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People on the Move: Mar. 15

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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.

Cynthia Karnai has been confirmed by the Delaware Senate to serve as director of the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA).

 “Thank you to the members of the Delaware Senate for their votes confirming Cynthia Karnai as Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority,” Governor Carney said. “With her tenure and expertise with the Housing Authority, Cynthia is well positioned to lead the difficult but rewarding work of helping Delawareans obtain safe and stable housing, creating affordable housing options, and strengthening neighborhoods. I appreciate her willingness to continue to serve the First State.”

Cynthia Karnai | PHOTO COURTESY OF DSHA

Karnai will replace Director Eugene Young who will step down from his position next month after leading Delaware’s housing and community development agency since 2021. Karnai is currently the deputy director of the Delaware State Housing Authority. 

“Over the past three years, DSHA has advanced housing solutions through innovative and impactful initiatives driven by a committed, community-minded team,” Director Young said. “I am grateful to have been a part of this extraordinary period in the agency’s history. I will carry the values and lessons learned from these efforts into the next phase of my career. Cynthia is an asset for housing in our state, and if confirmed, she will be an exceptional leader for our team.”

Prior to being named deputy director in 2022, Karnai served 16-plus years in the roles of chief operating officer, overseeing the agency’s operations, and director of housing finance, guiding homeownership and foreclosure prevention.

 Since joining DSHA in 2005, her work has focused on promoting homeownership, from managing programs during the height of the housing boom with annual funding of over $420 million to challenging economic times. She launched innovative resources to revitalize Delaware’s housing market, including emergency foreclosure assistance for senior citizens, low-rate mortgage rates for new construction and veterans, and launched the first-time homebuyer federal tax credit in Delaware.  

Under Karnai’s leadership, DSHA has been awarded the Government Finance Officers Association National Accounting and Financial Reporting Award, received national recognition by the National Council of State Housing Agencies, and received the National Award of Merit from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware. She received her Master of Business Administration, concentrating in Financial Management, from Goldey-Beacom College.


The recently established New Castle County Arts Commission members are Molly Giordano, Benet Burton, Anna Wik, Jean Dahlgrean, Valerie White, James “Ray” Rhodes, Cheryl Mack, Michael Kalmbach and Jarret Harris. 

 Co-sponsored by Councilmembers Dee Durham and Valerie George, the commission will provide an opportunity for all community members to actively engage in development and promotion of public art activities. The board will be comprised of nine voting members. 

 “I couldn’t think of a more passionate group of individuals to compose New Castle County’s first Arts Commission,” County Executive Meyer said. “We are excited to get this group’s work underway to help us explore the possibilities of public art in New Castle County, and I’m looking forward to working closely with the commission.”

 The commission members are:

