When it comes to selecting community service programs, Southern Management Corp. has one guiding principle. “We make all of our decisions on how our partnerships are going to benefit our residents,” says Be-Be Hernández, special projects coordinator for the Vienna, Va.-based owner/ operator of some 70 apartment complexes in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., metro.
Last year, the company directly managed, sponsored, or participated in 14 official community service programs, partnered in eight additional programs, and maintained six distinct scholarship programs for the children of its employees and residents. Programs benefiting children, in fact, weigh heavy in the Southern Management outreach arsenal and include school renovations, youth basketball leagues, homework tutoring, and more.
The firm also sponsors the USO, the Prince George’s County American Red Cross, and is a proud four-year sponsor of the Marine Corps Marathon. And while she hates to pick a favorite, Hernández says it’s the scholarships (which total tens of thousands of dollars each year and include a whopping $1.7 million grant from Southern Management CEO David Hillman to Prince George’s Community College) that choke her up every time. “Knowing that we provide financial support to students who otherwise might not have been able to afford to pay for their education, there are just no words to describe that feeling.”