JIM HILLER:
 
Paul Glantz




 
 
 
 
 
President and CEO of Hiller's Markets in Southfield, a chain of seven Michigan grocery stores. His father started the company in Detroit in 1941. Through his career, Hiller has endowed several community nonprofits and has contributed via sales at the stores. He developed Hiller's Buy Michigan Initiative to help stimulate the state economy, keep jobs in Michigan, and keep local dollars working locally. Hiller formed and endowed the Program for Understanding Neurological Diseases (PFUND) at the University of Michigan Medical School, which seeks treatments and cures for neurological diseases such as ALS. He also endowed the Hiller ALS Center at Wayne State University. Hiller received the Jane L. Cobb Promise Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Friend of Israel award from Yeshiva Akiva, and the Tree of Life award from the Jewish National Fund. He has been named Michigan's Top Executive by Corp! magazine and received recognition awards from the World Federation of Holocaust Survivors, ALS of Michigan, and the American Cancer Society. Michigan's governor recognized Hiller as a Hometown Health Hero after he ended sales of tobacco products in his stores. The Hiller Foundation donated a water reservoir at Kibbutz HaSolelim and funded construction of the Hula Bird Sanctuary Visitor Center, both in Israel. Hiller is commodore of the Great Lakes Yacht Club; adjunct professor of law at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) School of Law; special investigator for the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission; member of the Prismatic Club; and member of the scientific review board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He is a fellow in the Royal Institute of Navigation, trustee of Beaumont Hospital, on the advisory board of the University of Michigan Health System, and a director of ALS of Michigan. He received his law degree from UDM School of Law and practiced law before joining the family company.


WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have had good parenting and great teachers and even a few mentors, all of whom have caused me to be what I am today.”

LAST BOOK READ: “It's written by a good friend of mine, Dave Gerr, The Nature of Boats: Insights and Esoterica for the Nautically Obsessed. Dave is a premier yacht designer.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Driven, very loyal, always looking for the higher rock.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “My industry, grocery, is on the way to becoming segmented. In the end, we're going to see lots of small, very specialized stores and some very large somewhat unspecialized stores, but fewer and fewer that cover the entire spectrum. You'll be either upscale, downscale, gourmet, or everyday but you aren't going to be everything for everybody. To some extent, we're seeing a society that has been deeply affected by the profound changes in the economy. People tend to want to keep their powder dry as long as they can. They're driven by a social motive or personal desire to achieve the most with the least. You can do a few things really well but you can't do everything well. Stores that seek to do that cannot succeed. You can't successfully deliver the type of quality people want if you see lawn chairs, food, and live animals under the same roof. We also don't quite know what the impact of online shopping will be.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My Accutron watch. It's an old design from early '60s that the astronauts took into space. It works by an electronically stimulated tuning fork (it sends out frequency that modulates the time).”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas – as close to paradise as I can imagine.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Sailing, sailing, and sailing.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Sushi.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I'm a pretty good mechanic when I want to be.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “For loving my family above all else in the world.”


At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.