At its 68th Annual Meeting, the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber (BWCC) presented the 2015 Dr. Freeman Hrabowski Visionary Leadership Award to Southern Management Corporation’s Founder and CEO, David Hillman. Hillman began his company in 1965, shortly after becoming the youngest person ever (at the time) to pass the CPA exam.
Today, Southern Management is the manager for a group of nearly 100 partnerships that own and operate approximately 25,000 apartments and 1.5 million square feet of office/commercial space in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and the Baltimore region. — the largest privately owned residential property-management company in the Baltimore Washington region.
SMC pioneered name branding for the apartment industry and has an in-house university for management and a similar academy for maintenance and engineering skills. Hillman and many corporate employees serve as officers and directors for numerous trade organizations, community associations and education institutions.
In 2006, Hillman and his wife, Suzanne, established the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program to support students who demonstrate leadership and entrepreneurial initiative by providing them with financial assistance and an entrepreneurship development program.
“I welcome the chance to be able to give opportunities to people who don’t get many, and to see these people come back into the communities where we do business and do great things,” he said. “I tell them it should also be their goal to make money and give back.”
Hillman is developing the Hotel at the University of Maryland, a nearly 300-unit, 10-story hotel and conference center capable of hosting events for as many as 1,500 guests, slated to open in late 2016 at a cost approaching $150 million. He foresees the hotel as a significant element in the vision for College Park to become one of the nation’s 20 greatest college towns.
Another development, the 268-acre mixed use Town Center at Anne Arundel Preserve, not far from Arundel Mills, will eventually include 1.3 million square feet of space. Acknowledging that project’s Silver level LEED certification, Hillman said green buildings make sense “because it makes for a better living environment and because, in the long run, it saves a lot of money.”
Hall of Fame
The BWCC also inducted Michael Cryor, CEO of the Cryor Group LLC; Jennifer Bodensiek, CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland; and Wanda Draper, WBAL-TV 11’s Programming and Public Affairs director, into the Baltimore Washington Corridor Hall of Fame, Class of 2015.
The inductees were honored for their achievements in business development, regional leadership and civic involvement, with video vignettes profiling their personal stories of challenges and successes. The videos are posted on the BWCC’s web site at www.bwcc.org.
Michael Cryor is president of The Cryor Group, a consultant business devoted to strategic communications. He is respected for his ability to facilitate large, complex agreements in both the public and private sectors. His work has benefited some of the largest corporations and prestigious public sector organizations in the world.
Present and former clients include the Exelon Corp., Skanska International, Northrop Grumman, Forest City Science & Technology Group, Kaiser Permanente, MWH Americas, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Johnson Controls, The Energy Systems Group, the Baltimore City School System, the International Oncology Network, CareFirst, Magna Entertainment and the College Board.
Cryor’s earlier careers include psychologist and director of the Department of Consultation and Education at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, Associate Dean at Morgan State University and various executive positions in both chambers of the United States Congress.
In 2007, he was elected chair of the Maryland Democratic Party and was instrumental in the historic election of President Barack Obama.
Currently he is the chair of the Board of Visitors for the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, a director on the boards of Baltimore Gas & Electric and The Hippodrome Foundation, and serves as a commissioner on the Judicial Nominations Commission for the District and Circuit courts of Baltimore. He is a former chair of the board of Associated Black Charities and vice-chair of the Baltimore Community Foundation and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
Cryor earned his bachelor’s degree in Experimental Psychology from Morgan State University and a master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Montclair State University. He was also a doctoral candidate in Environmental Psychology at the City University of New York. In addition to his earned degrees, he has been awarded three honorary doctorates.
Jennifer Bodensiek is the CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland, serving Maryland’s young people, educators and business community with the support of more than 3,000 volunteers. Junior Achievement reaches more than 40,000 youth throughout the Baltimore region with financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs.
Bodensiek previously served Junior Achievement’s parent organization, JA Worldwide, as vice president of Development, where she was responsible for building strategic relationships among major corporations in the northeastern part of the United States. She also successfully managed the organization’s government relations efforts to fuel strategic growth abroad, including new relationships with USAID, the U.S. Department of State and the World Bank.
Previously, Bodensiek served as a major gifts officer for The Johns Hopkins University.
The Virginia Tech graduate began her career with Bank of America, rising to assistant vice president. She serves her community through activities that include the Maryland State Department of Education Financial Education Advisory Council, The Howard County Board of Education Operating Budget Review Committee, and The Stevenson University Brown School of Business.
Wanda Draper joined the Hearst Corp. as a student correspondent at the Baltimore News American in 1968. A native of Baltimore, she worked on the Sunday paper until 1973, when she graduated from the University of Maryland. She also attended the University of Maryland School of Law and the Johns Hopkins University School of Graduate Studies.
Draper spent the next 10 years as a reporter and local editor at The Baltimore Sun. She subsequently worked as an assignment manager and local show host at WJZ-TV, as director of public affairs for the governor’s office and director of community affairs for the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
In 1991, she joined WBAL-TV as public affairs manager and was promoted to director of public affairs in 1992. In 1999 she was promoted to executive-in-charge of production. Most recently, in 2003, she was promoted to director of programming and public affairs, responsible for all of the programming aired by the station.
Draper has won numerous local and national awards and has been cited by the National Association of Broadcasters for her outstanding achievements. She is very active in several community endeavors, serving on the board of Stevenson University, the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Elijah Cummings Youth Project and the Gala Committee for Journey Home.