How a Former Teacher and Economic Development Professional Found his Niche in Logistics Real Estate
Steven Hussain is the vice president of Prologis’ Workforce Programs and Community Relations division, which encompasses the company’s Community Workforce Initiative (CWI). CWI is building a talent pipeline for customers, with an emphasis on revitalizing career pathways and creating economic opportunities in the communities where the company operates. We talked to Steven about his lifelong passion for making the world a better place for all.
Learn more about CWI here.
Corporate Communications: Tell us about your background: education, special training(s), certifications, jobs experience, etc.
Steven: I grew up in Texas and was a first-generation college student. I attended the University of Texas at Arlington on scholarship where I studied political science with an emphasis on public policy. After graduating, I started out as a teacher and then transitioned into education policy for a nonprofit that supported school districts. Through my work in the community, I ended up joining the staff of the Mayor of San Antonio, where I helped lead economic development and workforce development policy. Ultimately, I made my way to Goodwill San Antonio as the Chief Mission Officer, where I led the organization in delivering training and career services to 15,000 clients a year. Now I am back in school earning my MBA at Baylor University and continuing to grow and learn at Prologis.
Corporate Communications: What attracted you to Prologis?
Steven: I have always believed in the incredible power of the private sector to drive change for good. After spending most of my career in the public sector, I felt like I needed a new challenge and I knew I wanted to join an organization that was really pushing the boundaries and innovating. Goodwill San Antonio was actually a Prologis customer at the time, so I knew about the company. When I saw an opening to support the CWI effort, I thought it could be a perfect fit for me to really leverage the skills I had from the public sector and apply them in a new and innovative context.
Corporate Communications: How do you define and practice effective leadership?
Steven: I have been incredibly fortunate in my career to work for mentors who taught me the value of servant leadership and what it really looks like in action. As a leader, you have to put people first, because the success of any organization is defined by its culture and its talent. In my career, I have made that my focus, and it’s something I spend a lot of time thinking about and reflecting on. How do I find and work with the most talented people? How do I enable others to succeed? How do I support creating a culture that feels comfortable taking risk and innovating? Undoubtedly, it has served me well and has been a great principle to live by.
Corporate Communications: Prologis is intensely focused on customer centricity as a critical component of our business strategy. Tell us more about how your position puts this into action.
Steven: Customer centricity is at the very heart of CWI. The program’s genesis comes from customer feedback and a recognition that we have an opportunity to help solve our customers’ number-one pain point. In my work, I collaborate extremely closely with our Customer Led Solutions (CLS), Ventures and market teams as we work together to engage with our customers on labor and talent. Everything we do is focused on how can we improve our platform through talent solutions to create a truly competitive differentiator. This all begins by listening to our customers and being proactive about identifying ways to help.
Corporate Communications: How does your work support Prologis’ commitment to operational excellence and innovation?
Steven: The logistics industry is changing so much and so quickly, and it’s very exciting to be a part of the evolution of the sector. One of the benefits of the CWI program is that it offers an opportunity to incubate and then scale ideas. By working cross-functionally with our CLS and Ventures teams, the CWI program serves as an on-ramp to customer relationships that can be leveraged for discovery that in turn feeds innovation. A great example is how we are partnering with the Ventures team and our customers to test new labor solutions such as VR training and employee retention platforms designed to decrease workplace turnover. Additionally, as we think about the future of the industry as it relates to automation, our work gives us unique insights that can position us to be ahead of the curve.
Corporate Communications: You’re pursuing your MBA while working full time. How do you give your brain a break?
Steven: It’s true that graduate school is taking up a lot of my free time right now, but in my spare time I love to read or spend time with family and friends. In a normal environment, I enjoy going to the theater or seeing a great concert.
Corporate Communications: Best career advice?
Steven: Align yourself with leaders who share your values and be relentless in the pursuit of impact.