Susan Prillaman grew up in the seaside town of Delray Beach, Florida where she returned to begin her professional career and continue her education after a fitful start at the University of Florida.
While earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Florida Atlantic University, Susan pursued a career in land use and development working first in the city of Deerfield Beach’s Planning and Zoning Department. Following a move to the private sector as a site planner and later land development manager for Pulte Home Corporation’s South Florida Division, Susan relocated to Atlanta in 1997 and continued her career in real estate, this time consulting on site development for new Home Depot stores.
Seeking to broaden her areas of expertise, in 1999 Susan began employment at Altman, Kritzer and Levick, a commercial real estate law practice while she earned a paralegal certificate from the National Center for Paralegal Training. Again consulting on Home Depot deals in southern and Mid-Atlantic States, Susan specialized in complex property transactions. Even so, land development and field-work remained a strong interest, and for the next ten years, Susan split her time between transactional work and residential land development.
In 2007, Susan decided to redirect her career to a profession which incorporated the due diligence and title research she enjoyed as a paralegal with the variety and field work that held great appeal in her land development efforts. After investigating several options, Susan decided to return to college to earn a Master in Historic Preservation and began to look for a suitable program. Choosing Goucher College’s distance program, Susan decided to enroll in Pennsylvania State University’s Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems until the next application window opened for Goucher’s program.
The Great Recession intervened and in late 2008, Susan became unemployed when the law firm, now known as Hartman Simons and Wood, was forced to reduce its workforce. Spending the next six months looking for work and completing her GIS certificate, Susan regained employment and worked for the next 12 months administering property leases for franchised, mainly fast-food, businesses; an episode she would not care to repeat but one which provided valuable experience.
In May 2010, Susan joined Georgia Power Company in the Records section of its Land Department as a leased employee, gaining full employment with the company two years later. In her role as a Land Records Coordinator, Susan researches the company’s property rights over the past 125-plus years of its existence, employing database searches of the company’s collection of legal instruments, GIS technology and frequent forays to the county clerk’s office.
Given corporate support and encouragement to obtain an advanced degree, Susan returned to college in January 2013 to begin Georgia State’s graduate program in Heritage Preservation. Although Historic Preservation was her initial interest, Susan determined the Public History track would better suit her plans for career advancement into the Corporate Archives.