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News Briefs People on the Move

People on the Move: Oct. 6

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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.

Bayhealth name Debbie Smith, MBA, the first manager of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). She will develop and implement a DEI strategic roadmap/overall framework that aligns with the strategic goals of Bayhealth. 


A North Carolina native, Smith made Delaware her home years ago when her husband was in the military. After he retired from the US Air Force, they both remained in the first state with their family, and Debbie has embraced taking an active role in making Delaware a better place.

In addition to her work at Bayhealth, she volunteers extensively in the community, serving on the board of directors for Meals on Wheels Delaware, YMCA Dover, and the American Heart Association (supporting the Go Red for Women and STEM Goes Red events). She was also appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Service by Delaware Governor John Carney. In addition, she serves on the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee and is a committee member of Delaware’s Advancing Healthy Lifestyles initiative. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and has served in various leadership positions with the Dover Alumnae Chapter. 

With a BS in accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi and an MBA from Delaware State University, Smith went on to receive a certificate in diversity, equity, and inclusion from Cornell University in 2020. She also plans to pursue a Doctor of Business Administration degree. 

Along with her passion for her work at Bayhealth and serving on boards and committees to make a difference in the community, Smith enjoys a wide range of pursuits. A few of them include spending time with family, providing financial literacy education through local organizations, reading, Scrabble, watching movies, shopping, and traveling. 

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announce Steve Williams will serve as the new director to lead the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship. Williams has served his entire career with the Department, most recently as administrator for the DNREC’s Watershed and Wetlands Assessment and Monitoring programs, watershed planning and implementation, Watershed Stewardship grants management and federal reporting programs, and staff development.


As Division of Watershed Stewardship director, Williams succeeds Terry Deputy, who recently retired after more than 34 years of state service, including 24 years with DNREC, and 10 years with the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO). Before becoming a DNREC division director, Deputy had also served as chief of administration for the DNREC Office of Environmental Finance, and managed the state revolving loan fund for water quality.

DNREC Secretary Garvin said, “Having served the Department since 1986 in a variety of capacities in multiple divisions, Steve Williams brings a wealth of knowledge of the programs he will oversee as director, and has built great relationships within DNREC as well as with many of our other state and federal partners. His experience and unique perspective makes him a well-rounded choice for DNREC’s leadership team.”

The Division of Watershed Stewardship’s director manages a diverse group of programs that deal with conservation practices, drainage, shoreline and waterway management and protection, surface water quality, shellfish harvesting, fish contamination, dam safety and wetland assessments. These programs are overseen by an extremely qualified staff of 108 full-time positions with an annual operating budget of more than $36.4 million.

In addition to the Division of Watershed Stewardship, Williams has held positions in the Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances and Division of Water during his long tenure with DNREC. He has also been engaged over the years with the Center for the Inland Bays, Delaware Board of Professional Geologists, University of Delaware Water Resources Center Advisory Panel and many more, including a long stint as an adjunct science professor at Wesley College. Most recently, he has served as an alternate commissioner on the Delaware River Basin Commission. In his free time, Williams is an avid angler and outdoors enthusiast, also giving back to his community through his lifelong service to the Boy Scouts of America.


Highwater Management announce the promotion of Daniel Levin to vice president.

As part of the SoDel Concepts Family, Highwater Management is the premier foodservice management and consulting company in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  Highwater has been serving the Mid-Atlantic region since 1999 and takes pride in their hands-on, client focused approach to deliver consistent, personalized service.

Levin has been with the company since 2012. He brings a lot of expertise to Highwater as he has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry and overseen multiple departments including Human Resources, Asset Management and Operations.

“Having the right people in the right positions is key to continued success,” Mike Dickinson, president of SoDel Concepts, said.  “As Highwater Management continues to grow and serve the Mid Atlantic Region, we will heavily value Dan’s experience, leadership, and business skills.”

Highwater Managements manages and consults a wide variety of venues, from sports complexes to golf courses to restaurants. Focusing on clients’ needs and expectations, while forming long-term beneficial relationships, and specializing in fresh, local food, craft cocktails, and quality service.

Beebe Healthcare name three new neurology, gastroenterology, and mental health care specialists.


Patti McCarthy, MS, PA-C, is a physician assistant who specializes in care for patients diagnosed with a wide range of neurological conditions, including but not limited to cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), neuropathies, migraines, Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, and cognitive dysfunction. McCarthy sees adult patients at Beebe Neurology, located on Bayview Medical Drive in Lewes.

