Storage Engineering Pioneer And Gentleman
By Neil Gussis, Beacon Realty
Harold Leslie has been involved with the self storage industry for over
34 years. Harold was a charter member of the SSA and was instrumental in
the early development of the SSA while serving as EVP of Piper
Industries. During his tenure with Piper, he was a pioneer in the
development of the standing seam steel roof concept, a concept that is
now the accepted norm for the self storage industry.
For the past three decades, Harold has been the President of Leslie
Industries, Inc. a design, engineering, and manufacturing firm. Their
first self storage project was designed and built in 1978. Since the
company’s inception, over 52 million square feet of self storage
projects have been completed under Harold’s watch. Harold, to this day,
is involved in every building project that the company is working on. It
is said that he still has the most energy in the office and that his
success has been built upon the long-term relationships and friendships
that he has created.
Harold’s involvement in the industry is not limited to the United
States. Harold was for many years the Chairman of Leslie Storage Ltd. in
Daventry, England, a joint venture with Ayshire Metal Products, PLC,
Irvine Scotland, one of the largest suppliers of cold roll steel
products serving all of Europe. The group was also involved in the
design and building of self storage projects using cold formed steel
Harold has been a member of senior management of three New York Stock
Exchange companies and currently sits on the board of two non-industry
companies. He has been an editorial advisor for the two primary industry
publications and has served as a member of the board for MiniCo., a
supplier of insurance, a publisher, and a provider of products to the
self storage industry. He has in the past served as the Southeastern
Regional Director of the SSA.
Harold Leslie makes philanthropy an important part of his life and has
been very active in hurricane relief efforts throughout Florida. He
recognizes his good fortune, and has sponsored underprivileged children
in five countries the Christian Foundation For Children And Aging.
Harold has not only built millions of feet of storage facilities, he has
built a personal reputation that is second to none. He is a true
gentleman that is a pleasure to have in your company whether it be
professionally or personally. He is a visionary in new building
concepts. He is a perfectionist on whatever he is involved with. His
beliefs are followed by actions. He is trustworthy. You know you can
count on Harold’s word. That still goes a long way. He has been a
provider to many and true to his loved ones.
Harold and his wife Winnie have shared life together for the
past 48 years. They have two grown sons, Gregory and Phillip and
he is a proud grandfather to one grandson, Phillip Jr.
This article was published in the
September 2005 edition of the Self Storage Association Globe
Magazine. This edition was released just prior to the awards
ceremony inducting Harold into the Self Storage Hall of Fame.
He was chosen in the first “class” of inductees, as this will be
an annual event for persons who have been honored as
instrumental in the development of the Self Storage Industry.
Since the publication of this article we
were all saddened by the passing of Mrs. Winnie Leslie passed
away after a long battle with cancer in May of 2006. She will
be remembered with fondness by all of us here at Leslie