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Next Gen Interview: Where is the Relocation Industry Headed?

Several years ago at an annual Worldwide ERC Conference I met Aurora Hughes. She is such an interesting young woman who has been in and around the relocation industry her entire life. She is filled with enthusiasm about relocation, so  she was one of the first people who came to my mind when I thought about writing a post about what the up and coming generation of leaders think about the future.

Tell me a little bit about your background in the relocation industry.

Future of Relocation

One could say the relocation industry is in my blood. I grew up watching my father build his third-party service company from the ground up, but my family’s affiliations to the industry date back to the 19th century when my great-great-grandfather started his piano moving business (with a single mule-drawn carriage!). My father, brother, four uncles, aunt and several cousins continue to work in the moving business in some capacity as well. I was eager to carve a name for myself and discovered a unique opportunity to do so after identifying an industry-wide need for diverse suppliers. I started Brighthouse Relocation Services, Inc., a third party services and crating company, in 2010 and soon after the company became certified as a Minority Business Enterprise. Our goal is to provide options for customers who service national accounts wi

What significant changes have you seen happen in the industry over the past 5 years?

As I market my Minority Business Enterprise certification, I receive consistent feedback confirming that Fortune 1000 companies continue to assert support for their diverse supplier initiatives. National accounts stress the importance of these programs to their moving partners and, in turn, require that we meet their expectations. Customers demand that their needs to be met without sacrificing quality of service.

What trends, in your industry, HR or relocation, do you wish would die?

The stubborn notion of doing things “the way they’ve always been done.” The fact alone that certain methods and programs have been successful in the past does not guarantee success in the future. We must continue to search for solutions to meet the ever-increasing demands of our customers. If we don’t get on board with technological advances, someone else will.

What trends, in your industry, HR or relocation, do you wish would take off?

I would love to see a surge in recruitment of young talent. I think one of the best traits of this industry is that it’s family-oriented; you see so many examples of companies with involvement from multiple generations. But our industry struggles as a whole in attracting interest from fresh faces.

If you had a chance to look into a crystal ball, where will we be in 10 years?

I only hope that we find ourselves in more prosperous times and, as a result, the need for corporate relocation continues to grow. The next generation of leaders will begin to take the reins, and I look forward to observing and participating in the varied ways in which they’ll adapt to inevitable industry changes.

How is the new generation of leadership going to impact the relocation industry?

I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural meeting for AMSA’s newly formed young professionals group “40 Below” at the recent AMSA Education Conference & Expo in San Diego. While we spoke a good deal about the importance of finding seasoned mentors who are willing to share their wisdom and experience, we also identified a need for reverse mentorship. The new generation of leadership has a great deal to offer the older generation by way of technological savvy and know-how. It’s heartening to hear these voices become louder.

Aurora Hughes is the founder of Brighthouse Relocation Services, Inc., a third party services and crating company. Brighthouse is a certified Minority Business Enterprise. Aurora is also a member of AMSA’s young professionals group “40 Below,” which was recently established to educate and provide a voice to the next generation of leaders in the moving and relocation industry. You can contact Aurora by leaving a message below or by connecting with her on LinkedIn


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