Ruth Hughes is the Director of the Small Business Development Center in Wilkes-Barre. Hughes, 50, graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. and Tulane University in New Orleans. She also graduated from Washington and Lee University Law School in Lexington, Va. Ruth and her husband, Dick, live in Mountain Top and have three children, Callie, Ellen and Richard.
What exactly is the Small Business Development Center and what is your role with the company? "Our center is funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is part of Wilkes University. The bulk of our resource support comes from universities such as Wilkes and the University of Scranton. We provide free confidential consulting services to small businesses which includes business plan development, market research and competitive financial analysis. We say that your success is our business. We help both existing and new businesses. My role as director is to manage the office, staff and budget and to ensure that consulting services are delivered with quality and care. I am also a consultant here."
When you are not working what are some of your favorite things to do with your time? "I have recently developed an interest in genealogy. Staying in line with the family theme, I really enjoy time with my husband and kids. I enjoy cooking and reading as well."
What are some of the books you like to read? "I really like non-fiction history books. John Steinbeck has always been one of my favorite authors. My favorite new author is Haruki Murakami who wrote "After Dark" and "Kafka on the Shore"."
Do you have a favorite quote or saying? "When in doubt, throw it out. That is from my mother."
Is there anyone you follow on Twitter? "I have not figured Twitter out yet. My daughter follows people on it though."
What type of music do you enjoy? "I like the Icelandic band, Of Monsters and Men. I also enjoy traditional rock and roll as well."
What's in the fridge? What food do you fancy? "I really enjoy a good piece of key lime pie."
Do you take part in any good causes in the Northeast Pennsylvania area? "I am involved with the Forty Fort Meeting House Preservation Committee and a regular parishioner of St. Stephen's Church in Wilkes-Barre."
Who is someone that you strongly admired throughout your life? "I was so proud of my husband when he ran for judge and won. He juggled so much in doing so. I would also be remiss if I did not mention my parents. They gave me the freedom to do what I want and that yielded me achieving a great deal in life. The key moment was when they let me go to boarding school in Massachusetts. That was a big event in my life. That meant so much."
What are some of your favorite places in the world that you have ventured to? "I absolutely loved Italy and its culture. I would really like to visit Egypt. The whole scope of Egypt is alluring, from the pyramids to the culture to everything about it's past. It is very enticing since I am a history buff."
What about here in Northeast Pennsylvania? Are there interesting places or events that you like to be part of? "We really like the bazaars. I did not grow up with them when I was younger. The number of them in this area is so intriguing and the foods and entertainment at them is so good."
In regards to this region, what do you think needs to be improved upon in Northeast Pennsylvania? "I just feel that it is such a great area that some of he natives need to appreciate more. I know it is a changing culture here, but I would like to see a continuing interest grow in the community. It has the ability to be a vibrant region in business and industry as well as community spirit."
What have been some of the proudest moments in your life? "Any big event that occurs with my kids is huge. Whether it be their birth or graduation, anything that revolves around my children is a big event. I would also have to say when my husband was elected judge. That was so important to me. It was so important to him."