McCarthy is a graduate of Towson University, where she earned a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. While in pursuit of this degree, her clinical training rotated through private physician practices, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and walk-in care clinics, giving her exposure and clinical experience in neurosurgical, internal medicine, women’s health, community medicine, and urgent care settings. Prior to her PA studies, McCarthy earned a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University. Additionally, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Central Connecticut State University.

Prior to joining Beebe, McCarthy worked as a physician assistant for multiple ambulatory/urgent care centers within the University of Maryland Medical System. She was also previously employed in the Advanced Provider Practitioner Neuroscience Residency Program at Sinai Hospital, where she evaluated and treated patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. She is certified as a physician assistant in both Delaware and Maryland.


“I am grateful to be part of the Beebe Healthcare team, with a focus on the delivery of care in a close-knit, family-friendly community that I am proud to call home,” McCarthy said.

Gena Nance, MS, FNP-C, is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner who sees patients at Beebe Gastroenterology Lewes and Millville, where she provides comprehensive care for adult patients diagnosed with a wide range of gastrointestinal issues.

Nance is a graduate of Salisbury University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing as well as a Master of Science-Family Nurse Practitioner degree. She is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Delaware Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, and the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland.

Prior to joining Beebe, Nance worked as a nurse practitioner at both Atlantic General Gastroenterology and Peninsula Gastroenterology Associates. She began her career as a family nurse practitioner and worked in several primary care practices on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

“As a resident of Sussex County, I’ve seen firsthand the increase in the area’s patient population and the need for more healthcare providers,” Nance said. “I’m excited to join the gastroenterology team at Beebe and help provide that needed care.”

Dawn Knowles, PMHNP-BC, is a board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner who sees patients at Beebe Behavioral Health Lewes. She provides comprehensive care, medication management, and support services for adults with mental health and addiction issues.


Knowles earned her Master of Science in Nursing (PMHNP) from Walden University and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wilmington University. Additionally, she is a graduate of Delaware Technical Community College where she completed an Associate of Science degree in Nursing.

Prior to joining Beebe, Knowles worked as a nurse for both Sun Behavioral Health and Solution Nursing. Before that, she was a nurse at Stevenson House Detention Center. Earlier in her career, she worked in the Emergency Departments at both Beebe and Bayhealth, Kent Campus. She also served for four years in the U.S. Army, at which time she was deployed to Kosovo and was responsible for managing an office for an entire military base.

“Having previously worked as a nurse in the Emergency Department at Beebe Healthcare, I’m excited to be returning to support the mental health program which is very much needed in Sussex County,” Knowles said. “I look forward to serving the community and helping those in need of mental health care.”

NAI Emory Hill welcome senior associates James Boston and Richard Dudek to the brokerage team.

Boston will focus on landlord/tenant & buyer/seller representation across all property types, commercial and residential development, investment real estate, advisory and consulting services.

Boston brings to Emory Hill more than 20 years of experience from Fortune 500 companies, spanning real estate brokerage and development, construction and risk management, environmental investigation and collateral valuation. He has successfully managed revolving billion-dollar real estate construction portfolios (consumer and construction loans), residential subdivision development in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, as well as large-scale warehouse development and fit-out.


Most recently, Boston was the senior vice president real estate services director and senior vice president third party (vendor) risk management director with WSFS Bank, Wilmington, DE; where he was entrusted with overseeing $1.3 Billion revolving portfolio of commercial and consumer construction loans, among other critical responsibilities. Notably, at WSFS Bank, James successfully built teams for managing construction loans and real estate valuation.

Prior to WSFS Bank, Boston managed a full scope of land development for Toll Brothers, Inc., including successfully leading the development of 465 units (535 Acres) of residential subdivision in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. Before then, James worked in Australia at Len Bogatin and Associates, overseeing commercial office, retail, and residential development projects; and he began his career at Opus East, L.L.C., managing completion of 937,000-square-foot of tilt-up warehouse development and fit-out projects.

Boston is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in Delaware and a Certified General Appraiser, licensed in both Delaware and Pennsylvania. He is also a Practicing Affiliate of the Appraisal Institute and current board member for the Delaware Council of Real Estate Appraisers. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction with a minor in Real Estate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

With over 18 years of successful real estate transactions and a strong track record in commercial real estate, Dudek is a valuable addition to the NAI Emory Hill team. His comprehensive knowledge of the local market, coupled with his dedication to client satisfaction, makes him a trusted advisor in the industry.

Dudek has a proven history of working with a diverse portfolio of clients, including property owners, investors, and tenants, helping them achieve their real estate goals. His deep understanding of market dynamics, negotiation skills, and commitment to delivering exceptional service align perfectly with NAI Emory Hill‘s core values.


