New Year’s resolutions can vary greatly. Some people set specific goals, others set intentions, and others don’t set resolutions at all, preferring to simply continue doing their best to improve each day.
Whatever your philosophy might be, taking time to reflect on the year that’s past and look forward to the year ahead is an effective way to set yourself up for success and prepare for whatever comes your way. As we push ahead in the new year, we asked Extra Space Storage team members what they’re grateful for looking back on 2021 and what they’re looking forward to in 2022. Sharing their thoughts are:
- Frederick Keiper, District Manager
- Glenn Sherman, District Manager
- Jennifer Fife, Store Manager
- Matt Luba, District Manager
- Miles Andrews, Site Reliability Engineer
- Noreta Mendez, Store Manager
- Tara Spikes, Procurement Specialist
Q: What’s something you’re grateful for when looking back on 2021?
Keiper: I’m sincerely grateful for Extra Space Storage as a whole, and the many people who supported my career growth. I began 2021 as a District Team Lead, was promoted District Manager in Training in April, and now oversee my own district as of October 2021. I couldn’t have done it without the fantastic people throughout my career that encouraged me and helped me.
Sherman: I am grateful for my team. Today, I am a better leader because of the pride, passion, dedication, excellence, teamwork, integrity, and innovation they all delivered last year. The EXTRAordinary Award I received in 2021 is a reflection of them.
Fife: I’m grateful for how I’ve been able to develop professionally with this company. I’m so thankful for the supportive and motivational culture that’s evident with our Extra Space Storage team. We as a company have really found what I feel is the perfect formula for encouraging success within the company, and that carries over to my personal life.
Luba: In reflecting on 2021, I am grateful for many things. First, with all the unusual and difficult circumstances that we faced throughout the year, I am extremely grateful for the fact that my friends, family, and co-workers came out of it healthy. Second, I am grateful for our company and the decisions that were made during these difficult times. I feel that our organization puts a high value on each team member and keeps their best interest in mind when making decisions. Finally, I am grateful for this new year—that 2021 is complete and 2022 brings a new set of challenges to face and overcome. This year will be an exciting test of everyone’s ability to overcome and to continue to adapt to ongoing change.
Andrews: I am extremely grateful for my close friends and family. I have no doubt that the past year or two has been difficult for many, and I am thankful to have people who were able to help me through my own difficult times. I consider myself and my loved ones very fortunate to have remained in good health during the pandemic.
Mendez: I joined Extra Space Storage in 2016. Every year since has been nothing short of rewarding and enjoyable! The year 2021 was no different. I have so many things to be grateful for looking back on last year. I am grateful for the gift of family and community. I consider Extra Space Storage my community and I am proud to be a part of it. Last year, I had an amazing team led by amazing leaders that make me want to continue my legacy as an individual to do great and to be the best at getting better. Most importantly, I am grateful for the many challenges we had in 2021 that prepared me to tackle what 2022 will bring.
Spikes: I am grateful for a company that quickly recognizes and rewards dedicated employees. I have watched so many talented Assistant Managers progress into Store Manager roles and beyond.
Q: Did you have any unique or unforgettable experiences in 2021?
Keiper: Being a District Manager in Training is an experience unto itself. Getting to partner with the other extremely talented District Managers and receiving consistent feedback and advice from them, and from my Division Vice President, was so incredibly valuable. I hope I won’t forget the lessons I’ve learned from them as I start with my own district.
Fife: I am grateful for a community of individuals passionate about helping adoptees find their birth family roots. Because of the selfless use of their time, I was able to find out that I have a brother and sister who have been looking for me since 1985, and I didn’t even know they existed until November of 2021! It was just a fantastic year and I’m looking forward to more growth personally and professionally in 2022!
Mendez: Most definitely—2021 is a year I will cherish! I had an amazing year with amazing leadership in my division and district, and met some interesting team members that had an impact on me. Passion has always been my number one core value that I hold dear to this day. My passion takes me to where I want my path to go. When you are passionate about the things that you do, it will manifest in one’s performance on a daily basis. Helping customers and team members has always been the thing that keeps me grounded. Last but not least, winning an award like the Customer Care Award is something that will stick with me forever. It shows that when you are passionate about what you do, everything falls beautifully into place.
