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People on the Move

People on the Move – Feb. 19

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People on the Move is a part of Delaware Business Times’ For the Record section, 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.

Health Care

Robert G. Riney has been named chairman of The Nemours Children’s Health System, succeeding Brian Anderson, who has been a Nemours board member for 13 years, serving as chair for the last three years. Riney has served as chief operating officer of Henry Ford Health System since 2003. He was appointed president of health-care operations and chief operating officer in 2017, and oversees all hospital and service operations for the six-hospital health system. In addition, Bob is responsible for Corporate Information Technology, Corporate Facilities & Security, International Strategies, and the System Chief Nursing Office.

Kristina Fransel has been named head of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Region 13 (Delaware Valley, Greater New Jersey, and Greater Pennsylvania chapters) and executive director of the Delaware Valley Chapter, headquartered in Philadelphia. A 21-year veteran of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, she previously led community outreach efforts at the MS Society, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter. Most recently, she was president of a multi-state MS Society Chapter based in North Carolina.

Christian Hudson, Dr. Andrew Dahlke and Dr. Mouhanad Freih have been appointed to the board of directors of Beebe Healthcare in Lewes. As part of the announcement, Beebe said it elected outgoing board member Paul Mylander as board member emeritus in recognition of his 15 years of service on the board.

• Hudson joined the board of the Beebe Medical Foundation in November 2015 and was named chairman in November 2018. He is co-owner of Hudson Management, a boutique family-owned investment company.

Dr. Dahlke is a board-certified radiologist with additional certification in neuroradiology. He has been practicing with Southern Delaware Imaging Associates and Beebe Healthcare for more than 20 years, and served as president of the Eastern Sussex Physician Organization from 2012-2018. He was named president of the Medical Society of Delaware in 2019, having previously served as vice president.

Dr. Freih is an interventional cardiologist and has been practicing at Clinic by the Sea and Beebe Healthcare since 2008. He is the medical director of the cath lab at Beebe and was previously the chairman of the cardiology department.

Dr. Jacqueline Holt has joined Delaware Imaging Network as Medical Director of Women’s Imaging. Dr. Holt will build DIN’s new upright stereotactic breast biopsy program, featuring a stand-up breast biopsy, which also provides MRI guided breast biopsy and ultrasound breast biopsy. She has been a radiologist and director of breast imaging since 2001 at Christiana Care Health Systems in Newark.

Steven Gleason has joined Beebe Healthcare as its new Director of Laboratory Services. Prior to joining Beebe, Gleason was the director for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Campus.


Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long has been named co-chair of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, replacing embattled Justin Fairfax of Virginia. The DLGA is a nationwide group made up of Democratic lieutenant governors in 21 states and two U.S. territories.

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki has named Robert Goff to serve as the next City Solicitor, promoted James Brett Taylor to Finance Director, and appointed city attorney Tara DiRocco Gryan to the position of Deputy Director of the Department of Human Resources.

Goff is a former Assistant Public Defender for the Delaware Office of Defense Services and a former Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice. He is currently employed by the New Castle County government in the Law Office as an assistant county attorney representing the Department of Land Use.
Once approved, he will replace former Solicitor Luke Mette, who resigned in December to accept the position of chief disciplinary counsel for the Delaware Supreme Court.

Taylor returned to city service in June 2018 when he was named Deputy Director of the Finance Department. He succeeds the late Patrick Carter, who passed away in December. Brett served as Wilmington’s Budget Manager from 1987 to 1989 and was the City’s Real Estate and Housing Director from 1992-1993.

DiRocco Gryan most recently served in the City’s Law Department. She was hired in September 2013 as an Assistant City Solicitor and was promoted to Senior Assistant City Solicitor in July 2017. While in Law, she was the lead attorney for labor and employment matters and provided legal advice to various departments, boards, and commissions and worked diligently to ensure the city’s compliance with state and federal employment laws.

Sgt. Michael C. Rapa has been promoted to deputy chief of police for the city of Seaford. Rapa, a 22-year departmental veteran, was hired by the Seaford Police Department after graduating from the Delaware State Police Academy in 1998.

David Karas has been named the new Police Policy and Communications Director for the Wilmington Police Department. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey with dual majors in criminology and journalism and was a full-time reporter and photographer for several news outlets, including The Times of Trenton. He earned a master’s degree and doctorate in Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware. He most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Strategist for the Wilmington City Council.

J. Bruce Mears has been appointed to the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission, which reviews and consider subdivision applications and other land-use requests. The appointment lasts through June 2020. Mears is a custom-design builder and has been a member of the Sussex County Board of Adjustment since 2017 and the Building Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals since 1996. He will resign those posts with the move to the commission.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) has received the Edward M. Kennedy National Service Lifetime Leadership Award from Voices for National Service. The Edward M. Kennedy National Service Lifetime Leadership Award is given in recognition of lifelong dedication to citizen service and for outstanding leadership in advancing national service as a civic commitment and legislative priority.


