Meet Our Team – Greg Hyland, CPM
This is the third in a series of interviews with the College Success Arizona team.
Continuing with this feature, and throughout the next year, we’ll be taking a closer look at the College Success Arizona team, the people that make all that we do happen. We’ll be asking the normal “tell us a little about yourself” questions, but also delving a little deeper into each team member’s personality, and what makes them who they are.
This month’s subject is our Director of Communications and Engagement, Greg Hyland.
What is your role at College Success Arizona?
I’m the Director of Communications and Engagement. My job is to provide information about College Success Arizona to students, parents, and anyone interested in going to college – and also be the organization’s main source for information internally, and externally.
Please share with us a little bit about your background?
I spent 23 years with the City of Yuma. My last position there was as director of communications and public affairs where we did all of the promotion and marketing for the third largest metropolitan area in the state. We also oversaw the operations of six television stations, plus provided news releases, media relations, and things like that.
How did you come to be associated with College Success Arizona?
I saw a posting on LinkedIn and applied for the position – and it sounded great because it’s helping the kids of Arizona get their degrees – so, I applied for it, went through the process, and got the job.
What is the best thing about working with students (or your job)?
I get to see every single one of our students through the recruitment process, which starts with them applying for the scholarships. I photograph each one of them, do a professional head shot, and they’re interviewed on video-tape. So it’s great. It’s really fulfilling to hear their stories and all of their amazing achievements.
Why do you feel that increasing Arizona’s College Attainment Rate is so important?
As we all know, technology is changing, our workforce is changing, and everything we do is becoming more and more technical. If we don’t have a trained workforce in the future, companies are going to go to other states, and with that goes the money, and with the money goes our economy. We want to bring those companies here, and we want to bring those dollars here, and help our economy.
What other projects, activities, groups, are you involved in?
I’m a Mason and I’m also a Shriner. I’m involved with the Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture through Arizona State University. Plus, I have two daughters that are at ASU right now, so that keeps me pretty busy.
What is your vision for the Arizona of the future?
We’re involved in a program called “ACHIEVE60AZ,” which has a mission that 60 percent of our residents will have some form of education beyond high school, such as a certificate, diploma, or college degree by the year 2030. If we can achieve that, our economy will be booming, people will make more money, and that’s where I see the future of Arizona.
If you had a message for a student just beginning their college career, what would that be?
The very first thing is to find a mentor, find someone that you can talk to, someone who can help you through the trials and tribulations that you’re going to have in college. We find that having a mentor, or an adviser, is one of the best things that helps to keep students on track.
Basic stats (hometown, family, etc.)?
I was born in Minnetonka, Minnesota, which is a suburb of Minneapolis. My family moved to Arizona in August of 1973. My parents were small business owners in Minnesota, and also here in Phoenix. We owned a store called the “Carmel Corn Shop” in what used to be the Thomas Mall at 44th Street and Thomas here in Phoenix. It’s kind of funny that I now work about two miles from where I worked when I was in high school. I’ve been married for more than 25 years and as I mentioned earlier, I have two daughters attending ASU.
What was your First or most interesting job?
My first job was a rouger (row-ger) in the corn fields of Minnesota, which involves running down the rows of corn with a machete, chopping out the corn stalks that are too high. These corn stalks were above normal height and you had to cut them off below ground level, and there is no place hotter than a corn field in Minnesota in July.
What are your hobbies/favorite pastime?
I was involved for many years in service clubs such as Kiwanis and Rotary. In addition to work and family, we’re in the process of building a home in the West Valley, which is also keeping us pretty busy.
What is your Favorite TV show?
I suppose that it’s NCIS. I like that show a lot, and like to watch the spin-off, and follow the characters.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without? Probably books. I find myself, still after all of these years, reading for entertainment. I like to keep my mind active and I don’t think I could do anything without some form of printed material.
What is your culinary specialty?
I used to grill quite a bit, and people tell me that my burgers are pretty good.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Binge-watching shows on Netflix.
Do you have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (or other!) social media account?
I have all of those accounts. They’re mostly for work but I do have personal ones too. Between my work and personal social media accounts, I do about 15 postings per day, and most of them are college-related.
What’s the band you’d listen to for the rest of your life?
Elton John. I have listened to his music since the early 1970’s and I still love it.
What is your proudest moment?
I have several; the births of my daughters and when they graduated from high school, and also their upcoming graduations from ASU. And of course, marrying my wife is a very proud moment. We’ve been married for over 25 years and we’ve been together for 27 years.
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
It’s by Elton John and Leon Russel, “If it wasn’t for bad…”, but seriously, it’s probably a song from the early 80’s by Supertramp, called “The Logical Song”.
What would you want your superpower to be?
Knowledge – I want to be all-knowing.
What’s your favorite movie?
A movie starring Robin Williams called “What Dreams May Come”
Name a game show you would win?
Probably the Match Game