Kelley Redl-Hardisty

Managing Partner, Guardian Self Storage

Kelley Redl-Hardisty partnered with her father in the self-storage business in 1982, in the industry’s early days. “We were pioneers in the region and state,” she says. From initial locations in Fishkill, Wappingers Falls, and Highland, the company has expanded into 14 properties covering three counties and 775,000 sq ft and is now ranked among the Top 100 Operators by the national Self Storage Association.

As co-owner, Redl-Hardisty is responsible for guiding the expansion and build-out of existing properties, including a 64,000-sq-ft temperature-controlled building in Beacon. She has served on the Board of Directors for the New York State Self Storage Association since 1994; and was recently elected to the National Self Storage Association’s Board of Directors. Her community recognition includes the Our Lady of Lourdes Legion of Honor and MidHudson Regional Hospital’s Community Leadership Award.

With several board affiliations and appointments, she takes pride in supporting local organizations such as Miles of Hope, Dutchess Outreach Inc., and United Way. Her open-door policy extends beyond her office: “Anyone in the community can call me for help, mentoring, or direction at any time.”

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How did you integrate your own vision, leadership, and/or management style into your family business?

I am fortunate that my sisters — as my family and business partners — are similar to me in our views and approach. We independently run and control the companies that we oversee, which makes us each final decision-makers. As equal partners, we share the vision of a clear hierarchy of leadership.

We all agree, understand, and respect each other’s roles and decisions, which is the ultimate goal for the success of a family business. And we set that tone throughout the company. I believe the managers see themselves as empowered and respected. Many have been with us for over 20 years.

Do you have a mentor?

My husband has always been my mentor and a shoulder to lean on. He has encouraged me and supported me in all my decisions and endeavors; and that is how people are inspired: by good and positive energy. So my words of advice are to pick your life partners well. The people you surround yourself with will make you or break you; and that is the secret to success.

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