  • Giordano is the Executive Director of The Delaware Art Museum, joining in 2010 as the Manager of Marketing and Public Relations, where she directed the 100th Anniversary “Art is…” marketing and rebranding campaign. Her role involves building alliances with similar-sized arts and cultural non-profits to strengthen opportunities and collaborate with joint and diverse exhibitions showcasing at the museum.
  • Burton has managed and co-directed public art focused projects from the Delaware Art Museum and the Winterthur Museum while also collaborating on exhibition projects, working with communities on public art goals, and developing and implementing The Public Art Stewards Training Program.
  • Wik is a registered landscape architect with extensive educational and practical background in landscape architecture. Ms. Wik is currently an associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Delaware in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. Ms. Wik has a passion for community engagement, sustainability, and not only the present and future of our green spaces, but also the lessons taught by our historic gardens and natural resources.
  • Dahlgrean is the president of Delaware College of Art and Design, becoming the third and first female president of DCAD in August 2018. Previously she served as dean of undergraduate programs at Sage College of Albany.  During her more than 30 years in higher education instruction and administration, Ms. Dahlgren has developed expertise in growing a student body, creating dynamic curricula, and fostering strategic partnerships. She has spoken nationally and internationally on topics related to achieving excellence in art and design education. 
  • White is the owner of the non-profit Bellefonte Arts, LLC.  Ms. White provides space for local artists to display their works while also offering instructional classes in a variety of media. Ms. White regularly participates in Wilmington’s monthly Art Loop, which showcases the work of local artists. Ms. White has a passion for the arts and her work with Bellefonte Arts significantly increased recognition of local artists and helps them derive some income from their work.
  • Rhodes is a qualified representative for the Non-Profit Organizations representative on the Commission, serving as the Executive Director of Christina Cultural Arts Center.  Mr. Rhodes is actively involved in community initiatives such as REACH Riverside and Kingswood Community Center.  He is a trusted leader in various organizations, including Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the 100 Black Men of America (Delaware Chapter) and Suakim Temple, where he serves as a Noble.  Mr. Rhodes’ unwavering commitment to serving the needs of New Castle County residents and putting them above profits defines his dynamic leadership style.
  • Mack is the co-owner of The Bridge Art Gallery and brings a wealth of expertise with a distinguished career as a curator and project event manager with over 30 years of planning experience. Ms. Mack produces monthly art exhibitions at The Bridge Art Gallery that showcase regional and national visual artists, as well as producing several art exhibitions at The Riverfront supported by the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce.  She also serves as the Chief Curator for the Redding Gallery located in the City of Wilmington. (to be appointed Chair of the Board)
  • Kalmbach is the founding director of The Creative Vision Factory and has overseen the execution of numerous public art works that include the 2013 Kalmar Nyckel Heritage Mural, 2016 Christina Cultural Arts Center Mosaic Mural and Delaware Children & Families First Mosaic Workshop and Mural at Shortlidge Academy.  Mr. Kalmbach has been a Council Member on the Delaware State Arts Council, Committee Member on the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Arts & Culture, as well as the Governance Committee Chair (Academic Senate) for Delaware College of Art & Design. One of Mr. Kalmbach’s most important projects was the completion of the Spiral Cemetery Monument, which serves as a directory of the souls buried at the Delaware Psychiatric Center’s Spiral Cemetery.
  • Harris is a visual artist who has been able to tap into his various skill sets and markets throughout New Castle County, working with organizations such as the Delaware Childrens Museum, Delaware College of Art and Design (DCAD) and the Latin American Community Center.  Mr. Harris’ talents range from painting murals and canvases, graphic design, event photography and drone pilot.  He is also a fashion and clothing designer for Circa7.

Beebe Healthcare announced Wendi Schirvar, PhD, LP, NCSP, has joined the healthcare system, with a focus on assisting the growth of the organization’s behavioral health services. Dr. Schirvar is the first licensed clinical psychologist to be hired by Beebe.

Dr. Wendi Schirvar | PHOTO COURTESY OF BEEBE

 Dr. Schirvar will look to help develop, implement, and coordinate behavioral health programs through fostering collaborative networks between primary care and behavioral health specialists at Beebe. Additionally, she sees patients of all ages at Beebe Primary Care Long Neck, where she treats and evaluates a number of clinical and behavioral conditions including autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, developmental delays, dementia, and complicated behavioral presentations. 

Dr. Schirvar is also proud to be a faculty member for Beebe’s Family Medicine Residency program, with a focus on enhancement of educational and wellness opportunities within the R. Randall Rollins Center for Medical Education.

“I am passionate about educating providers and patients about the connection between physical and mental health,” Dr. Schirvar said. “As the need for behavioral health services continues to grow, it is imperative that healthcare systems put the right resources in place to make it easier for people to understand and access the care services that are available to them. Beebe’s decision to hire a licensed clinical psychologist demonstrates the organization’s commitment to doing exactly that. I am proud to serve in this role and to play an active part in growing behavioral health services within Sussex County, where the need is proven and strong.”

