StorageMart, an owner and operator of 149 self-storage facilities in the United States and Canada, is among the 10 businesses and two charitable organizations that will receive a Torch Award on Oct. 14 from the East Missouri and South Illinois chapters of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Winners are chosen based on their “commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB website.
Companies and charities may nominate themselves or can be nominated by customers or other businesses. The awards committee, made up of previous winners, looks at how each applicant benefits customers, employees and the larger community. Recipients must also meet BBB ethical, advertising and selling standards.
This year’s winners will be presented with a crystal trophy during a luncheon at Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis. The event will feature motivational speaker Mark Whitacre, who was once a rising star at Archer Daniels Midland Co. He became internationally known as a whistleblower after reporting on the company’s price-fixing practices. Whitacre’s story was the basis for the movie “The Informant.” KMOV News Anchor Steve Savard will emcee the event.
Tickets for the ceremony can be purchased for $60 per person or $600 for a table of 10. Patron sponsorships, which include luncheon tickets, are available for $1,500. Those interested in attending can visit www.bbb.org/stlouis/events.
“I love a challenge,” said StorageMart President Cris Burnam. “For me, a challenge comes with constantly reinventing how we do business.”
StorageMart pays close attention to customer reviews on its own website as well as third-party review sites to ensure customers are happy, according to a company press release. “I read every single review,” Burnam said.
StorageMart is the latest incarnation of a self-storage business started by homebuilder Gordon Burnam, Cris Burnam’s father, in 1973. The current company was founded in 1999 after the previous business was bought by a competitor.
Headquartered in Columbia, Mo., StorageMart employs 390 people. The company’s charitable arm, StorageMart Gives, is a charter member of Charity Storage, which provides financial assistance to nonprofit organizations across the United States, including Kure-It Cancer Research.
The BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that provides accreditation to businesses nationwide. The organization offers consumers objective advice, free business reviews on more than 4 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute-resolution services, alerts, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.