Manager of the year Runner-up: Ron pell, Morningstar Storage

Posted by Erica Shatzer on Nov 21, 2023 5:21:18 PM

Within four years, Ron Pell has become a pillar of his community through his position as a property manager at a Morningstar Storage facility in Ladson, S.C. Now his exemplary customer service skills and innate ability to generate support for local charities and small businesses have earned him the title of first runner-up in Messenger’s 2023 Manager of the Year competition.


Champion Of Caring

Pell, who’s always been employed in customer service type industries, was working as a district manager for a greenhouse for about four years when he began looking for a different career path. His employment search led him to an open position at Morningstar Storage, which has been the perfect fit for his talents and traits.


Ron Pell 3Although Pell doesn’t consider himself to be an “outside salesperson,” nor the kind of person who would excel at making cold calls or unsolicited visits, his inviting and informative approach to sales has enabled Morningstar Storage’s 3772 Ladson Road location to experience year-over-year occupancy growth, from approximately 78 percent when he started to around 95 percent today. Being modest about his success, he says his method for securing new rentals is easy yet effective: “I just have conversations with people.” However, it’s much more than small talk. During those exchanges he listens carefully to customers’ stories to determine their needs, relays information about the facility and its rental process, gains their trust, and offers storage solutions—all of which require focus, feeling, and finesse.


“As a customer service professional, Ron has consistently displayed extraordinary commitment to serving his customers with utmost dedication and care,” says Michelle Odom, district manager at Morningstar Properties, LLC. “Countless customers have raved about the wonderful experience they have had while working with him, highlighting his ability to create a stress-free storage process by getting to know them as individuals and providing tailored support.”

According to Odom, Pell’s involvement with the “Morningstar Cares” program, which offers 5 percent of storage space to local charities, best illustrates his genuinely caring nature. Through that program he has helped several nonprofit organizations become more prominent and active within the community his facility serves. He’s also found additional ways to support them over and above providing free storage space.
Morningstar StoragePell is aware of at least 10 charities with units at the Morningstar Storage location that he manages; three that he has backed are Cobblestone Quilters, Hearts for Summerville, and the local Girl Scouts troop. Cobblestone Quilters makes and donates quilts to cancer patients, the homeless, and other persons in need of bedding. Pell helped the organization secure funds by hosting an on-site yard sale, during which Cobblestone Quilters held a fabric sale. To show their appreciation, the group made a custom Morningstar quilt in the company’s colors that is on display in the facility’s office.


He first learned about Hearts for Summerville, a newer nonprofit organization that serves the youth within the community, when they provided notice of their intention to move out of their rental unit. Respecting their mission and philanthropy, he provided them with a complimentary unit to hold items from their food, clothing, and toy drives. Pell also allows them to use the facility’s moving truck for free to make deliveries and hosts yard sales that enable the charity to raise awareness and collect donations.

For the past three years, the local Girl Scout troop has stored boxes of cookies at Morningstar Storage. Thanks to Pell’s generosity, and the high-traffic area surrounding the facility, they have had a profitable spot to sell their wares each spring.


Ron Pell 2What’s more, Pell garners support for all of the nonprofits present at the facility by promoting their events, displaying their promotional flyers, and directing donations to their doors. “Tenants donate items they no longer want,” he says. “I connect them to the nonprofits.”


Odom adds, “By fostering collaboration and synergy among these charities, Ron has amplified their impact on the community.”


She was particularly impressed with his holiday display that included five artificial Christmas trees and signage stating that Morningstar Storage proudly supports the charities that trimmed them. Pell wasn’t named the winner of that annual, company-wide holiday decorating contest, but it was a win for the five nonprofit organizations represented in the display.


“During the holiday season, Ron’s creativity and compassion shone through when he involved all the supported charities in a heartwarming office decoration contest,” says Odom. “By inviting them to decorate trees that showcased their exceptional work, he brought attention to the great initiatives the organizations are undertaking, creating an even stronger sense of community and goodwill.”


Commercial tenants at Morningstar Storage on Ladson Road are promoted in a similar fashion. Pell mentions the small businesses that rent units at the facility during tours and touts their products. For example, two of his tenants are candlemakers and their handmade creations keep the facility smelling sweet. After informing customers about the source of the fragrance, he points out their units and encourages them to shop local. Pell has plans to further promote the small businesses by creating office displays and hosting vendor event such as pop-up shops.


Pell also provides the same extraordinary level of care to the facility and the company.


“Ron’s commitment to finding innovative solutions and saving money is commendable,” says Odom. “His impressive efforts in negotiating a deal with a new elevator vendor for his and sister sites resulted in annual savings of $1,800, with additional long-term savings of $15,000 every five years. Furthermore, his hands-on approach to maintenance and repair tasks, such as building a new garden area on the property, exemplifies his dedication to maximizing efficiency and cost-effectiveness.”


And in response to these praises, Pell replied that he was pleasantly surprised by the win as well as the nomination, especially since Morningstar has 107 stores. “I like everything about my job and Morningstar Storage,” Pell says, adding that he didn’t realize he was doing anything worthy of recognition—he was just doing his job. But when you do what you love, love shines through all that you do!




Erica Shatzer is the editor of Modern Storage Media.