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August 2015: People on the Move & Achievements

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Keri L. Morris-Johnston

Keri L. Morris-Johnston


Keri L. Morris-Johnston

Keri L. Morris-Johnston has been appointed secretary of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Delaware State Bar Association (DSBA). She is a shareholder in the workers’ compensation department and employment law practice group in the Wilmington office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware and the Widener University School of Law.

Michael Willey

Michael Willey

Michael Willey

Michael Willey has joined the real estate team at Patterson-Woods Commercial Properties/CORFAC International. Willey is a Delaware native and alumnus of Salesianum High School. Prior to joining Patterson-Woods, Willey was a business analyst at Omnitracs, Inc., a quality assurance analyst with Collections Marketing Center, Inc., and, most recently, a business analyst with Dunloe Ventures, LLC.

Charles P. Rocha

Charles P. Rocha

Charles P. Rocha

Charles P. Rocha has been named executive vice president at Sallie Mae. Rocha continues as the company’s chief marketing officer, a position he has held since 2013, overseeing product development, sales, marketing, and communications for Sallie Mae’s consumer businesses, including private education loans, retail banking, and the Upromise by Sallie Mae college savings and rewards program.

Dr. George V. Jirak

Dr. George V. Jirak

Dr. George V. Jirak

Dr. George V. Jirak was appointed president/CEO of The Beebe Medical Group, the employed physician medical group under Beebe Healthcare. The group is comprised of 18 medical specialty offices in 25 locations throughout southern Delaware. Dr. Jirak has more than 28 years of patient care experience as an obstetrician/gynecologist and over 15 years of leadership experience, with both physician and healthcare organizations.  Prior to joining Beebe Medical Group, Dr. Jirak served as vice president of Augusta Health in Fishersville, VA, as well as the president of Augusta Medical Group.

Dr. Ray A. Blackwell

Dr. Ray A. Blackwell

Dr. Ray A. Blackwell

Dr. Ray A. Blackwell has been named to the Board of Directors for the Great Rivers Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

The Great Rivers Affiliate serves the states of Delaware, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. As members of the Board of Directors, Blackwell will work alongside other leaders in this region to achieve the mission of the American Heart Association and its 2020 Impact Goal.  Blackwell is the Surgical Director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at Christiana Care Health System.

Keith A. Rudy and Helen V. Apostolico

Keith A. Rudy and Helen V. Apostolico

Keith A. Rudy and Helen V. Apostolico

Keith A. Rudy and Helen V. Apostolico joined Landmark Science & Engineering as new principal owners. Rudy is a licensed professional engineer in Delaware and New Jersey and is certified as a LEED accredited professional. He has 23 years of experience in civil engineering projects, with broad exposure to the fields of environmental, geotechnical, site/civil design, water resources, planning, and construction review.  He has been with Landmark for over five years and serves as director of sciences and water resources and vice president of operations.

Apostolico has 21 years of experience working in financial business management. She has worked at Landmark for four years and currently serves as chief financial officer and treasurer.

Landmark Science & Engineering is a consulting site/civil engineering, environmental and land surveying firm.

Patricia M. Buhler

Patricia M. Buhler

Goldey-Beacom College Professor Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Patricia M. Buhler was honored at the Delaware Valley HR Person of the Year Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award in May.  The award was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated professionalism throughout their career and to serve as a model for other human resources professionals.

Buhler has taught at Goldey-Beacom College since 1989. In addition she is a consultant and speaker with more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of management and strategy.

Buhler has received numerous professional awards and recognition over the years for her excellence in teaching and dedication to the HR field, including the Ron Shane Lifetime Achievement Award from the Delaware Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2005. 

Audrey Scott-Hynson

Audrey Scott-Hynson

Audrey Scott-Hynson Named Small Business Champion

Audrey Scott-Hynson, president and CEO of A. Scott Enterprises, LLC, was honored by the City of Wilmington as a Small Business Champion for her work with small, minority and disabled business owners.

Scott-Hynson serves as an adjunct professor at Delaware State University, program manager for the university’s Food Business Incubation Center and director of the Center for Business Growth (CBG) at the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute.

“Audrey’s experience as an educator, coupled with her business acumen and natural leadership skills has taken the CBG to a new level,” says Delaware Financial Literacy Institute Executive Director Ronni Cohen. “She is an asset both to our organization and to the hundreds of individuals she’s helped.”

Pipsie Nature Detective

Pipsie Nature Detective

Local creative director releases first book

Rick DeDonato, a creative director based in Wilmington, recently released his first book, PIPSIE NATURE DETECTIVE, The Disappearing Caterpillar.

The story introduces a spunky new girl detective, a scooter-driving turtle who loves to eat, and a string of simple scientific clues that will keep kids turning the pages until the mystery is solved.

This is the first of at least three Pipsie mysteries in a series published by Two Lions Publishing.  The next two books will come out in Spring 2016 and 2017.

DeDonato is a resident of Wilmington.

Dr. Mukti Rana

Dr. Mukti Rana

Dr. Mukti Rana Selected for the U.S. Navy’s 2015 Young Investigator Program

The U.S. Department of the Navy announced that Dr. Mukti Rana, associate professor and chair of the DSU Department of Physics, has been selected to receive a grant award as part of the Office of Naval Research’s 2015 Young Investigator Program.

According to the Navy, the Young Investigator Program is one of the oldest and most selective scientific research advancement programs in the country. The program is designed to promote the professional development of early-career academic scientists, both as researchers and instructors.

The Navy selected Dr. Rana on the strength of his proposal to establish a new integrated research and education program that will include research designed to improve night vision systems and other technologies such as spectrometers and radiometers. DSU physics and engineering students will be involved with work that includes the design, fabrication and characterization of uncooled infrared detectors, according to Dr. Rana, who is also a part of the University’s Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR).

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