Mobley honored with state chamber’s Marvel Cup
WILMINGTON – Stacey J. Mobley, the trailblazing former general counsel and top executive at DuPont, was honored Monday night with the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s Marvel Cup award, its highest honor.
Given during the chamber’s 186th annual dinner, the 72-year-old award honors a Delawarean who has made an outstanding contribution to the state, community, or society. Named in memory of Josiah Marvel, who reorganized and served as the first president of the state chamber in 1913, the recipient of the Marvel Cup is kept secret until the night of the dinner when it is revealed in a tribute video from the honoree’s peers.
Mobley told the more than 1,100 guests in attendance Monday night that he had sat through many of those videos for winners over the years, but never suspected that one might be made for him.
“My friends would tell you that I’m never at a loss for words. Today is different because I was not expecting this,” he said. “It’s a little overwhelming, but I thank you for this great honor. This is something I will always remember. Delaware’s a very special place, and this is one of the events that make it special.”
Originally joining DuPont’s Legal Department in 1972, Mobley would rise through the ranks to eventually serve as senior vice president, chief administrative officer, and general counsel the Fortune 500 company before his retirement in 2008. In his tenure, he spent time as director of federal affairs in the company’s Washington, D.C., office and was promoted to vice president of federal affairs in 1986, returning to the company’s headquarters in Delaware in 1992 as vice president of communications in external affairs. Named chief executive administrative officer in May 1999, Mobley became general counsel less than six months later.
In the tribute video, leading state lawyers, legacy DuPont leaders and state elected officials recalled how Mobley was instrumental in fostering workplace diversity, hiring associates with different backgrounds and cultures and mentoring those within the corporate giant’s ranks.
“He led in diversity, equity, and inclusion before we all really knew what it was,” said Thère du Pont, president of Longwood Foundation. “Stacey was the leader in helping DuPont make it a competitive advantage.”
Ellen Kullman, former chair and CEO of DuPont, called Mobley a “force of nature.”
“You could feel his impact wherever you went in the company and the community,” she said. “In my earlier years, I would watch in awe of how he maneuvered very difficult situations. He did it with grace and a strong center for the company.”
Rick Deadwyler, a government and industry affairs leader for DuPont spinoff Corteva and a leader with the Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative, credited Mobley with hiring him at DuPont 20 years ago, but seeing him as a person before an employee.
“The first thing that he asked me about was my son, my family and me and then he continued to talk about what I do in Delaware. How I feel about our community? What things do I do to invest? So, all my rethinking and polishing up of my resume really meant nothing as we were having this discussion. It was all about his interest in me and what he believed to be my interest in,” Deadwyler recalled.
Outside of his corporate role, Mobley served in leadership roles for many philanthropic, educational, and policy organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Howard University, his alma mater where he served as chairman emeritus of its Board of Trustees and received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.
His service to the community was likewise noted by his peers, with Kullman crediting Mobley with inspiring her and others to begin serving on boards and volunteering in the community.
“He really got us thinking … that the community is part of the job. It’s just not about the company. It is about holistically creating an environment where our employees thrive and where we were a good member of that community,” she said.