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News Briefs People on the Move

People on the Move: Feb. 16

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People on the Move is a rundown of recent hirings, promotions, appointments and other notable movements by professionals in the state. If you’re interested in submitting an entry, please contact news@delawarebusinesstimes.com.

CJ Charlton | PHOTO COURTESY OF DSU

Delaware State University has named CJ Charlton the aviation program director. Charlton is a United Airlines captain and chair of the University’s Aviation Advisory Council. He is a 1995 graduate of the DSU Aviation Program. He currently flies the Airbus 319/320/321 and previously piloted Boeing 737, 757, 767 and 777 aircraft – accumulating more than 7,300 hours of flight time. He is also a retired Major from the North Carolina Air National Guard, where he was a C-130 pilot, accumulating over 3,000 hours, 1,500 of which were in combat conditions.

Charlton is the founder and executive director of the Black Aviation Endowment Fund (BAEF), a nonprofit that provides funding to individuals seeking to become professional aviators and supports the nine HBCU aviation programs and the 35-plus minority organizations that conduct informal aviation education and training programs.

”CJ is coming home. After Colonel Hales’ stellar run, I cannot think of anyone more passionate, qualified and committed than Captain Charlton to take over the program,” DSU President Tony Allen said. “He will lead a talented team of his colleagues and an ever-growing cadre of exceptional students to take us to the next level.”


Sara LeBright | PHOTO COURTESY OF DMI

Downtown Milford, Inc. (DMI), a nonprofit, announced the appointment of Sara LeBright as the interim director of the organization. LeBright’s appointment was after Janne Collins announced her retirement this week.

“Sara has been our administrative assistant since November and has developed a strong working knowledge of DMI policies and procedures,” Shelby DiCostanzo, president said. “She has hit the ground running and is helping us build relationships in the city, grow our events and increase our funding base.”

LeBright comes to DMI after working as a teacher at a local private school and is currently earning a degree in education. She has lived in the Milford area her entire life and has a strong desire to grow the downtown area.

Nicole Hagiwara | PHOTO COURTESY OF BEEBE


Beebe Healthcare announced Nicole Hagiwara, BSN, RN, and Alexis Stringer, RN, as its latest DAISY Award recipients. This award is presented to nurses who go above and beyond in the delivery of clinical excellence and compassionate care as they are working with patients. DAISY Awards are presented at Beebe on a quarterly basis.

Hagiwara was honored with the award following her encounters with a specific patient and his wife, who were grateful for the empathy and compassion she delivered at his bedside. Hagiwara stood as the patient’s advocate, ensuring he received excellent clinical care while also providing information and guidance during his hospital stay.

“Nicole was always concerned about how we were doing,” noted the patient’s wife, who submitted a DAISY Award nomination form. “She answered all of our remaining questions patiently and concisely. In fact, she indicated that no questions were insignificant. Her clinical knowledge, as well as her nursing skills, were exceptional. She was very understanding and considerate to both of us.”

Alexis Stringer | PHOTO COURTESY OF BEEBE

Stringer, a nurse from Beebe’s Women’s and Children’s unit, was recognized for her compassionate care when a patient’s induced labor lasted significantly longer than anticipated. Stringer was a source of support and comfort for the patient during her challenged labor and delivery process.

“Alexis is a perfect example of a phenomenal nurse,” her DAISY Award nominator noted. “My pregnancy ended with an induction that ended up lasting days longer than anyone anticipated. She was always super prompt and never complained or even seemed bothered to come into my room.”

The patient greatly appreciated Stringer’s kindness and coaching while she helped her through the arduous labor process.

“Alexis was personable and truly cared and advocated for me,” added her nominator. “She coached me as I tried to progress, and I do not think I would have been able to hold out as long as I did without her. I am still amazed at how hard she works and even when the task gets tough, she remains so incredibly kind. She even checked in on us after I was moved to the Mother/Baby Unit. Beebe is lucky to have such a dedicated nurse on their team.”


Beebe Healthcare appointed bariatric surgeon Christopher Manieri, DO, to serve as a council member for the Delaware Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (DE ACS).

Chris Manieri | PHOTO COURTESY OF BEEBE

The DE ACS aims to unit surgical specialties across the state of Delaware, with focus on promoting and inspiring the highest standards of care within the surgical community through education and mentorship. Through these efforts, the Chapter’s vision is to attract, train, and retain the highest quality surgeons in the country, who have the potential to develop into local and national leaders.

“Surgical education, safety and quality improvement are important pieces of my work as a general surgeon,” Manieri said. “My involvement as a Council Member for the Delaware Chapter of the American College of Surgeons will allow me to apply those priorities even more broadly, and in ways that can impact the way surgery is practiced not only a Beebe, but across the state of Delaware. I am proud to be appointed to this position and grateful for the opportunity to represent Beebe in such a positive way.”

Dr. Manieri practices at the Beebe Center for Weight Loss Surgery in Georgetown.

“The fact that Dr. Manieri has been elected to the Council of the Delaware Chapter of the American College of Surgeons gives me great pride, as he is a member of Beebe Medical Group,” Anthony Buonanno, MD, chief medical officer, said. “He represents our skill and commitment to the Sussex County community and is an accomplished surgeon who loved and respected by his patients.”

