Lackland Self Storage is once again a finalist for The New Jersey Family Business of the Year Award. The Middlesex-based company was selected from dozens of large family-run businesses in recognition of its contributions to the community and state economy. The winner of the award will be announced this month.
Established in 1977, Lackland Self Storage was New Jersey’s first storage facility and today has 24 locations in the state. Michael Lackland, president and CEO, says the company strives to combine community outreach with excellent customer service at all of its sites. To meet this goal, the management team of each facility annually chooses a local charity or organization to sponsor. Selections include first-aid squads, fi re departments, Little League, Pop Warner and various school programs.
“Participating in community activities and supporting local organizations is the Lackland Self Storage way of saying ‘thank you.’ We want to help ensure our customers’ communities are a vital place for all who live and work there,” Michael says. “It’s important to be part of our communities rather than just being in them.”
Like many community-minded businesses, Lackland encourages staff members to get involved in charitable endeavors. This month, the company once again sponsors the New Jersey Race for the Cure to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Hosted by the Breast Cancer Resource Center of the YWCA Princeton, the event is the 11th annual run in which thousands of walkers, runners, volunteers and spectators are expected to participate. Race for the Cure entry forms will be available at most Lackland locations.
Earlier this year, Lackland took part in the Shannon Daley Memorial Golf Tournament Fund, established to help financially strapped Flemington-area families with children battling serious illness. The event benefited the Bennett family of Raritan Township. Their children, Conor, 12, and Lucie, 9, are both suffering from Batten Disease, a degenerative condition for which there is no cure.
Such efforts have had a positive effect on the Lackland staff, which enjoys the intangible benefits of doing the right thing. “It’s easy to take what a community has to offer, but it’s far more gratifying to put back into organizations that keep it alive,” Michael says. “There are few better feelings than knowing an act of giving will lead to the growth, success and happiness of the community. That’s the feeling our local facility staffers get when they become involved, and it has a fantastic, positive impact on morale. You can’t buy that kind of motivation.”
We Are Family
In another ongoing project, Lackland Self Storage assists charities by providing free space for critical storage needs. Free storage is reserved for the Valerie Fund, a charity dedicated to finding housing for families with children undergoing cancer treatment. The organization needed a place to store furniture that will later be placed into homes for Valerie Fund families.
Lackland also provides storage to Providence House, a division of Catholic Charities that works to improve the quality of life of domestic-abuse victims. Lackland facilities are used to store clothing and furniture crucial to recipients’ future efforts to relocate to safe, new places to live. Space and support are also provided to PTAs and their various student-enrichment programs.
Today, four family members hold key positions in the company: Michael; Bruce Lackland, vice president and director or operations; Fred Lackland, vice president and director of construction; and Alex von Thaden, vice president and director of marketing. Michael affirms Lackland’s position as a family company has influenced its attitude toward community contributions.
“Family members treat one another differently than your average person on the street will generally treat a stranger—with the kind of respect that would otherwise take years to nurture,” he says. “Without our family and friends, we have nothing. That’s the approach we take with everyone—from staff and customers to those in the communities where our facilities are located. When you feel that way about your community, it’s only going to inspire greater contribution at the local level.”
On the business side, Lackland Self Storage plans to unveil four new sites in coming months as well as move its corporate headquarters to a bigger, better facility. With state-of-the-art climate control and security features, the company has been serving New Jersey’s self-storage needs for more than 25 years. For more information, visit www.lacklandselfstorage.com. Spanish-speaking readers should visit www.lacklandesp.com.