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From Peru to California to Self Storage – A Success Story.
The old slogan “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” can apply to so many aspects of our lives, but for Doris Radbone it is almost a mantra. Her life story has involved one success after another and making a good first impression has been an ongoing theme. The result is that Doris, the California Self Storage Association Member of the Month for August, has risen dramatically in the industry – a tribute to her intelligence and dedication.

Doris is a Vice-President with Yelland Properties and General Partner with POUCH Records Management in Fullerton, CA. She has worked with John Yelland and Yelland Properties for 27 years and has recently thrown a lion’s share of her energy into POUCH Records Management, which services records management and self storage needs for businesses across Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego Counties. POUCH Records and POUCH Self Storage serve over six thousand customers and stores more than three hundred thousand file boxes with over half a million individual itemized files.

“I worked closely with John (Yelland) in developing POUCH Records Management,“ says Doris. “After attending a conference and hearing that the easiest sell was out of a self storage facility, this seemed like a natural fit for vacant self storage space.

“Compared to self storage, records management is more intense, requiring greater hands-on involvement in every aspect of the business. Through this process we learned a lot, and feel to this day, the lessons learned were greater than being only in the self storage business. Employee management and supervision is critical for the success of any business.”

Born in Lima, Peru, she is the third of five sisters. She graduated from the University of Lima, with a degree in Accounting and subsequently moved to the United States in 1984 after she met her husband while on vacation.

Her first job in the United States was with a bank and her second with an apartment management company. In 1987 Doris commenced work at Yelland Properties. As Yelland Properties grew, her responsibilities increased. In 1992 Yelland incorporated and Doris became a stockholder and as time went on she became a partner in a number of ventures. And now she helps oversee the POUCH Records Management, a unique form of self storage.

“Pouch Self Storage Centers are set apart from others due to the management style,” adds Doris. “We moved from resident management to Self Storage Specialists, managing as a team. We pride ourselves with providing exceptional customer service and stress communication; to make a customer’s experience ‘As Easy as It Should Be’ (our Motto). Like others in the industry, we offer a ‘Move You Free’ program— are proud to acknowledge we were the pioneers of that program in California.”

In explaining both her personal success and that enjoyed by Yelland Properties and POUCH, Doris points to a number of factors.

“Firstly, the only way you learn is from others, so with that in mind you must develop systems and structures that allows that to occur at every level,” she says. “Employees must be empowered but at the same time managed for success. Honesty and being realistic are an important part of every business decision. You never get a second chance to make a first impression; that starts when the manager answers the telephone and continues all the way through to facility presentation and pleasure of use.”

Doris is proud of any number of things in her life – 27 years at Yelland Properties, the fact that employees at Yelland properties typically have long lengths of service, that Yelland supports Kure-It Cancer Research and that she is an active volunteer in the Laguna Beach “Pageant of the Masters.”

But she is most proud of her two daughters -- Brittney, who graduated from UCLA and recently accepted a position with Google, and Johanna, who graduated from Loyola Marymount and is doing service work in Colorado before entering a Masters program in the medical field.

Among the qualities she finds appealing about the CSSA are networking, industry standard updates, upcoming law changes, CSSA support, training (owners/operators), continuing education and the organization’s ongoing and ever-present enthusiasm.

And here’s one final jewel from Doris, another mantra, if you will.

“It’s important to keep the wave of success coming in -- never be complacent -- because once the tide starts to go out, it is very, very, hard to turn the tide around.”
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