Dr. Manieri is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. His post-graduate clinical training began at ChristianaCare Health System in Newark, Delaware, where he pursued a clinical rotation internship, before later completing a general surgical residency. Dr. Manieri’s clinical training concluded with a bariatric and minimally invasive surgical fellowship at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia.


Fabiana Otero has joined Goodwill of Delaware & Delaware County in the organization’s new role of manager of sustainability.

Fabiana Otero | PHOTO COURTESY OF GOODWILL

Otero will provide leadership in developing and executing strategies, policies and programs to minimize environmental impact, enhance social responsibility, and drive sustainable practices across the organization. As the organization moves closer to its goal of zero waste, Otero will lead the development of initiatives that transform plastic and glass into reusable goods and collaborate with local partners on textile upcycling.

Before joining Goodwill of Delaware & Delaware County, Otero worked with Beam Suntory, the world’s third-largest premium spirits company. She collaborated with the sustainability team to assess the company’s glass packaging supply chain and determined strategies to reduce scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions.

She was a member of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, volunteer for the GreenBiz Circularity23 conference, and volunteer for the GreenBiz Executive Network.

Fabiana is a graduate of the University of Vermont, where she earned a Master of Business Administration in Sustainable Innovation. Otero is passionate in her belief that businesses should and must prioritize people, planet, and not just profit to sustain longevity, and is looking forward to expanding Goodwill’s network of partners, implementing new innovations, and amplifying the organization’s voice in the conversation on sustainability.


The Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) announced a new slate of executive committee officers that will lead the board of directors in industry initiatives and advocacy in 2024. Jeffrey Gosnear of Grotto Pizza will serve as chairman, with previous Chairman Gianmarco Martuscelli (Martuscelli Restaurant Group) now serving as immediate past chair, Michael Stiglitz (Two Stones/2SP Brewing Co.) will service as vice chair, and Paula Janssen (Janssen’s Market / J’s Cafe) as incoming treasurer. Carla Guzzi (Bing’s Bakery) also accepted a nomination to sit on the DRA Board of Directors.

The DRA Board of Directors is comprised of restaurant operators from business locations throughout the state, as well as industry supplier representatives. Board members are chosen to represent their industry and workforce, upholding the mission and vision of the Association and its philanthropic Foundation – to advocate and advance the restaurant industry in Delaware, while also developing ongoing training, educational and workforce development initiatives that provide valuable pathways to success for all communities.

The Delaware Restaurant Foundation (DRF) has named Javier Acuna (Hakuna Hospitality Group) as the 2024 chairman of the Board. Tim Hunter (Food Bank of Delaware) will serve as vice president and Hank Rosenberg (Harrington Raceway & Casino) will serve as the treasurer. Two new Directors have also been added to the Foundation’s Board – Lori Liguori (High 5 Hospitality Group), and Danielle Panarello (SoDel Concepts). Tom Hannum, (Buckley’s Tavern, Goober’s Diner), previous Chair of the DRF, will now serve as immediate past chair.


The Beebe Healthcare Board of Directors announced the addition of two officers and two board members: Michael A. Meoli will serve as chair, Sara M. Larch will serve as vice chair and Susan S. Bunting and Bonnie G. Hall will serve as members.

Meoli has assumed the role of chair after previously serving as vice chair. He joined the board in 2016, and over the years, he has held various board positions including chair of the Compensation Committee and chair of the Governance Committee. Meoli is the largest McDonald’s franchisee in the state, owning and operating 25 restaurants in Delaware and along Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Larch was appointed to the role of vice chair, after serving as a member since 2021. Larch brings a wealth of healthcare experience and community leadership to the Board. Her 30-year career in healthcare has included serving as chief operating officer at the University of Maryland where she oversaw more than 900 physician practices, vice president of Inova Health System in Virginia, and managing director at Deloitte Consulting, where she also served as National Leader of the organization’s physician enterprise practice.

Bunting and Hall are new to Beebe Healthcare’s Board of Directors. Both bring years of experience in the educational field and have knowledge about Sussex County that will support Beebe’s continued growth and outreach in the region.

Bunting served as Delaware’s Secretary of Education from 2017 through 2021. Prior to leading the Department of Education, she served as Indian River School District’s superintendent from 2006 through 2017. With deep roots in the Delaware educational system, having served as a teacher as well as in various leadership roles throughout her esteemed 40-plus year career, Bunting currently teaches education leaders at Wilmington University, coaches principals, and also works with the Delaware Technical and Community College on establishment of its Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence.She is currently serving on the Board of Directors at Early College School, the Primeros Pasos childhood center, and the Selbyville Historical Society.

Hall, a lifetime resident of Sussex County, has been committed to preserving the area’s way of living. She retired from Delaware Technical Community College in 2010 after 29 years of distinguished service. Hall works tirelessly to preserve the rich history, heritage, and culture of the Nanticoke Indian Tribe and for five years, served as a Tribal Council member.  Currently, she serves as Chair of the Commemoration and Scholarship Committees for the Nanticoke Indian Association.

“Susan and Bonnie are valuable additions to our Board of Directors, and Sara and I welcome them,” Meoli said. “They each have a vast knowledge of Sussex County, deeply rooted in their personal and professional lives. They will certainly bring a wealth of knowledge as Beebe continues to transform into being the healthcare provider of choice for Sussex County to provide exceptional patient care. It is also truly a privilege to serve as Chair of the Board, and I do so in honor of our good friend Terry Megee.”

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