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Inside the _____ Relationships

Inside the Steps of Chad Shirley

This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what’s inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer’s storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to him. Thank you to Chad Shirley, customer of our CubeSmart store in Boston,  for sharing his story with us.

Chad Shirley, 26, grew up in Indiana, Penn., or, as he puts it, "the Christmas tree capital of the world. Jimmy Stewart? That's his hometown."

Indeed, his father leases part of the family's nine-acre property to a Christmas tree farm. The town has experienced recent population growth due to what Chad said is expansion at nearby Indiana University of Pennsylvania, but he recalls growing up in a tight-knit community.

He worked at the local movie theater and the ice cream parlor and delivered pizza. "Everything for an ideal date in high school," Chad said.

His father coached baseball and coached Chad's younger brother, Nathan, in peewee football. Nathan, 21, attends Indiana University in Pennsylvania. Chad said he learned "old-fashioned values," such as respecting his elders, helping others and holding the door open for the women.

Chad took a "baby step" away from his hometown by attending Penn State University, where he graduated in 2013 with an accounting degree.

"I met a girl on spring break," he said. "Her mom was my first boss."

Chad met the mom in Miami the night before he and his girlfriend went on a cruise. The mother told him he could work for her at Psychcare, which provided behavioral health care solutions for employers, health plans, and government agencies. This was Chad's opportunity to take a much bigger step away from home to relocate to Miami.

"Making that decision was hard," Chad said. "It was a time to grow and reflect on my goals."

He described his two years in Miami as living in a "whole new atmosphere. It's north Cuba. A different culture."

He enjoyed the lifestyle but Beacon Health Options took over the company, leaving Chad with another key decision — receive a severance or take a promotion as an actuary at the company's headquarters in Boston. In October 2015, he took the position in Boston.

Chad is now storing furniture at our Boston store at 150 William F. McClellan Highway near Logan International Airport while he moves to another apartment in the city. In the meantime, he is returning home for his "birthday month," and will telecommute until he returns. "All my really good friends still live there," he said during a visit to our store in July.

Chad planned to reconnect with those who attend a Methodist church that his family belongs to. He and his friends were scheduled to visit Ohiopyle State Park near Pittsburgh for white water rafting. He wanted to later visit Colorado to hike the Continental Divide. Chad said his love for the outdoors — hiking, hunting, backpacking and camping — developed as he grew up in his rural community.

"You can't do much of that in South Florida," he said. "It's too hot, and it's mostly Everglades."

But you can enjoy a lot of those same activities near Boston, he said. And it's also closer to home.

"I feel like I'm going to settle in the Northeast," Chad said.

About the author

Adam Bowles

Adam Bowles is the owner of Not With Ink, a digital media company in Jewett City, Conn. He spent 15 years as a reporter and editor for The Bulletin in Norwich, Conn., and has freelanced for such publications as The New York Times. His latest project is called The World in One Square Mile, a series of on-the-spot interviews for short profiles that demonstrate the need to take interest in others, listen to their stories and discover what unites us all. He and his wife, Luisa, have two daughters.

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