Extra Space Storage is honored to announce Celes Talauega as the 2021 Lynne Lybbert Award recipient.
The Lynne Lybbert Award is named after an Extra Space Storage team member who passed unexpectedly more than a decade ago. Lybbert was the epitome of our company values: Integrity, Teamwork, Passion, Innovation, and Excellence. Those who knew her remember her as someone truly good and honorable. Annual award recipients are honored for their efforts in carrying that legacy forward.
Talauega started her career with Extra Space Storage eight years ago as a Store Manager in Utah. “Honestly, I never envisioned myself in the storage business,” she shared. “My background is in engineering, but I wanted a career change when I became a mom to find more work-life balance. I loved the values that Extra Space Storage stood for and the focus on providing customers with the best experience possible. I wanted to contribute to that.”
After working as a store manager, Talauega took a role at the Salt Lake City, UT corporate office in Operations Support. She quickly built a reputation as someone who would jump in whenever there was extra work to be done.
Samrat Sondhi, CMO and Executive Vice President, worked closely with Talauega at the time. “Celes was a breath of fresh air on the Operations team and had a way of handling difficult customer escalations with empathy, professionalism, and a smile on her face, no matter the situation,” Sondhi said.
Talauega recently took on a new challenge leading a sales team at the National Solutions Center. “My team’s name is Team Journey,” she explained. “When I worked in the field, I encountered different types of people and different life situations that made them use storage. I quickly realized that we were not just renting a small piece of real estate; we were part of the fabric of their lives and their journey. That’s why it’s so important to treat each customer with the utmost respect and care.”
Talauega believes the same concept applies to her team. “We’re named Team Journey because we all come from different walks of life, and when we come together, we can help support and make an impact on each other and our customers. I’ve worked with many amazing people in my career, and each of them has impacted me. That motivates me to give back to others. I love seeing my team meet their sales goals, develop new skills, and get recognized.”
Scott Hansen, Vice President of the National Solutions Center, nominated Celes for the 2021 Lynn Lybbert award. “Celes’ team has been one of the top-performing teams this year,” Hansen said. “Celes has been able to balance the needs of her family and the needs of the business, all while caring about each individual personally and keeping everything moving along. It’s truly impressive and why Celes makes a great candidate for the Lynne Lybbert award this year.”
Looking to the year ahead, Talauega is focused on continued growth and finding ways to be an even better coach and mentor to her team. “Some of the best advice I’ve received in my career is not to move too fast in climbing the promotion ladder or chasing a title, but find ways to add value to your team, and opportunities will open up.”
Congratulations, Celes Talauega! We are lucky to have you on the Extra Space Storage team.