Leadership

At The Hiller Companies, our leadership team embodies a wealth of experience, expertise, and dedication to excellence. With a collective focus on driving growth, fostering strong client relationships, and empowering our employees, they steer our company towards continued success. Their unwavering leadership inspires confidence, fuels our passion to perform, and ensures that The Hiller Companies remain at the forefront of fire protection solutions, delivering unmatched quality and service to our valued clients worldwide.

Photo of Santiago Perez

Santiago Perez joined The Hiller Companies as Chief Executive Officer on March of 2023. He also serves as an independent Director on the Board of Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI).

Before joining the company, Santiago served as CEO at Keter Environmental Services. Prior to this, he served as Chief Commercial Digital Officer & Senior Vice President U.S. Services & Solutions at Schneider. He also held several leadership roles at Johnson Controls, including Vice President & General Manager Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, where he led the company’s sales, distribution, contracting and service operations, as well as Vice President Global Business Lines & Operations, leading the company’s global supply chain, product management, development and engineering. Prior to this Santiago held a variety of positions in Thermo Fisher Scientific, United Technologies, and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

Santiago earned his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his BA in Civil Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.

Photo of Tony Ciccone

Tony Ciccone joined The Hiller Companies as Chief Financial Officer as of October 2022.

 

Before joining the company, Tony served as CFO and Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions at ASC Engineered Solutions.  Prior to this, he served as CFO and Vice President of Finance at Anvil International. He also held several financial leadership roles at Tyco Fire and Security and SimplexGrinnell.

 

Tony earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The University of New Hampshire.

Photo of Duane Jenkins

Duane Jenkins joined The Hiller Companies as Chief Revenue Officer in July of 2023.

 

Duane has extensive experience in sales and service. Before joining the company, he served as the Vice President of Service Sales for HVAC, Fire, and Security at Johnson Controls. He spent more than 25 years at ADT/Tyco/JCI and held various operation leadership roles during the first half of his career, such as Area Operations Manager, Branch Manager, and Complex Installation Director. He then moved to various sales leadership roles, including area sales manager, director of sales, and Vice President of Core Commercial Sales and Service.

Photo of John Cocke

John is the Vice President, Marine and Gulf Coast Region.

He has been in the fire protection business since 1971 when he started at JACO. Hiller acquired JACO in 1981 and John has been part of the Hiller team ever since.

 

Over the years, he has been a driving force in Hiller’s domestic and international growth especially in the marine and governmental sectors. John is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in business.

Photo of James Kishish

James Kishish has over 25 years of leadership and industry experience. He joined Hiller as Regional Vice President, Western Region in October of 2023.

James served in leadership roles with SimplexGrinnell/Johnson Controls from 1999 to 2017 and Convergint Technologies from 2017 to 2023, where he held serval roles from Sales, Sales Management, Regional Area General Manager and Regional Vice President.

James earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

Photo of John Kitchens

John Kitchens joined The Hiller Companies as Vice President of Human Resources on May 9, 2022.

Before joining Hiller, John served as Director of Human Resources at Overhead Door Corporation. Prior to this, he served as Director of Human Resources & Labor Relations at Wayne Farms Corporation and Vice President of Human Resources at Ascend Performance Materials Corporation. John has also held Human Resources leadership roles with Boise Paper, YANMAR America, CertainTeed Corporation, and KOBELCO America Corporation.

John earned his BA in Business Administration from Georgia College and State University.

Photo of Robert Hunter

Robert Hunter started with The Hiller Companies in July of 2009 and recently became full time General Counsel in May of 2023. Prior to this role, Robert served as General Manager over the commercial Mobile and New Orleans branches since 2017. Robert also served as Compliance Officer since 2013 and General Counsel since 2015. Before this, Robert was Branch Manager of the Charleston branch from 2010-2012. Prior to working for Hiller, Robert served as judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable John Lockett in the Alabama Circuit Court.

 

Robert has been an active member of the Alabama State Bar since 2008 after earning his law degree from Mississippi College School of Law. Robert also holds a Banking & Finance Degree and a Real Estate Degree from The University of Mississippi.

Photo of Parham Ghorban

8Parham leads Hiller’s M&A strategy and acquisitions, working closely with business owners to enhance opportunities for their customers, employees, and the overall Hiller family.

He has over 20 years of experience identifying, closing, and integrating acquisitions across various industries.  Prior to joining The Hiller Companies, Parham was a leader in Deloitte Consulting’s M&A Strategy & Value Creation practice focused on commercial and operational diligence, integration planning, and integration execution for both strategic and private equity clients.  In addition, Parham has led M&A and Corporate Development at several branch based distributed businesses across the industrial and healthcare sectors.  Earlier in his career, Parham was a consultant for both Andersen Consulting and Deloitte Consulting, and an M&A investment banker and equity analyst at Roth Capital Partners.

Parham earned his M.B A. in Finance from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and his B.S. in Management Information Systems from California State University, Long Beach.

Photo of Alex Gershman

Alex Gershman joined Hiller in 2024 as Vice President of Strategy & Value Creation.

 

Alex comes to Hiller from Schneider Electric, where he was serving as Head of Strategy, Innovation and Offer Management for North American Services. He successfully lead the team in executing the five year strategy to accelerate growth of theri US Service recurring business. Alex also led a team that was responsible for the business transformation prgorams that supported the strategy and growth goals for Schneider Electric. Prior to that, he held many leadership roles with the company, including as Chief of Staff – US Strategic Customers, Director of Strategy & Sales Operations, and Director of Customer Experience Anayltics for the US Operations.

 

Alex hold a BA degree from the Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Message from the CEO

The Hiller Companies is a trusted and innovative group of fire and life safety experts located across the U.S. We specialize in both land-based and marine applications with the priority of ensuring our customers’ safety and compliance while providing peace of mind. Our business model is designed to operate within our geographic footprint while also supporting customers coast to coast and globally. Our service area is not restricted by boundaries. Hiller is dedicated to serving our clients when and where they need us.