Storage, the first nonprofit to be led by the storage industry. Among other causes, Charity Storage supports Kure It Cancer Research, Habitat for Humanity, women’s shelters, foster care initiatives and adoption resource centers. StorageMart Gives is the company’s charity arm.