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Stories of Leadership: Paul McManus

Paul McManus, ’06, has led a successful career since graduating from SDSU.

Paul McManus, ’06 works as a tenant representation specialist at Colliers International in the Silicon Valley. 

Paul McManus headshot
Paul McManus

There, he specializes in representing emerging growth companies with their real estate locally, nationally and internationally. Paul has an extremely diverse client list that includes companies from the medical, professional services, software and high tech industries. 

At San Diego State University, he obtained a bachelor's degree in business administration with a specialization in real estate. 


Tell us the highlights of your professional career. What are your proudest achievements?

At the end of last year, my business partner and I represented Zoll Circulation on the purchase of a 124,000 square foot building in San Jose, CA; Zoll designs and manufactures defibrillators that are used by hospitals and EMS workers around the world. On the transaction we worked directly with their president, James Palazzolo. He is a brilliant man whose strategy is "every dollar that he doesn’t have to spend on real estate can be invested in saving more lives." With that in mind, this requirement had a very meaningful purpose to it.

Aztec Leadership Network 

What’s your favorite college memory?

Meeting my wife, Ashley (Ridout) McManus, ‘06 was by far the best thing that happened to me.  We were both in the Greek system and connected originally at a party. She was far more organized and focused than me during college which eventually rubbed off on me and helped me make sure I graduated in 4 years.  

Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class?

Michael Cunningham in the College of Business brought tons of real world experience into the classroom. This helped us relate to the content in his Business Management class. In addition, Dr. Cunningham had a vast network of high level contacts in the San Diego. He tapped into this network to help students find future job opportunities.

If you were to give current SDSU students some advice, what would you say?

Get involved in internship opportunities early on in your collegiate career so that you are exposed to different career paths.  The sooner you pick a career, the better.  One other suggestion I would have is: travel abroad. This is something I missed out on. I would have loved to have traveled to Europe.

What are you currently reading? What’s your favorite book?


I’m currently reading "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson.

What is your passion?


Enjoying professional sports and the outdoors with family and friends — I’m a huge Forty-Niners, Giants and Golden State Warriors fan.  I also enjoy golf, skiing and wakeboarding.

What is your motto?


"Work harder, work smarter."

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

I would travel and pay off my immediate family’s home mortgages.  I would also donate to help cure colon cancer after seeing my step-dad lose his battle to it.

Which trait do you value most in your friends and colleagues?

Reliability and dependability — If they say something, they do it.  I made the best friends of my life at SDSU and I can depend on them no matter what.

If you knew you could not fail, what would you attempt?

I would run for political office. I believe public office is a civic duty, not a career.  I would try to change things for the positive and eliminate waste in government.

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