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Extra Space Storage Announces 2020 CEO Team of Excellence Award Recipients

At Extra Space Storage, we believe it’s important to recognize employees who embody our core values and go above and beyond in their everyday work. Each year, we honor several individuals as part of our CEO Team of Excellence. These individuals are selected by our District Vice Presidents and our Store Support Center committee from the quarterly winners of our Mission Accomplished Award and EXTRAordinary Employee Award. Not only are these winners recognized by the company, but they win a trip to Salt Lake City with one guest for a tour of our headquarters, a $2,000 bonus, an awards dinner, and a group picture with CEO Joseph Margolis.

Below are the 2020 winners of Extra Space Storage’s CEO Team of Excellence award.

Jessica Boren – District Team Lead

A former culinary school student who specialized in baking and decorating pastries, Jessica now gardens, works outside, and plays VR games in her spare time. Extra Space Storage has taught Jessica the true value of teamwork. “We are only as strong as our weakest link, so it’s important to help each other learn and to work together as a team,” she says. “Even if it’s only two people working together on a project, that requires teamwork for success.”

Khalif Brown – District Team Lead

A loving husband and father of five, Khalif is an avid New York Yankees fan and the proud owner of a signed Joe DiMaggio cap. Working at Extra Space Storage has helped him recognize the power of teamwork. “Together, everyone achieves more,” he says. “Working together as a team, we can be stronger than an ocean current. When we build together, we win together.”

Carissa Burke – District Team Lead

An expert cake decorator, Carissa is the go-to source when her friends and family need a baked treat for a special occasion. She’s also passionate about working with rescue dogs at her local animal shelter. Carissa believes in attacking every task at work with 100% effort. “If you truly love what you do, you will strive for excellence, be open for change, work with integrity, and be that team player that others can count on,” she says.

Jonathan Chartoff – District Team Lead

An avid foodie who loves trying new restaurants and cooking at home, Jonathan is a certified skydiver and the proud owner of three bookshelves full of anime and video game figurines. He’s also a strong believer in the value of teamwork. “Without teamwork, we wouldn’t have all the innovation we have had this year,” he says. “We also wouldn’t have the energy to give the excellence or passion we want to give all our customers if we weren’t supported by the teamwork within our company.”

Darnell Conley – Store Manager

In his downtime, Darnell can often be found cooking, watching sports, or viewing his favorite movies from the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series. But when he’s at work, Darnell puts every ounce of his focus into improving Extra Space Storage and delivering an excellent experience to every customer. “Passion means to really care about your performance and the people you interact with,” he says. “It means putting everything you have into your work.”

Claudia Dominguez – District Team Lead

New mother Claudia loves traveling. Her favorite trip to date was to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and she can’t wait to visit Disney World with her family. Claudia believes her success comes from bringing passion to the workplace. “Having passion for what you do makes everything more effortless and more enjoyable,” she says. “This makes accomplishing company goals a lot more seamless, and you also get to have some fun while doing it.”

Sinel Eloi – Property Manager

After coming to the United States in 1996, Sinel became a passionate fan of all Miami sports teams. He loves teaching others, learning new things, and solving problems. At his core, Sinel believes all of Extra Space Storage’s core values connect with integrity. “Integrity means to have the ability to do the right thing at all times,” he says. “With integrity, I believe that all of the other values can be learned, adopted, and developed.”

Sheneka Fleming – District Team Lead

Family is extremely important to Sheneka, a proud mother who loves traveling, trying new food, watching movies, and skating with her two daughters. The same enthusiasm she displays in raising her children is reflected in her work at Extra Space Storage. “Passion is built in me like a fire in my belly, and it’s a key to success,” she says. “When I’m passionate about something I’m consistent and focused, which increases the quality of my work and makes me more skilled and knowledgeable.”

Keith Harten – Instructional Design Developer

Keith enjoys hiking and camping with his wife and three girls. He’s also a talented musician who plays the trumpet and is learning jazz guitar. He loves seeing all of the collaboration taking place at Extra Space Storage and encourages employees to give and receive feedback. “Teamwork leads to so many good things,” he says. “It’s rewarding to know you have helped someone else succeed.”

