A Conversation With Tina Mowry Hadden

Sharing the “story” of the Hubbell Realty Company, and its broad community reach.

It’s been a busy time for Tina Mowry Hadden, who became Hubbell Realty Company’s director of marketing in November.

Hadden oversees the development and implementation of Hubbell Realty’s marketing plan and its community relations program. It’s a job that encompasses everything from advertising and social media strategies to special events, media relations, and internal communications.

While everyone recognizes the Hubbell name, people oftentimes are hard-pressed to articulate what the company does. So it’s her main goal to tell Hubbell’s “story,” educating the public about the range of real estate services it provides and the good the company has, and continues, to do in the community.

Hubbell’s services include construction of homes, apartments, and senior living facilities; building, land, and project development; and commercial, residential, and community management.

How do you tell Hubbell’s story?

It involves a marketing program that offers a little bit of everything, including social media, traditional advertising, partnerships in the community, and a strong media relations plan. We’ve been working to better utilize our websites and really ramp up our social media presence, the results of which you’ll see in the near future. While we’ve had a social media presence, we have not had a social media plan. An intentional approach will allow us to tell our story and build a sales tracking system into our daily website interactions.

We also launched a new advertising campaign this year that illustrates how Hubbell is there for consumers for every stage of life and career—from your first apartment to your first home, then your dream home and senior living needs. In the same vein, Hubbell is also there to help meet the changing needs of your business. It’s very gratifying when people who have seen our ad tell us they had no idea that Hubbell reaches in that many directions.

What do you see as the most pressing marketing challenges for Hubbell?

Many people don’t realize how much Hubbell has grown in 10 years. We have gone from about 55 employees to more than 200 today. One of my largest challenges is communicating with our own employees so they can help tell the company’s story.

Another challenge of the marketing department is to work with each of our business units within Hubbell, helping each to reach their financial goals, while ensuring we have consistent messages and branding.

Describe your previous experience.

I owned a public relations and strategic management business for 13 years, working with cities, nonprofit groups, and higher education institutions. My work included helping to build a biking culture in the central Iowa area; collaborating with Iowa State University, farmers, and conservationists on various conservation practices; and different project work over the years, including strategic planning for Planned Parenthood and the Young Women’s Resource Center.

How has that experience prepared you for your current job?

Building partnerships and relationships has always been something I’ve done in my work. I enjoy doing that now for Hubbell and look forward to doing more of it as I get my feet more grounded in the business. One thing I have learned over the years is communication is the number one key to success internally and externally. Just when you think you’ve repeated your message so often that even you’re beginning to tire of it, I’ve found that the public is just starting to get it. Communication is something we need to focus on and perfect everyday.

How have you adjusted to not being your own boss?

I couldn’t have just gone to work for anyone. Hubbell is a good fit for me because it is entrepreneurial and they value people who can make decisions and give input to the direction of the business. They also have a passion for building strong communities and a long history of doing so. Knowing I would have the opportunity to be a part of history in the making meant a lot to me.

What type of charity work are you currently involved in?

Recently moving to West Des Moines, I took the time to sit back and think about where I could help the most. Then, the career move to Hubbell came and I am finding myself taking on a bit of a different role than in the past. I’m focused on a new committee we have at Hubbell called HEAT (Hubbell Engaged Associates Team). It is charged with providing opportunities for our employees to use their eight hours of volunteer time they’re given each year. So instead of me being the one ‘doing,’ I am focused on being the mentor, helping to provide information to our associates on how to find a passion in the community and get involved in making good things happen.

I also sit on the board of directors of the Brenton Arboretum, working with people I consider some of the most prominent leaders and givers in our community—Buz Brenton, Fred Weitz, and Bob Jester, to name a few. I look forward to working with them and other partners in the community to bring awareness to the Arboretum and all it offers to the metro area.

I was previously on the Polk County Conservation Board for six years and helped with the forming of bike trails in our area. The focus of my past volunteer work has centered around our environment, recreation, and ecotourism. That is where my passion takes me.

Tell us about your family.

I live in West Des Moines with my husband, Tom Hadden, and our two sons, Caleb, 8, and Jeff, 21.

What do you do in your free time?

The thing that brought Tom and I together is community service. Oftentimes, our free time is spent going to or funding different events. So community service is definitely my hobby. We also love to travel, and wholeheartedly value our family time. We have chocolate chip cookies every Sunday night, which my husband bakes. The four of us sit in the kitchen, talking about what’s coming up in the next week, while having a little cookie dough. It may not be good for my waistline, but it is definitely good for my soul.