Morningstar Properties LLC, which operates self-storage facilities under the Morningstar Storage brand, has made several changes to its executive leadership team. It appointed Matthew J. Shapiro as president in addition to his current post as chief investment officer (CIO). It also named two senior vice presidents. Anne Z. Hawkins, a new hire, will oversee operations, while Brian A. Pelski has been promoted to lead the company’s storage strategy, according to a press release.
Shapiro has been with Morningstar for 15 years in a variety of positions. In his new role as president, he’ll lead operations, marketing and asset management across the company’s self-storage and marina platforms. He’ll also continue to lead the investment strategy for Blue Doors Capital Management, Morningstar’s real estate and private-equity affiliate. Shapiro will retain his CIO duties, overseeing the firm’s investment, acquisition and development process.
Shapiro is also a founding board member of Find Local Storage, a self-storage directory. Prior to joining Morningstar, he held a senior management position with a technology startup focused on digital photography.
Though David M. Benson will step down as company president, he’ll remain as CEO, focusing on Morningstar's external relationships and long-term growth strategies, the release stated. "Matt is the face of the company, an industry ambassador for Morningstar," Benson said. "He is known and respected by his peers across the public and private sectors and is widely considered to be one of the young rising stars of the storage world."
Hawkins joins Morningstar from real estate data and analytics company STR, where she served as executive vice president. Over the last six years, she oversaw the creation of STR’s self-storage data platform. The Atlanta native began her career with McColl Partners LLC as an investment-banking analyst and also spent time in the private-equity sector with Thoma Bravo LLC and Great Hill Partners LLC.
Pelski has worked with Morningstar for more than a decade in various roles. He most recently served as a part-time director of development, leading the company’s expansion into Central Florida. The 30-year self-storage industry veteran has an extensive background in commercial real estate and property management. Prior to joining Morningstar, Pelski worked with several private self-storage operators as well as a publicly traded storage real estate investment trust. He’s also founder and a partner of The Storage Group, a digital marketing agency and website-development company.
Founded in North Carolina in 1981, Morningstar is a vertically integrated developer, operator and owner of real estate with a focus on self-storage and marinas in the Southeast. The company has acquired, developed and operated more than 200 self-storage projects nationwide, totaling more than 15 million square feet. It owns and operates 75 self-storage facilities in 12 states.