David Hillman, a Baltimore-area developer and chairman and CEO of Southern Management Corp., died of cancer Dec. 27 2017 at his home in McLean, Va., according to company officials. He was 75.
Southern Management Corp., founded by Mr. Hillman in 1981, is a major developer in the Baltimore area and one of the largest owner-operated property management companies in the country.
The Vienna, Va.-based firm manages 78 communities with 25,000 apartments, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space and three hotels, including The Hotel at the University of Maryland near the university’s main campus in College Park, which broke ground in 2014.
Mr. Hillman was born in Washington, D.C., to Joseph and Dorothy Hillman. His father had emigrated from Eastern Europe and built a chain of local grocery stores where Mr. Hillman worked, including driving trucks while he was in school.
Mr. Hillman graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1959. He later graduated from Strayer College while working to become a certified public accountant, and served as a bookkeeper for a construction company. He moved into real estate management, and founded Central Management in 1965 with business partner Melvin Lenkin.
In addition to his real estate company, Mr. Hillman served on the board of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the Business Advisory Council for the Comptroller of Maryland. The foundation named for him and his wife — the David H. and Suzanne D. Hillman Family Foundation — created the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program through the University of Maryland and Prince George’s Community College in 2006.
In addition to his wife Suzanne D. Hillman, Mr. Hillman is survived by a daughter, Cheryl Hillman, and a son, Richard Hillman, both of Potomac; a sister, Wendy Kaplan of The Villages, Fla.; three grandchildren; and a large extended family with many nieces and nephews. His first marriage ended in divorce.