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

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Self-Storage developer, owner and operator, Morningstar Properties 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.

Morningstar Properties, LLC

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.

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,” said Dave Benson, CEO of 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.”

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. A Charlotte native, Shapiro has held several leadership positions with the North Carolina Self-Storage Association, is a past Board of Advisors member for both the Belk Bowl and ACC Football Championship and is a former Impact Fund Award winner with the Foundation for the Carolinas. Shapiro is co-inventor of a patent pending building system and was named to Charlotte's 40 Under 40 by the Charlotte Business Journal in 2017. Shapiro holds a B.A. in Marketing & Economics from Queens University in Charlotte and a M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.

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. Hawkins holds an B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Georgia where she was Phi Beta Kappa and a Foundation Fellow Scholar and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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.

About Morningstar Properties: 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. In addition to its storage centers, Morningstar operates 9 marinas across the Southeast. The corporate headquarters are located in Charlotte, NC. Morningstar's future growth is funded through Blue Doors Capital Management, which manages the company's affiliated private equity funds designated for acquisition and development of self-storage centers.

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