San Diego Metro is proud to introduce Women Who Rock for 2012, a group of outstanding professionals who have made a name for themselves in their careers and are making significant contributions to our community.
Shay Hughes is the first to admit that she has taken an unusual path to her executive role as chief operating officer at Hughes Marino, San Diego’s largest commercial real estate firm exclusively representing tenants. “When people ask me what my background is in, they usually think its in interior design or advertising. I love to tell them I’ve been a stay at home for 20 years!” Now that her children are 21, 19, and 17, Shay, who is 43, says she first got “unknowingly recruited” into the business by her husband, Jason Hughes, president of Hughes Marino, who the firm is named for, when he encouraged her to act as producer of the firm’s high-profile television commercials. With eight TV spots under her belt, she began quietly and systematically revamping the company’s website, marketing efforts, business strategies, and internal operations. It wasn’t until the past year that she began getting recognition for her leadership in the firm (“an injection of creativity and love” she says) with the unveiling of the company’s new headquarters located on the corner of Front and Beech Streets in Downtown. Shay, sporting a hard hat, spent most of last year leading a team of contractors, architects, and craftsmen in a major overhaul of the former San Diego Magazine offices, from conceptualizing the original design to personally hand-selecting nearly every last finish and furnishing throughout the space.
While she thrives on the endless opportunities for creativity that her role as COO affords her, the contribution she is most proud of is the transformation of the culture of Hughes Marino. “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 firm’s quarterly retreats to the family style living room, kitchen and game room that is the center of gravity in their new “home away from home,” Shay’s impact on the culture of the company has reorganized and recharged the firm. She adds, “My life has always been all about family, and now that family includes our entire company.”
Shay Hughes is president, COO, and owner of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Shay writes about business leadership and company culture on her blog, Lead from Within. Contact Shay at 1-844-662-6635 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.