Executive Biographies

Summit has a very select executive team with more than 100 combined years in commercial real estate experience as:

  • Owners
  • Operators
  • Developers
  • Contractors
  • Architects
  • Appraisers
  • Real Estate Professionals
  • Building Component Vendors
  • Online Marketing Vendors
  • Technology Vendors

Moreover, prior to joining forces as executives at Summit, the majority of those 100 years includes working together in some common capacity on dozens of projects as vendor/contractor, developer/contractor, and vendor/partner.


Charles Cordes – A pioneer vendor in the self-storage industry since 1989, Mr. Cordes was co-founder and vice-president of U.S. Door & Building Components (“U.S. Door”) before co-founding Summit. While navigating U.S. Door to a leadership position within the metal building and self-storage component industry, Mr. Cordes actively developed class “A” commercial projects in Central Florida with local investors. Specializing in manufacturing processes, steel consumption, operational administration, and global sales management, Mr. Cordes is a notable figure in the global self-storage industry. He was a founding vendor member of the Florida Self Storage Association (FSSA) and served as one of its Presidents. Mr. Cordes has been a featured speaker at industry trade shows and has authored or been quoted in numerous trade publications.

Personally holding a General Contractor license in several states nationwide, Mr. Cordes maintained close supervision of projects developed in all markets whilst monitoring contract installation crews active throughout America, Europe, Mexico, and South America. Departing in 2009 from U.S. Door after 25 years in the manufacturing, commercial development, and self-storage industries, Mr. Cordes fixated on additional development and construction in the new emerging market of charter schools; an industry that was still very active during the downturn in the economy. Traveling globally throughout his career, focused on markets of all types, Mr. Cordes acquired a vast knowledge of successful markets, construction styles, and operational trends.

Charles is married to Jeanne, his wife of 36 years, and together they have two grown children, Shannon and Ryan, and one grandchild Amelia.


Joel Palmer – Awarded his first General Contractors license in 1981, Mr. Palmer joined Summit at the start of 2013. Prior, he was most recently Director of National Development and Vice President of Corporate Construction at Liberty Investment Properties, Inc. (“Liberty”) in Maitland, Florida. During his five-year tenure with Liberty, Mr. Palmer actively managed all facets of new development encompassing due diligence services, project design, entitlement management, construction budgets, including development and construction management. Mr. Palmer successfully completed five class-A self-storage facilities and 29 extended stay hotels throughout the eastern US. Mr. Palmer was instrumental in structuring a construction program that exceeded all expectations of the underwriters and lending partners as part of securing a $300M revolving line of credit for Liberty’s hotel development program.

Prior to Liberty, Mr. Palmer was Senior Vice President at Mike Carter Construction (“MCC”) in Bradenton, Florida. During a 15 year tenure with MCC Mr. Palmer was directly responsible for projects including assisted living facilities, doctor and dental offices, fire stations, local and national banks, a museum, domestic and international marina facilities, and 80 self-storage facilities, all totaling more than 11M square feet under roof.

As a Retired United States Marine, Mr. Palmer’s motto of “Adapt and Overcome” has been instrumental in his many successes. It is this dedication and his thirty years of construction experience that brought him to Summit.

Joel is married to Rose, his wife of 29 years, and together they have two grown children, Erin and Sean.


Todd Lucas – Served as Vice President of Development for Extra Space Storage (EXR on NYSE), a REIT headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was directly involved in all areas of real estate including site acquisition, development and construction. Mr. Lucas played a key role in capturing more than $200M in new business while directly managing an aggressive growth program of 75 new construction projects nationwide and managing a team that delivered 150 additional projects. During his tenure, the Extra Space Storage portfolio expanded from 24 properties to over 750 nationwide, helping to drive Extra Space Storage into position as one of the largest self-storage companies in the world.

Following his time with Extra Space Storage, Mr. Lucas moved into the entertainment industry, leveraging his business experience to work as the product and program manager on the Next Generation Experience at the Walt Disney Company (DIS on NYSE). The Next Generation Experience was a $1B initiative blending technology and physical infrastructure together creating a new and highly enhanced experience across the Disney Company. The work completed by Mr. Lucas and his peers has been recognized nationally as one of the top 10 innovations of the decade and a recent article in Fortune Magazine named the wearable technology one of the “25 coolest gadgets of 2014”.

Todd has Masters of Architecture and Bachelor of Arts and Architecture from Montana State University. He and his wife Robbi have been married for over 17 years and have three children, Nikolas, Elli and Brooke.


Larry Hanks – For 11 years Mr. Hanks served as a commercial real estate appraiser in Orlando with one of the largest appraisal firms in the county. While at Pardue, Heid, Church, Smith, & Waller he specialized first in condemnation appraisal for eminent domain takings and then in the hospitality industry. Afterwards, he was employed for 12 years by Liberty Investment Properties, Inc. in Maitland, FL, which developed, owned and managed as many as 41 self-storage facilities under the Shurgard Storage Centers brand and 29 Value Place Hotels. During his tenure at Liberty, Mr. Hanks advanced to become it’s Director of Real Estate where he was responsible for market research and feasibility studies for development, site selection, facility acquisitions and dispositions, contracts, billboard, retail space and cell tower negotiation. He was also partner in several storage facilities and Liberty’s hotel division.

As noted previously, Mr. Hanks later partnered with Brian Pelski in the development of The Storage Group, an online marketing company specializing in self-storage website development, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and other technologies. Mr. Hanks’ primary role in the start-up was to generate sales, establish vendor relationships, and lead a national brand awareness campaign. As a result, The Storage Group quickly became a nationally recognized brand and is routinely engaged to provide paid and volunteer keynote speakers and round table facilitators at national and state sponsored trade shows.

Mr. Hanks, originally from Mobile, AL has resided in the Orlando, FL area since 1974. After receiving an Associate of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida State University with a major in Finance. He currently holds an active Real Estate Sales Associates license #SL492082 and a State Certified General Real Estate Appraiser License #RZ2086.

He has been married to his wife Joyce since 1999 and they have two boys, Brantley and Tyler.