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“Those were hard times, some properties were rough. You see a downturn every seven or eight years,” she said.
Hughes was the first woman in the Twin Cities area to earn the Real Property Administrator designation from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the first female to achieve the Certified Property Manager designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). She was instrumental in establishing a Twin Cities chapter of NAIOP, a national commercial real estate organization, and was active in recruiting colleagues to work on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. At the time of her retirement, Hughes supervised 20 property managers and oversaw 12 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space.
“Julie always was very professional and always had a positive attitude,” said Linda Steinbaugh, vice president of property management at CBC Griffin Cos., who worked with Hughes in the 1980s and considers her a friend. “It’s so important to like the people you work with.’’
Hughes decided to retire when Boyd Stofer, a top executive at Pohlad Cos., died suddenly in 2011 at the age of 62. “When Boyd passed, that brought me back to center,” she says.
Now retired, she plans on spending time with her family, which includes three daughters, five grandchildren and two older sisters — who love to travel, especially to New York City. The St. Paul resident also loves to bike and dabble with a side business called Hughes Flowers and Gifts.
“What else do you have at this point in life but to experience it, and find joy?”
Janet Moore • 612-673-7752