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Alumni Excellence Awards: Terp Legacy Award Winner Chip Sollins '82

Alumni Excellence Awards: Terp Legacy Award Winner Chip Sollins '82

Chip Sollins '82

By Andrew Faught

When Chip Sollins graduated from Maryland with a criminology degree, he was struck by the weight of his experience.

“It was my first time leaving home, and Maryland taught me how to get around, how to maneuver, how to meet friends, and how to get out of my comfort zone,” he says. “It’s a place that gave me a great foundation.”

Which is why Sollins didn’t think twice about volunteering for his alma mater for 14 years after graduation. Starting in 1998 he served as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Governors, two years as president, and also as an Alumni Association regional alumni network leader. Additionally, he was an appointed and elected trustee of the University of Maryland, College Park Foundation, and he was a major donor to the Hall of Friendship in the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center.

“I’m a big believer in giving back, and so that’s why I made the decision to get involved with the school and to help in every way that I could,” Sollins says, noting that it’s a sensibility instilled in him by his parents. “You try to give back where you can.”

Sollins grew up in Baltimore and planned to go to law school after getting his undergraduate degree, but higher education is a journey of discovery, and he changed his trajectory. He decided instead to become a businessman.

Sollins lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where for 15 years he’s been president and CEO of Garden Home Management Services. The business manages high-end homes in Palm Beach County—mainly second homes—providing handyman services, hurricane preparedness, housekeeping, window washing and pressure washing, among other services.

“We become your eyes and ears when you’re not in town,” Sollins says.

Prior to his current role, he was president and CEO of Prime Management Group, a residential property management business, and president and founder of American Pool Service Enterprises, now the largest provider of swimming pool management, maintenance and construction services in North America.

Sollins is the 2007 recipient of Boca Raton’s Corporate Star Award; the same year he received the America’s Promise Red Wagon Award, given to an outstanding organization devoted to improving the lives of young people.

In the same way he supported the University of Maryland, Sollins, a married father of two with two grandchildren, sees himself as a role model for youths.

“Kids have come to me for advice, and I’ll tell them to keep their head down, stay focused, and don’t get caught up in the minutiae around them,” he says. “I’ll also talk to them about working hard and remind them that nothing’s given to them.”

Several states away from his alma mater, Sollins remains an ambassador for the university. As an alum and a businessman, he extols the virtues of the institution. “I speak very highly of the school,” he says.

As for his legacy, Sollins’ volunteer work for Maryland plays a big role in shaping his personal story. “I’ve taught my own kids to understand the values of growing up to be respectable, hardworking people, and to continue the tradition of giving back,” he says.


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