Mt. Kisco Native enters “Shark Tank” | Examiner’s news

Local parents offer love and independence

Sam Chason (left) and Matt Gronberg on shark tank. (Photo: ABC)

Sam Chason was just a teenager, around 12 or 13, when a neighbor on Byram Lake Rd. in Mt. Kisco was about to abandon a riding mower.

One person’s junk was another young man’s opportunity.

He knocked on the owner’s door, got permission to take it away, and drove home with the mower while it was attached to his parents’ van.

A minor problem – he had no idea how to fix a mower.

Sam woke up early the next morning, cleaned it up, watched YouTube tutorials, and finally met a repairman his grandfather knew.

“In the end, he fixed it and sold it on Craigslist for $500 and a $50 tip for being such a good salesman,” his mother Sheilah marveled.

This teenage entrepreneur is now a 24-year-old young adult and CEO prodigy, who is set to appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” tomorrow night (Friday, Oct. 14) at 8 p.m. as he seeks support for his company, Storage Scholars. .


We live on a block in Mt. Kisco where a disproportionate volume of distinctly warm and kind families reside.

My wife and I first moved to the street in 2012; we were young parents.

The empty nests and high school moms and dads saw us as recruits – but they were always there with a helpful word or a knowing smile.

Now we ourselves are slipping into early graybeard status, along with other middle-aged parent friends, as new, younger families begin to populate the homes on our street and surrounding neighborhoods.

Through this evolution over the past decade, the Chason family has always stood out as a great role model for all of us.

From a distance, parents Sheilah and David Chason seemed to raise their children to be fiercely independent, kind and civic.

Both Sheilah and David are educators. She is a veteran Maths and STEAM teacher on sabbatical from Scarsdale Public Schools, as he retired from teaching Physics at Ardsley Secondary School in 2019 before working two years at Leffell , a private Jewish day school in Hartsdale.

They embody that spirit of seeing a world beyond yourself.


One of their three children, Sam, was a friendly face in the neighborhood. Riding a bike, kicking a soccer ball, and commuting to work or school, he was always quick with an easy, sincere smile.

You can catch this friendly face on ABC tomorrow night as he trumpets a company he founded in 2017.

At the time, Sam noticed how many international and foreign students didn’t have a car or the means to get their things out of the dorms at the end of the semester.

Identifying a need and a void in the market, Sam has been growing his business ever since.

He will appear on “Shark Tank” with COO Matt Gronberg, another Wake Forest Class of 2020 graduate and co-founder of Storage Scholars of Boxford, Mass.

“Going into college, I was tasked with overcoming a mountain of student debt,” the young CEO, who now lives in Austin, Texas, told me in an email interview once our chance to have a past phone interview because Sam had a plane to catch. , returning home after a trip with his family to Hawaii. “Instead of dithering, complaining or ignoring this insecurity, I started a business. I used the fear of compound interest to fuel my will to succeed no matter the obstacle.

Chason celebrates his college graduation with his parents and siblings.


Storage Scholars markets itself as a full-service door-to-door storage, shipping, and moving company for college students.

“Imagine a chaos-free moving week with less traffic and happier students,” the company’s website proclaims, noting that it has helped move thousands of students successfully.

Storage Scholars now employs hundreds of students nationwide.

For the uninitiated, Shark Tank offers budding entrepreneurs the chance to win business deals from a panel of celebrity investors.

Unsurprisingly, a forensic examination of the Storage Scholars foundation unequivocally reveals the fingerprints of Sheilah and David Chason — loving support mixed with a demand for self-reliance.

Before Sam came to college in 2016, where he planned to study business, he made a deal with his parents.

They refused to pay the entire obscenely priced private school bill.

But they agreed to pay the equivalent of public school.

Sam, 18, is said to be struggling with a financial obligation of a quarter of a million dollars.

“I imitated my parents’ college plan, which was to pay for a SUNY, and whatever the kids were beyond and beyond were responsible for,” Sheilah explained of the approach. . “So they saved from an early age. All this made them want to work from an early age. It also taught them that they could work. There were jobs available all around them.


As Sam notes on his website, the debt burden was “not a burden I took lightly.”

But the drive and work ethic to fulfill that commitment took root in Mount Kisco, and not just through the teachings of his parents.

The 2016 Fox Lane High School graduate borrowed many lessons from his hometown by succeeding so early on his entrepreneurial path.

Working as a teenager at Frannie’s Goodie Shop for Mt. Kisco couple, Frannie and Isi Albanese, was a defining experience of work (and future business ownership).

He asked me to thank Isi and Frannie for “teaching the kids at Mount Kisco what hard work looks like.”

“I used my experiences working at Frannie’s Goodie Shop and Revel with Dinner Thyme Catering to set the standard for what good service looks like,” Sam explained. packing chairs and giving change to customers. I learned the basics of what running a successful business looks like. »

To be clear, Storage Scholars is far from the Texas resident’s first rodeo. He even launched small startups at age five.

Whether it’s a lemonade stand, pet sitting, or lawn care, he’s run kind of a side hustle since he’s been holding a backpack.

“Kids learned about financial responsibility from an early age,” Sheilah said. “The lemonade stands required reimbursement for supplies. They received a monthly stipend and spent it as they saw fit, but that was it.

Chason and his family on vacation.


Sheilah and David’s 29-year-old son, Keith, a Philadelphia resident, is chief technology officer for Storage Scholars, building and maintaining the company’s website since the jump. His daughter Molly, 27, lives in New York and works as an account manager at Stylitics.

The values ​​the Chasons instilled in their young adult children are similar to the values ​​my wife and I try to teach our school-age daughters.

Our sophomore in high school works multiple jobs, earning money to buy a car in a few years, while our sophomore takes her chores of tidying up and cleaning tables seriously.

Although it would be more than an exaggeration to draw a straight line between our parenting style and the Chasons’ learning by osmosis, they are certainly one of the many local couples we could emulate or borrow when thinking about the values ​​we let’s try. inculcate.

And when our girls need to get things out of their dorms, they’ll know who to call.

To learn more about Storage Scholars, visit

To see if the Sharks sink into the business, watch shark tank Fridays at 8 p.m. on ABC or stream on or Hulu.

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