Spikes: Driving alone for 2,300 miles with just a sleeping bag, camping chair, and clothes to start working here in Salt Lake City, UT—unforgettable!
Q: What’s something you changed about yourself in 2021?
Keiper: I changed my expectations quite a bit. Becoming a District Manager means there’s a lot that needs to be done in a small amount of time, so managing my time and expectations of myself to get everything done immediately has changed quite a lot. It’s a different skill set that I’m still growing into.
Sherman: As someone who was still newer to the company, I had a smaller circle of relationships. So I committed to expanding that and getting to know new peers, even outside my division. It was a success! It was probably my favorite resolution I made.
Andrews: I began attending Western Governors University to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Cloud Computing. I’ve always been interested in learning and I determined that attending WGU would be a great option to both increase my knowledge and improve my professional career.
Mendez: Getting the best at getting better is something that my previous division’s District Vice President instilled in us—especially me. I changed my perspective in general through that motto. I changed the “maybe” attitude to an “I can do better” attitude. I take that with me every day to work and even into my personal affairs.
Q: Did you set any specific resolutions for 2022?
Keiper: I’ve resolved to go on a daily walk with my wife around the neighborhood—usually at the start of the day to get the blood flowing and make the most of it! We started in December and my steps per day have increased dramatically. I’m glad we’re sticking to it.
Sherman: In my new market, I committed to building a team with a strong foundation first. To not set a speed of growth goal but build brick by brick for sustained success.
Andrews: One of my resolutions is to work on improving my physical health as the year progresses. I’ve stocked up on some equipment over the past few years and have been working on putting together a home gym that I can use to exercise before or after work.
Mendez: I am not big on setting resolutions but, I will continue to strive harder and give 100% in order to achieve personal performance and goals.
Q: What advice would you like to give yourself (or others) as you begin 2022?
Keiper: Resolutions can happen at any time! Create one and stick with it. Personal or professional—we can all change for the better and that comes with willpower and resolve.
Luba: My advice would be to embrace change and find ways to overcome adverse times when they arise. We still have a long road ahead of us before we get back to normal, but always keep the faith and find positives in as many situations as you can. Attitude is everything!
Mendez: Coming into 2022, I encourage myself to give 100%. To always be the best version of myself and to stay in touch with my core values. My advice to anyone who wants to be a part of anything extraordinary is to give a 100% and stay true!
Spikes: Learn the art of staying present and minimize distractions as much as you can. Time is the most important gift you can give.
Q: What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do more of that in 2022?
Sherman: I love experiences with my kids. It brings me a lot of joy. They are teenagers now and they are busy with friends and hobbies. In 2022, I am going to schedule experiences to do more plays, movie nights, weekend trips, and stuff like that before they are off to college.
Luba: Things that bring me joy are the spirit of winning, contributing to the development of others, and maintaining a fun and engaging culture along the way. It’s important to be focused on performance. However, it is equally important to ensure that you have engaged team members who truly feel good about showing up to work each day to do their best. My plan is to continue building a culture within my team where we can achieve that, even on higher levels in 2022.
Mendez: Family is very important to me. I have an 18-year-old son who I am mentoring to become an outstanding human. I hope to continue to do so by spending time with him when I am not at work. It brings me joy knowing that I can be the person who makes an impact while he navigates through life. Also, being able to maintain the level of expectations I have for myself brings me joy, and those same expectations will keep me grounded in 2022.
Q: How will you bring more balance or joy into your career in 2022?
Keiper: A work-life balance is absolutely essential! I intend to be more effective in managing that balance by preparation and scheduling. I want to utilize my calendar better to accomplish tasks and set clear time boundaries for when I’m working and not working.
Mendez: I will bring more balance into my career this year by practicing self-awareness and boundaries—learning to segregate work and personal. Giving uninterrupted time for oneself is healthy and essential to have a balanced life. While I enjoy and love working, I would also like to focus on my health and well-being when I am not at work by taking time to pause and rest. Going hiking and spending more time with the important people in my life is the plan.