Washington business leader will give keynote speech at Bootcamp
*Washington business leader will give keynote speech at Bootcamp*
*April 17, 2014 (Moscow, Idaho; Pullman, Washington) —* Attendees at the
Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp in June will have
the opportunity to hear from one of Washington state’s leading businessmen.
Patrick L. Hughes, Sr., named the 2010 Small Business Association National
Small Business Person of the Year and president and chief executive officer
of Hughes Group, a Tacoma, Wash., logistics, supply and facility
maintenance company, will be the event’s keynote speaker on Monday, June
Mr. Hughes started his first small business in 1995, working as a carpet
cleaner on a part-time basis. An active-duty Army officer, he was stationed
in Japan in 1996. When he returned to the United States in 1999, he decided
it was time to go into business full-time. Hughes Group was born.
“My mother always told me I had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Mr. Hughes said
with a chuckle. “She tells me stories of when I was young, we would play
games and I would be the shopkeeper and be selling everyone stuff. I laugh
at that — it’s how I am now, still selling people stuff!”
Since opening for business in 1999, Hughes Group has grown rapidly.
Employment can run up to about 150 people, and it was named one of the top
50 largest minority-owned businesses in Washington state from 2008-2011,
and it was among the fastest-growing private companies in the state in 2010
The secret, Mr. Hughes said, is simple.
“What’s instrumental in my success is hiring the right people and a good
stick-to-it-ness,” he said.
Upon establishing Hughes Group in Lacey, Wash., Mr. Hughes secured several
government contracts, which have become the backbone to his business. His
28-year career in the military helped prepare him for that work, he said.
He was a senior logistics manager in the Army as a military officer,
accounting for a multi-million dollar inventory that included acquisition,
storage, material management and redistribution.
His advice to attendees at the keynote speech will cover recognizing
opportunity, hiring and staffing decisions, the value of relationships and
business and market knowledge. He will speak to entrepreneurs and business
professionals in industry tracks including animal health, value-added
agriculture and technology.
Relationships, in particular, are important, Mr. Hughes said.
“You can have the best mousetrap in the world, but if the person who wants
the mouse trap does not feel the person selling it meets their expectations
in value, attitude or overall likeability, then that person will buy a
substandard mousetrap. What does that tell you?” he asked. “Relationships
are more important even than performance, sometimes. Going to events like
the Bootcamp prepare you for networking and how to interact with others and
see what they think.”
Mr. Hughes grew up on a farm in Mississippi before heading to college and
joining the military. Today, he knows times are changing.
“Someone in an audience somewhere will come up with something that
revolutionizes business as we know it,” Mr. Hughes said, citing the
evolution of the telephone to the smartphones and mobile devices of today
as an example. “They’re getting ready for the launch pad, which is when
preparation and opportunity will meet and create success.”
Mr. Hughes will speak at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 23, at the University of
Idaho Student Union Building’s International Ballroom. The first
Entrepreneur of the Palouse awards, which will be awarded to an individual,
small business and Palouse newcomer, will be awarded that evening. The
keynote dinner and award banquet are open to the public. Tickets for
individuals not attending the Bootcamp are $75.
The Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp is a five-day
event aimed at entrepreneurs in value-added agriculture, animal health and
technology. The three topics were selected based on area expertise and
regional demand, and bootcamp instructors represent the best in research,
agriculture, animal health, technology and business in a two-university,
technology-rich region. Daily sessions will include lectures, practical
experience, assignments and takeaways, as well as networking opportunities.
More information about the Palouse Knowledge Corridor is online at
palouseknowledgecorridor.com. For more information on the bootcamp or to
register, go to pkcecamp.com. The Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be the
Entrepreneur Bootcamp is June 21-25 in Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman,
*Elizabeth M Prasil*
Appearances Marketing & Promotion
129 W. Third St. Suite 104
Moscow, ID 83843