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First Pandemic Resurgence business sub-committee meeting set for Friday

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WILMINGTON –  Looking beyond reopening Delaware’s economy, Gov. John Carney appointed business leaders, healthcare officials and community leaders to a Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee to prepare for a possible resurgence of COVID-19 this fall. 

The committee is being chaired by Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long and Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, and will lead the way to develop public health strategies, tactics for economic recovery and assess methods to protect vulnerable populations and disproportionate effects on minority-owned businesses. 

The committee is divided into three sub-committees: business, health and equity. Carney said he filled out the ranks for the committee with business leaders and took recommendations from the state chamber of commerce, local labor and civic organizations representing people of color.  

“We saw many of the inequities of our society laid bare by the coronavirus here in Delaware, so we decided to make it its own sub-group,” Carney said this week. “Very similarly to how we put together a task force, we allowed people to make recommendations and identified people with expertise and knowledge that could represent the views of large groups of constituents.” 

Delaware State Chamber Chair Katie Wilkinson is chairing the business sub-committee of Gov. Carney’s Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Sub-Committee

Katie Wilkinson, senior vice president and commercial market executive at Fulton Bank and chair of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, will lead the business subcommittee. 

Wilkinson told the Delaware Business Times that she looked forward to serving on the task force to help develop a solid action plan for Delaware’s business community. 

“Businesses are the lifeline of our community,” she said in an email to DBT. “There is no question they were severely impacted by the shutdown. We need to be smarter in how we respond to this virus in the event of a resurgence.” 

Business leaders added to the business sub-committee include: 

  • Kurt Foreman, president and CEO of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. 
  • Nelson Hill, vice president of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 27, which represents nearly 1,000 workers at Mountaire Farms. 
  • Todd Lawson, Sussex County Administrator. 
  • Steve Chambliss, general manager of the Christiana Mall. 
  • Taryn Delmasso, plant manager at Edgewell Products, which manufacturers feminine hygiene products. 
  • Chris Schell, CEO of Schell Brothers Homebuilding. 
  • Judy Diogo, president of Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. 
  • Carrie Leishman, president and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association. 
  • Dick Willey, president of Perdue Agribusiness. 

Other members of the business subcommittee include Delaware Transportation Secretary Jen Cohan, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore (D-New Castle), State Rep. Bill Bush (D-Dover/Milton), State Sen. Dave Wilson (R-Bridgeville) and State Rep. Jeff Spiegelman (R-Clayton). 

Leading the health sub-committee is Delaware Health Care Commission chair Dr. Nancy Fan. Eugene Young, President, Metropolitan Urban League of Wilmington, will be the chair of the equity sub-committee. 

Other members of the pandemic resurgence committee include: 

  • Health: Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health; New Castle Health & Rehabilitation Center Nursing Home Administrator Mickey Carroll; Genesis Health Care Vice President of Operations Vickie FoxBeebe Healthcare President and CEO Dr. David Tam; ChristianaCare President and CEO Janice E. Nevin; Delaware Medical Society President Dr. Joseph Straight; State Sen. Bryan Townsend (D-Newark); State Rep. Dave Bentz (D-Newark); State Sen. Ernie Lopez (R-Dewey/Rehoboth Beach/Lewes); State Rep. Steve Smyk (R-Lewes), and AJ Schall, Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (also serving on the equity sub-committee).
  • Equity: Delaware State Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addis; Delaware Department of Technology and Information Chief Information Officer James Collins; New Beginnings Community AME Church Pastor Rev. Rita Paige; Freeman Williams, NAACP State Conference executive member and former superintendent of the Christina School District; Westside Family Healthcare President and CEO Lolita Lopez; True Access Capital President and CEO Van Hampton; Latin American Community Center President and CEO Maria Matos; Dr. Leroi Hicks, vice chair of the Department of Medicine for the ChristianaCare Health System; La Red Health Center Chief Operations Officer Rosa Rivera; Jane Hovington, NAACP State Conference executive member and president of the Richard Allen Coalition; NAMI Delaware CEO Dr. Josh Thomas; Delaware Department of Corrections Commissioner Claire DeMatteis; State Sen. Elizabeth Lockman (D-Wilmington); State Rep. Sherry Dorsey-Walker (D-Wilmington); Senate Minority Leader Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View); and State Rep. Lyndon Yearick (R-Camden). 

By Katie Tabeling


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