Hillman Entrepreneurs Program


Suzanne Hillman

Suzanne Hillman 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. She is also an officer and director of Southern Management Corporation and several of its affiliates.

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 with her husband, David. A large part of her life is devoted to her family, which includes parents, adult siblings, adult children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

David Hillman

David Hillman is the founder and CEO of Southern Management Corporation, the largest real estate management firm in the region. 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. “Most of our buildings are 100 percent occupied, and most of our renters stay for five years compared to the industry standard of 18 months, notes Hillman. “ 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?” This is Hillman’s motto. He wants to make life better for the people who live in his apartments and for them to have a sense of pride for the homes they live in even if they are renting. The 27,000 units he manages in the metropolitan region have brought him great financial success, and he wants to give back to the very people who might live in his apartments through programs like his newly created Hillman Entrepreneurs Program.

David grew up in Maryland and is devoted to giving back to the region and State that contributed to his success.  As a teenager, Mr. Hillman describes 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, Mr. Hillman worked for a developer as a book keeper and he attended a non-accredited night school, Strayer College, where he took accounting courses.  He took the CPA exam and, at the time, was the youngest person to pass on the first attempt, which is 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. 

In recent years, David Hillman has been thinking about how to give some of his good fortune back to the community. He looks for bright young people with potential who, given proper support, can become successful, sometimes in spite of challenging backgrounds. His goal is for his scholarship recipients to have the opportunity to pursue a college education, become entrepreneurial thinkers and, like him, give back to their communities in Maryland.

Program Directors

Gül Branco
Director, Hillman Entrepreneurs Program

Gül Branco is the Program Director of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining Mtech, Ms. Branco led the launch of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program at Montgomery College in 2012, building all aspects of the program until January 2014.

While at Montgomery College, she established many collaborations between the local business community and the students she mentored in the Hillman Program.

Before joining the program, Ms. Branco was a faculty member at Delgado Community College and co-coordinator for the college's Entrepreneurship Program.

She was also selected as a mod-faculty member for the Goldman Sachs/Babson College 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative in New Orleans.
Ms. Branco has an extensive business experience with Fortune 500 companies in developing strategic organizational programs, implementing learning initiatives at all levels of the organization, transforming underperforming teams to highly effective teams, identifying opportunities for growth and new business ventures, creating business markets and teaching adults. 

Ms. Branco is a proactive, result-oriented business leader with broad experience and a proven track record of success in hands-on leadership, entrepreneurship, organizational management, business and market development, strategic planning, relationship management, and leading students in a positive direction for better learning.

Ms. Branco earned her degrees from the Notre Dame de Namur University in California (MBA) and the Dokuz Eylül University in Turkey (BA).  

Ruth Lewis

Ruth Lewis is the Program Director of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program at Prince George’s Community College and works with Carolyn Karlson to build this new special program for undergraduate entrepreneurs that is a partnership between Prince George’s Community College and the University of Maryland. Lewis is a resident of Washington, D.C. who has worked in the computer industry for over 20 years. Lewis supervised and managed several software development projects for federal government agencies such as the Department of Energy, Department of Defense and Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Prior to accepting this position, Ms. Lewis worked as an assistant to the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program as well as a real estate salesperson with Weichert Realtors in Maryland. Ms. Lewis has been an entrepreneur in residential real estate since 2003. Lewis is an investor in residential real estate. Ms. Lewis is licensed to conduct real estate transactions in the state of Maryland and Washington, D.C. 

Ms. Lewis received a B.S. in Urban Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Howard University.

Rebecca Razavi

Rebecca Razavi is the Program Director of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program at Montgomery College and works with Gul Branco at the University of Maryland to build this unique partnership program for undergraduate entrepreneurs. Ms. Razavi is a life-long resident of Maryland who has served as an independent consultant for 20+ years for both federal and private clients in the fields of health promotion and addiction and adjunct English faculty for 6 years. In addition, she also served as facilitator for Future Link (a career development program for aspiring students), instructor in Business Communication at the University of Phoenix, Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, faculty advisor for a student-run newspaper, literacy instructor and community service coordinator for the Gateway to College Program, and fellow with the Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship Program.  Ms. Razavi received a B.A. in English from Goucher College and an M.A. in the Writing Seminars Program at Johns Hopkins University.

Advisory Board

  • Gül Branco, Hillman Entrepreneurs Program Director, University of Maryland

  • Carolyn Karlson, Hillman Entrepreneurs Program Director, University of Maryland

  • Ruth Lewis, Hillman Entrepreneurs Program Director, Prince George’s Community College

  • Kathy Michaelian, Instructional Dean, Montgomery College

  • Rebecca Razavi, Hillman Entrepreneurs Program Director, Montgomery College

  • Jacqueline Rogers, Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

  • John Rosicky, Dean of Behavioral, Social and Business Studies, Prince George's Community College

  • Karen Thornton, Chief Administrative Officer for University Relations, University of Maryland

  • Brenda Mitchell, Development Director, Prince George’s Community College

  • Cheryl Hillman, Representative of the Hillman family



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