Dudek is a former partner with Patterson-Woods Commercial Properties / CORFAC International and brings with him a vast knowledge of site identification, investment analysis, commercial leasing brokerage, property management, and real estate consulting.

Dudek is a member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) and is licensed in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He served on the Goodwill board and currently is a member of the Caesar Rodney Rotary Club. Rich earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Delaware.

“We are thrilled to welcome James and Rich to our team,” Neil Kilian, partner, NAI Emory Hill, said. “Their extensive experience and client-focused approach make them both an excellent fit for our organization. The addition of James and Rich reinforces our commitment to providing the highest level of service and expertise to our clients in the commercial real estate market just as we’ve done for the last 40+ years.”

Clear Space Theatre Company (CSTC) announce the addition of Joe Gfaller to service as managing director. Gfaller will join Artistic Director David Button as co-leader at CSTC, which marks its 20th anniversary in 2024.


“I am thrilled at the opportunity to help Clear Space Theatre Company grow its civic and philanthropic footprint as it begins a third decade of serving the community in coastal Delaware,” Gfaller said. “Rehoboth is a special place to all who call it home, both year-round and seasonally. It is an extraordinary honor to work with such a creative and dynamic team as the CSTC staff and board to help the company grow to represent and reflect the fullness of this community. I cannot wait to begin and to get to know everyone in coastal Delaware whose energy and commitment have helped to sustain CSTC for its first 20 years. I know together, we’ll be able to bring great things to life in the decades to come.”

In volunteer roles, he has served as a leader for national networks of peers for both Theater Communications Group and Opera America. His previous board and volunteer leadership service includes work with Doorways (a St. Louis social service agency providing housing to those living with HIV/AIDS), Gateway Men’s Chorus, Webster Arts, Leadership St. Louis, LEAD Atlanta, and the Harvard Club of St. Louis. He has directed two dozen professional productions for the stage, including regional premieres by David Mamet, Caryl Churchill, Christopher Durang, Addae Moon, and others. Over his career, he has also taught as adjunct faculty at Webster University, Clark Atlanta University, and Berry College. He graduated with honors from Harvard University.

Clear Space Board chair Laura Lee Mason said, “Joe brings a wide range of theatre experiences to the position and is sure to make an immediate impact on the company. His impressive track record and visionary leadership will undoubtedly elevate Clear Space to new heights. Joe shares our dedication to providing the community with outstanding education and theatrical experiences, and we look forward to collaborating with him to achieve those artistic aspirations”.

CSTC Artistic Director David Button shared, “I look forward to Clear Space Theatre Company’s growth alongside Joe Gfaller. Not only will Clear Space benefit from his talent, but so will the community and state arts industry as a whole. Clear Space is proud to be able to facilitate Joe’s entrance into the Delaware arts scene and I look forward to collaborating as we build our future.”

Gfaller will begin full-time in residence in Rehoboth Beach in mid-November.

Shore United Bank announce the promotion of Tom Mears as regional president in the Coastal region, serving the coastal areas of Delaware and Maryland. Tom’s impressive background in banking, personal accomplishments and dedication to his team and community gives no surprise as to how he earned this role within the Bank.

He joined Shore United Bank after spending a large portion of his career at Mercantile Bank. “In my prior Banking career, which now spans over 33+ years, I’ve been everything from teller to CEO,” Mears said. “I am a 1988 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). I’ve gone to University of Maryland Banking School, University of Oklahoma Commercial Lending School and graduated from Leadership Maryland – class of 2013.”

William (Eric) Boide has been named the executive director of Shipley Living. The senior living community in Wilmington, Delaware, offers independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and short-term rehab.

Boide’s transition from chef to administrator in a senior living community required extensive education, which he eagerly pursued. He received a bachelor’s degree in organizational management, and a master’s degrees in healthcare management and business administration.

While attaining those degrees, he worked in various administrative positions with increasing responsibilities at other senior living communities. He made the move to Shipley Living because he was drawn to the culture that prioritizes serving and caring for residents.

For their leadership and dedication to improving the lives of people with disabilities, David and Jamie Doane, from Dagsboro, DE, will be presented with the Easterseals Drex Jones Volunteer Award at Easterseals 75th Anniversary Celebration.

The Drex Jones Volunteer Award is given to an individual/group in recognition of sustained efforts that have had a significant impact on the quality of life for people with disabilities. When David and Jamie Doane met as summer counselors at Camp Fairlee in 1972, it became a lifelong commitment to each other and to Easterseals. Whether in the board room where David has served for 14 years or leading the teams at Walk With Me Delmarva, which the couple helped spearhead in 2013, or on the trails at Camp Fairlee, the Doanes are a familiar and much-beloved couple at Easterseals.

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