Chief Operating Officer and Owner
Shay Hughes is chief operating officer and owner of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate firm specializing in tenant representation in building leases and purchases. As COO, Shay manages all aspects of operations of the firm and plays a key role in business strategy, human resources, marketing, technology, and client relations. Shay’s creativity and family-style approach to business management have been integral in shaping Hughes Marino’s corporate culture, leading the company’s expansion throughout California, and growing the firm into the industry leader that it is today.
In expanding the company from one office to locations statewide throughout California, Shay has been responsible for revamping all of the company’s business strategies and marketing initiatives, as well as developing and refining the internal operations of the firm.
While she thrives on the endless opportunities for creativity that her role as COO affords her, the aspect she has most enjoyed is the transformation of Hughes Marino’s culture, including the development of the firm’s core values. “Our company has undergone a complete cultural revitalization, and we are excited to be breaking the mold of traditional real estate firms. We are truly a family here, and our spouses and children are all part of the equation that makes this such an amazing place to work and be a part of.”
From the quarterly retreats where employees and spouses spend the day with best-selling authors and speakers, to the family style living room, kitchen and game room that the team enjoys every day in its offices, Shay’s impact on company culture has recharged the firm in a way that team members say could have only been accomplished by a woman. She adds, “My life has always been about family, and that family includes our entire company. As unconventional as it might be in our industry, a little maternal instinct goes a long way in the workplace.”
In addition to her role as COO, Shay is responsible for the design of Hughes Marino’s award-winning locations throughout the state, including the corporate headquarters located in a revitalized stand-alone building on Front and Beech Streets in downtown San Diego. From conceptualizing the original design with her husband, Jason Hughes, President & CEO of Hughes Marino, to personally hand-selecting every finish and furnishing throughout the one-of-a-kind space, Shay created a “home away from home” that unified and energized the team and continues to inspire the firm’s clients. The spaces she has designed have been featured in numerous design publications, and have been named “Coolest Office” among other awards.
A California native, Shay received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University, where she graduated alongside her husband, Jason. In her free time Shay enjoys traveling with her family, design and creative endeavors, and writing about business management and culture for several publications, including her blog, Lead from Within. Shay’s greatest achievement has been raising her three remarkable children who are also part of the Hughes Marino team.
- — Pepperdine University, B.A. in communications
- Honors and Awards
- — Women Who Move The City — San Diego Magazine (2012 & 2013)
- — Women Who Rock — SD Metro
- — Women Who Mean Business — San Diego Business Journal
- — Women's Summit Award Finalist — Los Angeles Business Journal
- — Women in Business Nominee — Orange County Business Journal (2014 & 2015)
- — Women of Influence Nominee — Connected Women of Influence
- — San Diego Power Women in Real Estate Honoree — Bisnow
- — San Diego Business Journal — Featured Columnist
- Civic and Charitable Activities
- — United Way — Women’s Executive Council