From A 12-Year-Old Entrepreneur To The Largest Landlord In Twin Cities
MINNEAPOLIS (October 13, 2016) – CSM Corporation celebrates its 40th anniversary milestone in business and in the Twin Cities. What started with four employees in 1976 has grown to more than 2,000 employees coast to coast.
“This milestone is a celebration of our history, our business and all of us in the CSM community,” says Gary Holmes, CEO and President. “It’s a great achievement for our entire team.”
While CSM Corporation has been part of the Twin Cities community for 40 years, entrepreneur Gary Holmes began honing his business acumen well before then with a small venture, which like CSM, flourished. At 12-years old, Holmes sold light bulbs door-to-door in Minneapolis, eventually enlisting his Boy Scout troop as a sales force. His light bulb business grossed more than $200,000 per year. In the early 1960’s Holmes used his earnings to buy his first apartment building. Working out of the trunk of his car, Holmes continued to acquire local properties and after college began building apartments and shopping centers in other parts of the country before finally deciding in 1975 that he needed an office. In 1976 Colonial Services and Management was established, which later became CSM Corporation.
CSM continued developing, acquiring and renovating residential, commercial and industrial properties across the country. At one point CSM had built, developed and owned more than 8,500 residential apartment units and owned over 14 million square feet of commercial space. CSM expanded in 1982 with the creation of a lodging division. In 1992, the team celebrated the successful acquisition and renovation of a former Howard Johnson’s into a Country Inn by Carlson. Since then, CSM Lodging has built, acquired and managed 43 hotels coast to coast. CSM Lodging is listed as one of the “Top 50 Hotel Companies” owning and managing hotels for some of the nation’s most prestigious brands, including Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt.
The company’s success has been recognized locally and nationally, having been named Economic Developer of the Year by the MN Economic Development Association and Marriott Developer of the Year two years in a row. Other accolades include nearly 20 Awards of Excellence in Development from NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, 5 STARR Awards from the Minnesota Shopping Center Association for development and renovation of shopping malls, and more than 25 awards from the Minnesota Multi-Housing Association for property design, marketing & management of
residential properties. Holmes has earned praise as well, receiving the John F. Cade award from the University of St. Thomas in 2000, awarded the University of Minnesota’s highest alumnus honor – the Outstanding Achievement Award – in 2005, was the inaugural recipient of the University of Minnesota’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2006, and was inducted into the Twin Cities Business Hall in 2008.
“CSM’s continued success is built on our core values of integrity, respect, quality, communities and continuous improvement,” Holmes explains. “Our involvement in almost every facet of real estate, hotel development, management and asset management is a testament to our credibility and strength. In looking to the future, I’m excited about our strong, viable company, our people and the growth of each employee.”
To mark the occasion, the company will host a series of celebrations to thank the employees, customers and investors for their loyalty and dedication over the years.