Teacher Transformation

Kara DiPietro Honored as 2017 MD Small Business Person of the Year

2017 MD Small Business Person of the Year

Teacher Transformation

A lifelong love of learning led Kara DiPietro’s transformation from elementary school teacher to student of business. Kara started teaching right out of college and was quite content. It wasn’t until her father, Gerry Dzurek, founder of  Hospitality Millwork Construction (HMC), Inc., asked her if she had interest in taking over the family business that she transitioned from teacher to student.

HMC is a design build firm in Columbia, Md. that customizes millwork for large food service operations such as hospital cafeterias. HMC designs and builds innovative unique café and dining facilities that maximize opportunities for innovation, functionality and design; from the back of the house (kitchen) to the serving stations and dining room. The business had been doing quite well for over 20 years when Gerry sought to open another office in Los Angeles and asked Kara to come on board and take over the East Coast operations. Kara left teaching and joined her dad, initially focusing on marketing and learning as much as she could about the day to day operations.  It wasn’t long before Kara’s quest for knowledge had her up to speed on everything from construction and human resources to goals and metrics.

Since taking the helm, Kara has instituted process improvements, increased employee morale, grown revenues by 20% and has positioned HMC to become one of the largest design build millwork firms in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Along the way, she sought assistance from the SBA Baltimore District Office, the MD Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC) and the Procurement and Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) to learn more about government contracting and the Women Owned Small Business Contracting Program.

Kara is a member of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Baltimore Committee and has been a vital partner in Sagamore Development’s manufacturing workforce development program, a seven week training program positioning students for jobs in the manufacturing industry

Company Name: 
Hospitality Millwork Construction, Inc.
Location: 
Columbia, MD