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13 Jun 2019

Morningstar Appoints New President, Adds SVP of Operations and SVP of Storage Strategy

Morningstar Properties, LLC, which owns and operates 75 self storage facilities under the Morningstar Storage brand and 9 marinas under the Morningstar Marinas brand, has appointed Matthew J. Shapiro as President and Chief Investment Officer and hired Anne Z. Hawkins as Senior Vice President of Operations and Brian A. Pelski as Senior Vice President of Storage Strategy.

New President and Chief Investment Officer

Matt Shapiro has been appointed President of Morningstar Properties. Shapiro has held a variety of positions at Morningstar for the past 15 years, most recently serving as Chief Investment Officer. In his new role as President & Chief Investment Officer, Shapiro will continue leading all aspects of the investment, acquisition and development process for Morningstar and will now oversee all operations, marketing and asset management for Morningstar’s storage and marina platforms. In addition, Shapiro will continue to play an integral role for Blue Doors Capital Management, Morningstar’s real estate private equity affiliate, formulating investment strategy and serving on the Investment Committee. David M. Benson, who formerly held the title President & Chief Executive Officer, will remain Chief Executive Officer and will focus his efforts more on Morningstar’s external relationships and long-term growth strategies.

“Matt is the face of the company - an industry ambassador for Morningstar. 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.”

-Dave Benson, CEO, Morningstar

Shapiro is a founding board member of Find Local Storage, a self storage location directory/lead engine. Prior to joining Morningstar, Shapiro held a senior management position in a technology startup focused on the digital photography industry.

New Vice President of Operations

Anne Hawkins joins Morningstar as Senior Vice President of Operations from STR, a real estate data and analytics company based in Nashville, where as Executive Vice President, she was responsible for starting and building STR’s self storage data platform over the last six years. Hawkins led a team that tapped into a broad range of disciplines including sales, operations, information technology and leadership as she introduced this new concept of data analytics to the storage industry.

A native of Atlanta, Hawkins began her career with McColl Partners in Charlotte as an investment banking analyst. She then spent several years in private equity at Thoma Bravo in San Francisco and Great Hill Partners in Boston pursuing, evaluating and executing investments across myriad industries.

New Vice President of Storage Strategy

Brian Pelski joins Morningstar as Senior Vice President of Storage Strategy. Pelski has worked with Morningstar for over a decade in several capacities, most recently as a part-time Director of Development, leading Morningstar’s expansion into central Florida. Building on his industry experience, his extensive knowledge of the Florida markets and his acumen as a developer, Morningstar has quickly built a market presence of high-quality, state-of-the-art stores in and around Orlando and Tampa.

Pelski is a 30-year veteran of the storage industry with an extensive background in commercial real estate and property management who achieved two of the most coveted professional real estate designations; namely Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) and Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI). Pelski has also been licensed as a State Certified General Real Estate Appraiser and Real Estate Sales Associate. Prior to joining Morningstar, Pelski worked with several private storage brands, as well as a publicly-traded self-storage Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in acquisitions, development, operations, construction management, asset management and as an investor. Pelski is also a founder and partner of The Storage Group, a digital marketing agency and website development company. Pelski holds a B.A. in Real Estate & Urban Analysis from the University of Florida.

Morningstar Properties, LLC is a vertically integrated real estate developer, owner and operator of specialty real estate products focused primarily on self storage and marinas in the Southeast United States. Since 1981, Morningstar has developed, acquired and operated over 200 self storage projects across the country totaling in excess of 15 million square feet. The company currently manages a network of 75 storage properties under the brand name Morningstar Storage. The corporate headquarters are located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Morningstar's future growth is funded through blueDoor Capital Management, which manages the company's affiliated private equity funds designated for acquisition and development of self storage centers.