Raymond Huntley – District Manager

A passionate cook (especially when it comes to bacon), Raymond partners with his church’s mobile meal program to provide daily meals to homebound people. That experience, along with his time at Extra Space Storage, has shown him the value of teamwork. “There are very few things you can accomplish by yourself at work,” he says. “Understanding the need for engaging others and having their cooperation is essential for success. Everyone should have a team cheering them on.”

Ronda Knudsen – Store Manager

Ronda is a skilled fisher who has won a Billfish foundation “Catch and Release” Award and enjoys crafting so much that she taught herself how to crochet. She loves working at Extra Space Storage because every day presents the opportunity to help someone. “Ultimately, we are here helping others and working with other like-minded people,” she says. “Enjoy and connect because you can make a difference in someone else’s life.”

Kevin Koon – District Team Lead

Kevin is married with three children, whom he loves traveling with and often whisks away on spur-of-the-moment trips. One of his favorite things about working for Extra Space Storage is the ability to help customers persevere through life transitions. “Many of our customers come to us because something in their life has changed,” he says. “I love being a part of the solution that is keeping their belongings that they have worked very hard for safe and secure. It’s very rewarding as they make their change.”

Hugo Lara – Store Manager

A father of three who enjoys taking his family to Los Angeles Dodgers games, Hugo’s bucket-list goal is to visit every Major League Baseball stadium. He’s succeeded at Extra Space Storage because he’s committed to bringing a mindset of excellence to work every day. “We will be successful in life if we have a mindset of being excellent in everything we strive to accomplish,” he says. “Be the hardest worker in anything you do and excellence will follow.”

Steven Lemell – District Team Lead

When Steven isn’t spending time with his fiancé and their 11-year-old daughter, he can likely be found gardening, cooking, watching musicals, or making digital art. Steven’s favorite thing about working at Extra Space Storage is the way teamwork affects his everyday responsibilities. “We all possess unique strengths and offer different experiences that bring diversity and excellence to our team,” he says. “Nobody can do it all alone, and having support from team members and colleagues is essential.”

Karla Lopez – Store Manager

Karla is highly creative and loves working in her ceramics studio, as well as spending time on her other hobbies like painting and photography. She’s passionate about her projects, and she carries that same drive with her to work every day. “I try to do the best that I can to maintain high quality standards that create a difference for my customers and my coworkers,” she says. “It is important to me because passion for work creates a better work environment, it helps you grow, and it enhances your productivity.”

Adi Nagarajan – Director of Digital Analytics & Systems

In his free time, Adi enjoys hiking and skiing and hopes to one day hike to the Annapurna base camp in Nepal. As a member of a large extended family, he understands how important teamwork is to helping a group succeed, and he sees that value played out daily at Extra Space Storage. “In my time at Extra Space Storage, I have worked with multiple teams across the organization and observed how our successes depend on others,” he says. “I feel empowered by the skillsets and talents that diverse people bring to the table. When it comes to our company’s growth, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.”

Iveth Rubio – District Manager

When not working, Iveth can often be found sewing, crafting, gardening, or spending time with her husband and two sons. She takes Extra Space Storage’s values and incorporates them into her home life. “Integrity is near and dear to my heart,” she says. “Integrity includes doing the right thing even when no one is looking. I live this value at Extra Space Storage and in my personal life and have instilled this value with my boys.”

Bonnie Sweeney – District Manager

Muay Thai is a big part of Bonnie’s life. She met her husband at a Muay Thai gym and has won multiple amateur Muay Thai World Expo Tournament titles. Of all Extra Space Storage’s values, integrity means the most to her. “A team has to trust each other to be successful,” she says. “Deliver on your promises, admit when you are wrong, and do the right thing when no one is looking. My favorite phrase is ‘We rise by lifting others.’”

Congratulations to all of our 2020 CEO Team of Excellence winners!

Featured Image – From top left: Kevin Koon, Iveth Rubio, Jonathan Chartoff, Jessica Boren, Khalif Brown, Karla Lopez, Bonnie Sweeney, Sinel Eloi, Claudia Dominguez, Hugo Lara, Sheneka Fleming, Raymond Huntley, Adi Nagarajan, Ronda Knudsen, Steven Lemell, Darnell Conley, Carissa Burke, Keith Harten