In her five and a half years with Extra Space Storage, Kate Satuala has helped develop and uphold the company’s brand identity. As Senior Manager of Brand and Creative Services, Satuala creates company messaging, sets brand standards for consistency and creative excellence, and delivers marketing materials to support customer acquisition, internal marketing, revenue generation, and more.
Learn more about Satuala’s work with Extra Space Storage and get insights into her career, the challenges she’s faced, and her greatest accomplishments in the Q&A below.
Q: How did your career path lead you to Extra Space Storage?
A: I started in events, moved to PR, and then decided marketing was the way to go. I was working at an amazing marketing agency specializing in branding when my sister called to tell me a company she used to work for was hiring a brand manager and had recommended me. I wasn’t interested in storage, but when I came in to interview, our CMO James Overturf talked about a partnership with Google, the innovative and challenging digital marketing landscape the company was keeping up with, and the incredible team. Then, I met my boss, Dayna Hathaway, who sold the deal by telling me about how Extra Space Storage was publicly traded, as well as the plans for growth and the cool projects I would get to work on. Five and a half years later, here I am.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
A: Talk to people directly. Meaning, if you’re coming across a barrier, tension, or tough project, talk to the people involved as soon as possible. Don’t ignore the issue. It won’t go away. Be an adult. Walk to their desk, pick up the phone, or schedule a lunch. This has been a challenge for me through the years, but when I have followed that advice, relationships have grown, projects have excelled, and coming to work has been a positive experience!
Q: Which experience(s) in your career influenced who you are today?
A: I have been incredibly blessed to have amazing mentors through the years who have taught me lessons big and small. Things like:
- Don’t chew gum in important meetings.
- If you say you’re going to be there, be there.
- Always write follow-up emails after meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Treat your job like you’re getting paid to do it.
- Someone is relying on you to do your job.
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?
A: People are the best and hardest part about every day. Everyone is different. Everyone’s jobs are different. Everyone has goals and objectives that are priorities. Everyone has something going on outside of work. Without taking the time to communicate and understand the many intricacies of the people you work with, it’s hard to succeed. Sometimes, it’s easier and more natural to take that time. Other times, it’s unnatural and hard. I have definitely had both, and it’s taken me time to learn and understand that even if it’s hard or unnatural, you’ve got to do it!
Q: What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your career?
A: There is nothing more exciting than coming together with a top-notch team like ours to solve a problem. In our case, the problem is often “How do we get people to care, notice, understand, or see something?” I love coming together with the team to brainstorm ideas and solutions, and think outside the box of options we think we have.
Q: Describe your most successful endeavor with Extra Space Storage.
A: I love watching the people I manage as they learn, grow, succeed, and solve problems. My team is my success, and I hope I have helped bring success to my team.
Q: What advice would you give to future Extra Space Storage leaders?
A: Know the ROI before you walk into a meeting. Admit when you’re wrong. And never forget the people around you.
This article is part of an ongoing series of interviews with Extra Space Storage (NYSE: EXR) team members. Kate Satuala is the Senior Manager of Brand & Creative Services at Extra Space Storage.