Our Team

Next Generation lays claim to decades of experience in site selection, land development and market research in the Chicagoland suburban market.

Jim Hughes, Jr. - CEO

With over 30 years of real estate experience, Mr. Hughes, Jr. has been involved with all aspects of real estate development, design, procurement, entitlement, planning, and sales and marketing.

Mr. Hughes, Jr. has an extensive history of overseeing the planning, development and consulting of land portfolios after the company’s predecessor organization, Wiseman-Hughes. Mr. Hughes, Jr. has been responsible for providing some of the Chicago area city managers with award-winning and best-use developments. Mr. Hughes currently serves on the board for Rush-Copley Board of Directors.

Melanie Smith - Controller

Ms. Smith is the Controller for Next Generation Development. She is responsible for management and oversight of Accounts Payable, Financial Accounting, Fiscal Control and Materiel Control.

Ms. Smith has over 30 years experience in Administration/Accounting and has been a part of the Wiseman Hughes/Next Generation team for 14 years. She is accomplished in administering financial strategies that enhance organizational growth and maximize sustainability. Her expertise includes design of short- and long-term financial plans, investment management, financial problem solving, corrective action plan implementation, and compliance.

Ms. Smith holds a degree in Business Administration from Northwestern Business College and has received specialized training in Accounting from the College of DuPage. She has also received specialized training in Sales & Use Tax, Organizing & Managing Accounts Payable and Construction Management.