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Spotlight on Women

Star Hughes, Director, Hughes Marino


What is your educational background?

I have always been eager to learn, so I took extra classes and finished high school, undergraduate, and got my MBA before I was 21.

What was your hurry?

I just thought I was in school to learn, so I might as well do it and get it over with. When I was in the fifth grade I was bullied because I was very serious, so I stayed in the classroom during recess and lunchtime talking with my teacher.

What do you say to those who think you are successful because you went into the family business?

When I graduated I had other offers I could have accepted. My parents always treated me with respect and included me in decisions for business. If anything, I believe I am more committed to doing a good job because I would never want to let my parents down.

Are there disadvantages to working in a family-owned business?

Ours is a very family-oriented company, and there are many other employees who are related, so we don’t have any issues.

"If anything, I believe I am more committed to doing a good job because I would never want to let my parents down."

Who are your role models?

Besides my parents, Ivanka Trump. I have so much respect for her as a businesswoman and as a mom and wife. She is an all-around leader for the modern working woman.

Do people seek you out for your input on issues?

Yes, I get a lot of requests from people. They ask about how to gain respect and to manage working in a male-dominated field. Even though I am not a lawyer, I joined a group called Lawyers Club, which is a good networking organization.

When did you first become interested in business?

When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to start an all-business-class airline called Star Airways. I thought it was a good idea because everyone wanted to fly business class—so why was coach class needed? I e-mailed Boeing about it, and I did get a response, but they said they didn’t have any inventory. There were a couple of others I tried—Stars Arts & Crafts Camp and Cobblestone Kids, which was a mix of pet rocks and Beanie Babies—but they didn’t work out either.

What is your role in giving back?

Our company supports charities that our team members are involved with. I am involved with the San Diego Symphony Young Professionals group as well as participating in the 70 charities that we support.

How do you spend your spare time?

We all work long hours, but we do schedule time to travel as a family. I also like to hang out with my boyfriend, my family, and my 15-year-old dog, Riley. I watch YouTube videos and learn music so that I can play the piano by ear.

What is your future?

My goal is to keep getting better within the company and delivering excellent results for our clients. I would like to develop a personal brand to help other women in male-dominated industries.

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