Dr. Schirvar earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology and School Psychology at the University of Minnesota. She completed a post-doctoral clinical fellowship within the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School. She is licensed in the state of Delaware as a Clinical Psychologist and a School Psychologist and is also nationally certified as a school psychologist. Prior to joining Beebe Healthcare, Dr. Schirvar served as a pediatric Clinical Psychologist and chief operating officer at the Child and Family Behavioral Health Clinic in Lewes. 

 Earlier in her career, she worked as a mental health practitioner and school psychologist for various school systems in Delaware, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Throughout her career, Dr. Schirvar’s research has been presented and published in numerous respectable industry publications.


DuPont announced Sam Ponzo, vice president and general manager of DuPont Industrial Solutions, has been inducted as a member of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC). The ELC is a global organization, comprised of current and former Black CEOs, Board Members and other senior executives, that works to open channels of opportunity for the development of Black executives to positively impact business and communities. 

“I am deeply honored to be inducted as a member of the ELC,” Ponzo said. “The organization has a rich history in opening channels of opportunity and having a significant impact in the development of black executives. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with the ELC to broaden my impact as I continue to work to develop the next generation of leaders.”

Over a 25-year career with DuPont, Ponzo has held a variety of business and functional leadership positions, serving as a project engineer, site electrical safety leader and first line supervisor for the Automotive Systems/Nylon Apparel business and has since held roles in the company’s Food Industry Solutions and Safety Resources, Finance, DuPont Sustainable Solutions, and the Advanced Printing business. In his current role at DuPont, Ponzo leads a business serving diverse markets including industrial, flexographic and digital printing, healthcare, aerospace and automotive. 

A native of Wilmington, Ponzo earned a B.S. degree from Morehouse College, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MBA from Drexel University.  He also completed a Certificate for Human Capital Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Sam is an inspirational leader whose meaningful contributions to DuPont are felt every day,” Jon Kemp, president, DuPont Electronics & Industrial, said. “His authentic and engaging leadership and diverse perspective have positively impacted not only our bottom line, but also the employees and communities around the world that he’s supported. We’re proud to have him as a part of our team and celebrate this well-deserved recognition.”


WSFS Bank named Jamie Tranfalia the senior vice president and senior middle market team leader.

In his role, Tranfalia will support and develop a team of Middle Market Relationship Managers to retain and deepen existing Middle Market relationships, acquire new relationships, and in general promote the WSFS Middle Market brand.

“I am excited to join the team at WSFS, a locally headquartered financial institution with a collaborative culture and a strong commitment to the Communities we serve,” Tranfalia said. “I look forward to helping grow WSFS’ market share and serving our Customers and their evolving needs.”

Prior to joining WSFS, Tranfalia was market president and middle market team leader at KeyBank, where he oversaw customer service and business development throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. He has held similar roles with Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo and Brown Brothers Harriman.

He has served on Boards and is an active volunteer with several organizations including, Philabundance, Habitat for Humanity, the American Heart Association, the Liberty USO in Philadelphia, and the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey.

A military veteran, Tranfalia served for several years as a U.S. Air Force captain and nuclear missile crew commander. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the U.S. Air Force Academy and Master of Business Administration degree from Colorado State University. 


Arthur Hall Insurance announced the promotion of Karin G. Ricciardi to account manager. In addition, to her promotion Ricciardi has also obtained the Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) designation. 

Ricciardi began her career at Arthur Hall Insurance in 2009 is based in West Chester office location and recently celebrated her 15 year work anniversary. Throughout the years in the agency and through her professional experience she has grown from a service representative, to an account representative, and associate account manager.  As an Account Manager, Ricciardi will actively market, write, and manage client relationships while proactively advising and advocating for her clients. 

The CISR designation is recognized throughout the industry as a standard of achievement and ongoing professionalism. Certified Insurance Service Representatives are required to successfully complete five courses and examinations in the areas of personal and commercial insurance and agency operations. They must also commit to annual continuing education to update their designation and knowledge in order to serve their clients, agencies, and companies at the highest level. 

 

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