DBT40 Honoree: Christian Hudson
Managing Partner, Hudson Management (Milton)
Why me? Steve Jobs once famously quipped: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” I try to live my personal, professional, and philanthropic lives with that same attitude. In addition to my work, I also volunteer a lot of time working with local nonprofits in our community to help make them more successful. I currently serve on the board of directors for three local nonprofits: Delmarva Christian Schools, the Beebe Medical Center, and I serve as chairman of the board for the Beebe Medical Foundation. I am currently serving as a member of DelDOT’s Five Points Working Group. I am an entrepreneur at heart and recently co-founded a fintech company named Delaware Kiosk and became the AML/CFT Compliance Officer.
Professional accomplishments: At my job, our investments have created or saved over 130 full-time jobs in Delaware; constructed over 150,000 square feet of commercial buildings; and closed on more than $90 million in real estate transactions. As a director for various corporate entities I have negotiated more than $100 million in debt and equity financing, and more than $250 million in mergers & acquisitions. In my philanthropic efforts I have helped raise more than $30 million for Delaware nonprofit organizations.
Leadership examples: I believe people should work to be part of solutions, not just complainers. I often participate in local government forums and public hearings by providing perspective and solutions for things such as Sussex County’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, and on a number of ordinances that would affect local businesses and industry. An example would be partnering with a traffic engineer where we analyzed the public infrastructure problems in Sussex County and saw that the infrastructure funding has not kept up with population growth. We then designed multiple solutions to local traffic issues in the Delaware beach area. Although none of the proposals were ultimately successful, they did succeed in generating public discussion about the idea that infrastructure needs to keep pace with population growth. I currently serve as the lone representative of the business community on the DelDOT Working Group for the Five Points Area Study.
As chairman of the Beebe Medical Foundation I oversee our $34 million capital campaign to expand access to health care in southern Delaware. I also enjoy sending over 100 handwritten notes every year to potential donors to offer them the benefit of being part of a great organization.
Vision: We continue to see opportunity in the entertainment and hospitality sectors of the economy at the Delaware beaches. We believe investments in those industries are far more sustainable than investments in developing more housing. We enjoy creating jobs that are permanent and provide upward mobility for people, regardless of their college education. We see the best opportunities for our company in those areas in Delaware. We’re not looking to build any more hotels until the beach market can absorb the new lodging supply. However, we are actively looking at future investment opportunities in the entertainment sector of the Delaware Beach resort market.
Community service: My wife and I created and organized Foodie Fest, a food truck festival at Hudson Field as a way to help local small businesses and to raise money for local nonprofits. These events brought in hundreds of people, building both community spirit as well as nonprofit funds. We have recently retired Foodie Fest and used the lessons learned from that to start a new venture. This year we partnered with Revelation Craft Brewery to bring a Beer Garden to Eagle Crest Aerodrome where a portion of the proceeds goes to support local nonprofits like Beebe Healthcare.
Tell us something that’s not or your LinkedIn profile: I post a popular informal series on my Facebook profile called, “10 Things #heardaroundthehouse” where I let people have a sneak peek inside at what my family life is like. It’s a list of just whatever the funniest 10 things my children or various family members have said that week. People seem to really enjoy it and usually comment with whichever ones are their favorites.