The David H. and Suzanne D. Hillman Family Foundation created the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program by partnering with the University of Maryland (UM) and Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) in 2006. In the spring of 2013, the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program expanded its reach to offer enrollment to students at Montgomery College (MC). The first cohort of MC Hillman Entrepreneurs joined the Program in January 2013. This expansion augments the Program’s efforts to create a vibrant community of students that share a common entrepreneurial mindset, but have a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and aspirations.
Since then, the program has supported students with an entrepreneurial mindset by offering community college students scholarships that help cover the costs of tuition and books and then supporting them in a seamless transfer to UM in pursuit of their bachelor’s degree. Through these generous donations, students receive scholarships, one-on-one academic mentoring, assistance in securing internships, opportunities for enrichment activities outside of the classroom, and a unique series of entrepreneurship courses designed specifically to develop them into successful entrepreneurs and community leaders. Equally important, the Program establishes a rich social academic network of like-minded peers who will carry the legacy of the Program into their communities as alumni.
David Hillman, according to his wife Suzanne, “loved putting something together that no one else could.” When Mr. Hillman died in December of 2017, he left a long line of bereaved but also grateful recipients of his entrepreneurial spirit and generosity. Montgomery College is especially grateful for his vision and continued support of one of David’s remarkable accomplishments, the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program.
David, who grew up in Maryland, described himself as an ordinary high school student, not college bound, without clear aspirations and with no real sense of who he was. After graduating from high school, he worked for a developer as a bookkeeper and attended a nonaccredited night school, where he took accounting courses. He took the CPA exam and, at the time, was the youngest person to pass on the first attempt, an indication of an innate talent that seemed hidden in high school. His experiences with managing other peoples’ accounts helped him realize his strengths and he began purchasing and managing his own property.
And then, in 1968, David Hillman founded his own company, Southern Management Corporation, which has since become the largest real estate management firm in the region. As CEO of Southern Management, he was named “Innovator of the Year” in 2002 for his creativity in developing attractive and livable communities through the rental units he built from dilapidated Baltimore buildings. David explained it this way: “Whether an apartment rents for $500 or $2,500, I want it to be the best that it can be. My litmus test is to ask myself: ‘If I lived here, would I be embarrassed for someone to visit me?’” The 27,000 Southern Management units in the metropolitan region have brought him great financial success, and it was his desire to give back to the very people who might live in his apartments that led him to establish the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program.
As CEO of Southern Management, David continued to be a leader always thinking about how to give some of his good fortune back to the community. Whether in his business or his philanthropy, he looked for bright young people with potential who, given proper support, can become successful, sometimes despite of challenging backgrounds. His goal for his scholarship recipients continues to be realized, as students receive the opportunity to pursue a college education, become entrepreneurial thinkers and, like him, give back to the community.
In December 2017, Suzanne Hillman was appointed by David Hillman to step up as CEO of Southern Management Corporation. In her career spanning three decades, Suzanne has worked with virtually every aspect of Southern’s business, gaining a broad perspective and expertise. Prior to becoming CEO, Suzanne was Southern’s Chief Financial Officer. She also serves as an officer, director and trustee for several of Southern’s affiliates.
Suzanne is a Washington, DC, native. She grew up in Northwest Washington and Montgomery County. After graduating from Walt Whitman High School, she attended American University, obtaining a B.S.B.A Degree in Accounting. As a licensed Certified Public Accountant, she has been a partner in Hillman & Glorioso and its predecessor firms for almost 30 years. Hillman & Glorioso is a boutique public accounting firm, specializing in business and financial consulting and tax practice for small and medium sized businesses, priority is real estate and finance industries. Suzanne has great expertise in business organization, internal controls, structural finance, and forensic accounting.
In her career, she has been a director of a federally chartered bank, serving as member of both the loan and the audit committees. For several years, she was a member of the Board of Trustees of American University (Washington, DC), where she was instrumental in developing the Kogod School of Business’ Vision and Mission Statements. She has been a member of the Board of The Washington Ballet, and has participated in many fund raising activities including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Suzanne resides in McLean, Virginia. A large part of her life is devoted to her family, which includes parents, adult siblings, adult children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.