After nearly three decades of military service, retired U.S. Army officer and senior logistics manager Patrick Hughes launched his own company in 1999 to try his hand in the business world.

His goal was to create a logistics firm that embodied some of the guiding values of the military: hard work, customer service, loyalty and a commitment to getting the job done. Today, he’s proud to have accomplished that. The Hughes Group LLC initially started as something of a side project in Patrick’s garage before it quickly grew into a full-fledged provider of logistics solutions including technology, supply and facility maintenance services.

Eighteen years since its founding, the Hughes Group works with some of the largest companies and government agencies in the world, including the Department of the Army, Washington National Guard and Department of Homeland Security, among several others. Vulcan Real Estate has hired the Hughes Group for its 23rd and Jackson properties to provide facility services such as maintenance, landscaping and janitorial services. Vulcan's partnership with the Hughes Group is indicative of its commitment to investing in local minority-owned businesses. 

We recently visited with Patrick, Hughes Group’s president and CEO, to learn more about his company and its work at 23rd and Jackson.

Q: Can you tell us about your background and the Hughes Group?

A: Sure. I’m a transplant from Mississippi, born in Madison. The military brought me to Washington and what is now Joint Base Lewis-McChord. We raised our family and started our business here.

The Hughes Group LLC is a veteran- and minority-owned small business located in Tacoma, Washington. We perform a wide variety of services and work with the Department of Defense as well as other agencies, both in-state and outside of Washington. Our facilities division is the one that recently began working with Vulcan at 23rd and Jackson.

We’re proud of our growth. In 2010, the Hughes Group was named National Minority Small Business of the Year by the Small Business Association, the first Washington state small business to earn the award. We’ve also been recognized by the University of Washington’s minority business awards and the Puget Sound Business Journal for our growth as a company.

Q: What does your work with Vulcan entail?

A: We are performing a wide variety of services at 23rd and Jackson: landscaping, janitorial, striping and pothole/parking lot repair, as well as graffiti removal and other small tasks that need to be done. Landscape and irrigation work are also examples. It’s all part of the needed upkeep.

Q: How do you think the project will impact the community?

A: I really believe that change is inevitable. Anyone who doesn’t believe that change happens should stand still and take in the world around them. Everything changes. I believe the project will enhance the area greatly and produce additional housing, which is much needed. I believe it will also help the look of the area, the standard of living and the ambiance.

Q: What role will this project play in bringing more jobs to the area?

A: In addition to our current projects, we hope to provide future services for the new development. And that means hiring more people and adding jobs. As a veteran myself, I personally hire a lot of minorities and veterans. By partnering with Vulcan, we hope to help the company with its hiring goals. And we hope that our other women- and minority-owned small businesses will be brought along with us.