Founded in 1987 by Maurice Pogoda, Pogoda Companies includes Pogoda Management Co. and The Pogoda Group, Inc. Both are based in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Pogoda Companies employs only the finest highly trained professionals in our suburban Detroit headquarters and on-site at management accounts throughout the Great Lakes.
Our success is based on the personal attention and care that we give every property sale or management assignment. We draw on our knowledge of marketing, human resource management, financial controls, property maintenance and market data to provide you the best possible service. While guided by extensive experience and foresight, we look beyond traditional approaches to satisfy our clients’ needs.
Maurice founded Pogoda Companies in 1987 and, as President, is responsible for overseeing Pogoda’s overall operations and for assembling its staff of professionals. Since its inception, Maurice has created a nationally known company that has brokered over 90 self-storage properties representing more than $325 million in sales; managed and/or owned 68 facilities with over 4,275,000 square feet of storage; and built or renovated 18 storage properties. Pogoda Companies consistently ranks among the top 35 management companies in the U.S.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Maurice is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received an MBA from the University of Michigan in marketing and finance.
Mark started with Pogoda Companies in 2011. He has facilitated the sale of over 40 storage properties with a value in excess of $100,000,000. Mark’s sole focus is the sale of self storage properties and he is a recognized sales valuation expert. He works tirelessly to be sure that every sale goes smoothly. Buyers rely on him to guide them through the due diligence process; while Sellers expect sound financial analysis and property valuations so that their properties will be priced to sell but yield maximum value.
Mark began his commercial real estate career at Sperry Van Ness where he focused primarily on self storage. In 2007 he was instrumental in the formation of the Self Storage Association of Michigan and served on its initial board of directors. He is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Kinesiology. He is an avid sportsman and lives in Farmington Hills with his wife Sarah and two young sons.
John George took over the helm in 2010 and manages all aspects of operations for Pogoda Companies. His responsibilities include financial planning/forecasting along with analyzing data for expansions and new acquisitions. His team has produced industry leading revenue growth for multiple years. John ensures that Pogoda properties are the price leader in each market we compete while keeping a close eye on controlling costs, all while maintaining the critical balance between occupancy and revenue. We are fortunate that he has an unwavering focus on maximizing the investment value of each property we manage.
John began his self storage career in 1994 with Storage USA. He was instrumental in Storage USA’s growth from 100 properties to over 650 nationwide in seven short years. He was part of the management team during the sale to both GE and Extra Space Storage.
Chriss Michalopoulos is an experienced and results oriented management professional. He has been a Regional Manager with Pogoda since 2011. Graduating with a Bachelor of Finance Degree from the University of South Florida, he specializes in steering and directing all aspects of his region’s operations, administration and budgeting. Chriss has over twenty-one years experience successfully managing multiple hotel and self storage property portfolios across North America and Canada.
Chriss’ strengths include decisive leadership, the ability to seamlessly implement the latest industry innovations and knowledge in all aspects of accounting with a thorough comprehension of financial statements. He takes pride in his ability to feel the pulse of the market based on his detailed understanding of self storage.
Chriss is passionate about travel and has spent a great deal of time abroad. His work ethic, as well as his tennis game, has found an environment to flourish at Pogoda Companies.
Ken Neiman relocated from Tucson, Arizona to join Pogoda as a Regional Manager in 2010 after having spent 6 years with CubeSmart as a District Manager. Ken has a reputation for being a “people person” and takes great pride in developing and training his employees to exacting standards. One of Ken’s many accomplishments is that he instituted a Manager Specialist program that allows team members to mentor others in areas that they excel.
After graduating High School, Ken immediately went into the Armed Forces and served his country for 4 years overseas. Afterwards he began his business career working in retail corporations such as Circle K and Dollar Tree prior to embarking on a profession in self storage.
Ken is passionate about football and enjoys travel and sightseeing as much as his busy schedule allows.
Scott Weatherwax joined Pogoda in 2011. His duties include operations, personnel development, financial budgeting, property management, and recommending and overseeing capital improvements. Scott often takes on our most challenging turnaround properties and has been involved in numerous expansion projects.
Scott has over 25 years of management experience including five years with Simply Self Storage as a District Manager. Prior to his career in self storage he worked in the non-profit, manufacturing and retail sectors. He is a graduate of Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science.
Scott enjoys spending his free time with his wife and three young children. He enjoys camping and the outdoors. Scott’s greatest early achievement was earning the rank of Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.
As the controller for Pogoda Companies, Dave oversees all functions of the accounting department including receivables, payables, reconciliations, financial reporting, cash flow and budgeting.
Prior to joining Pogoda in 2011, Dave had worked in the hospitality industry for 14 years culminating in the position of corporate controller. His extensive accounting experience in that arena proved to be a seamless transition to the self storage industry.
Dave attended Western Michigan University where he earned a BBA in Accounting
Imane Barakat began her accounting career in 2008. As Accounting Manager for Pogoda, Imane oversees the day-to-day accounting protocols for receivables, vendor payables, and tax reporting. She is also responsible for month-end/year-end reconciliation, financial deliverables and annual budgeting.
Her tasks in recent companies included freelance tax accounting, financial reporting/analysis, and real estate investment accounting. Imane graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science dual degree in Accounting and Finance.
When Imane isn’t working, she enjoys traveling, reading and following the stock market.
Julie manages multiple projects ensuring timely and effective implementation and completion. She works closely with the Regional Managers and the VP of Operations developing strategic plans, gathering and analyzing data, coordinating meetings, controlling and managing project plans throughout each project life cycle. Additionally, Julie oversees all aspects of Commercial Insurance, Tenant Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance, insurance claims, vendor negotiation and pricing, as well as providing support to team members and field managers.
Julie has over 10 years work experience in property management. Before joining Pogoda in 2010 she worked for several years in the hotel industry working on well known national brands such as Marriott, Hilton Garden and several other major hotel flags.
Sandi wears many hats. She oversees all brokerage marketing activities including creating Offering Memorandums, email and snail mail blasts and maintains the contact database. She is in charge of all employee personnel files, oversees employee benefits and is responsible for payroll. Sandi also provides IT support to the field by purchasing and setting up computers as well as answering any and all IT question.
Sandi worked in Home Health Care for 8 years before joining us in the self-storage industry in 2015 as our Operations Coordinator, a position which she mastered quickly leading to her promotion to Lead Operations Specialist. She’s eager to continue to learn the different aspects of the industry and grow with the company.