Why The Name

The name Top Hat is near and dear to Brian’s heart. In 2019, Brian’s wife became extremely ill and after several months of fighting a bout with pneumonia they discovered the true culprit. She was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, a disease that is becoming much more prevalent in young healthy female nonsmokers.

Throughout all the initial procedures Jodi’s positivity remained high and so did her love for horses. While Jodi had ridden and shown American Saddlebred horses for years, she had never owned one, and Brian worked for months to find the perfect horse for her. After several months, he found Topper, show name LA Sir Top Hat, out of West Virginia and Brian brought him down to Tampa to surprise his wife and family. While Jodi is continuing her fight against cancer, Topper brings them an immense amount of joy and is truly part of the family. Whenever Jodi is feeling well enough you can find her at the stables.


Brian Fulton – Owner

Brian brings over 16 years of financial and self-storage experience assisting his clients in the areas of site feasibility, property development, valuation, cash flow modeling, research and sales.

Brian currently oversees and supports the acquisition and development of Lockhart Management Group’s portfolio of self-storage assets operating under the Lockhart Storage Center brand. In 2020, Brian transitioned from the Mele Storage Group of Cushman and Wakefield to focus on his largest client, LMG, and their portfolio of assets, as well as assisting a small number of other private clients.

He joined The Mele Group in 2014, providing his assistance and expertise on over 200 transactions with a sales volume exceeding $1.5 billion, underwriting in excess of $6 billion in self-storage assets and examining the feasibility of over 300 development projects.

A Tampa native, receiving his Bachelors in Finance at the University of South Florida, Brian began his career as a Financial Consultant, advising construction companies on executive compensation packages, asset management and tax reduction strategies. With this experience Brian then served as a Portfolio Manager for a Florida based Registered Investment Advisory firm, performing financial modeling, forecasting, valuation and securities research. Brian took this knowledge base with him to a nationally recognized consulting firm, designing deferred compensation plans for numerous fortune 500 companies. Brian has successfully completed the level I exam for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and was studying for the Level II exam prior to switching his focus to property sales at The Mele Group.

Outside the office, Brian enjoys spending time with his 12-year-old daughter Tessa and wife Jodi. In his free time, he enjoys pool time with the family, fishing, flying and occasionally swinging a golf club.