David W. deBruin has joined the Wilmington office Gawthrop Greenwood P.C. law firm. Licensed to practice in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, deBruin handles a full array of civil litigation cases and has significant experience in all aspects of bankruptcy law, Before joining Gawthrop Greenwood, PC, he founded The deBruin Firm in Wilmington, where Delaware’s Superior Court appointed DeBruin as the first ever Plaintiffs’ Coordinating Counsel for asbestos litigation in the state.

Edwin J. Harron and James P. Hughes Jr. have joined Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP’s seven-person Management Committee. They succeed partners Barry M. Willoughby, who served on the Management Committee for 11 years, and James L. Patton Jr., who recently was appointed Chairman Emeritus.

Harron is a partner in the firm’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring section. He specializes in mass tort insolvencies and settlement trusts, routinely advising debtors, mass tort future claimants’ representatives, and other parties in out-of-court workouts, complex foreign and domestic restructurings, pre-planned bankruptcies and Chapter 11 cases. Harron is admitted to practice in Delaware, New York and New Jersey.

Hughes is a partner in the firm’s Business and Tax section. He counsels parties involved in corporate and commercial transactions, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, fiduciary duty issues, corporate dissolutions, and alternative entities including limited liability companies and limited partnerships. Hughes is admitted to practice in Delaware.

Kathy Corcoran CPA has been promoted to Director of Wheeler Wolfenden and Dwares, CPAs in Wilmington. Corcoran joined the firm in 2001 after graduating from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She specializes in tax, accounting and auditing, forensic accounting and litigation support. Kathy also serves as treasurer of the LPGA Amateur Golf Association Delaware Chapter, schedules and manages the Olympics qualifying event for the Senior Olympics basketball program, and was recognized in 2016 by Delaware Business Times as one of our “40 Under 40” Achievers and Innovators.


Jeremy Driscoll has been elected to the national Board of Directors of the Sports Turf Managers Association (SMTA). Driscoll is Grounds Supervisor at St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington and has been appointed K-12 Director of the STMA.

Marc R. Partee has been appointed director of Lincoln University’s Department of Public Safety. Partee is a 22-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department.

Dr. Marshá Horton, dean of Delaware State University’s College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, has been elected to the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) board of directors. Horton began her tenure at DSU in 2013 as the interim dean of the College of Health and Public Policy. She became the permanent dean of that college in 2014 (the University’s 2018 academic restructuring resulted in its name change to the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences).

Skilled trades

Travis Martin and his firm, Chesapeake Plumbing and Heating of Frankford, have been recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur360 List. Founded in 2003, Chesapeake Plumbing and Heating Inc. specializes in complete plumbing services for residential and commercial settings.

Armed forces

Col. Carla Riner will become the 166 Wing Commander for the Delaware Air National Guard, effective March 1. Col. Riner is a senior pilot with more than 2,600 C-130 hours, having served as a Maintenance Commander in three different assignments. She also brings senior executive experience from her tenure working National Archives as well as her support role to the White House National Security Staff.


Joshua Shaver, CFP, ChFC, has been named Senior Partner with Diamond State Financial Group, a financial services firm located in Newark. Josh graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. He has also earned a Certificate in Financial Planning from the University of Delaware’s Professional and Continuing Studies.

In Memoriam

Dr. Charles D. Thomas of Newark passed away on Feb. 5 at the age of 87. Dr. Thomas had his own private practice in Newark, specializing in pediatrics. After retiring from private practice, Charles worked part time
in medical clinics.

George Vassilatos of Wilmington has passed away at the age of 87, He joined DuPont as a researcher and worked at the Experimental Station for 38 years, making significant contributions in polymer processing and fiber formation, attaining the level of DuPont Fellow and winning the Lavoisier Medal for Technical Achievement in 2002. George was active in many professional societies, held 19 patents, was a faculty member at the University of Delaware and the University of Washington, and served on the visiting committee for the Chemical Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Robert H. Wood, a physical chemistry teacher at the University of Delaware for 45 years, died on Feb. 3 at the age of 86. Dr. Wood was well known for his considerable contributions to the field of solution chemistry spanning many years, especially in the area of calorimetry. He recognized the great potential of flow densitometry and flow calorimetry. Together with his students, postdocs and colleagues, he developed the equipment and experimental techniques that greatly extended the experimental range to the very high temperatures and high pressures extending even into the supercritical region.

Curtis S. Rasnake of North East, Maryland, passed away Feb. 1 at the age of 85. He was the owner of Elkton Homes and Bay Country Estates.

Daniel L. Russell of Newark passed away on Feb. 6 in Richmond, Virginias, at the age of 81. Dan retired in 1996 as the Chief Review Appraiser after 40 years with the State of Delaware Department of Transportation.

Dr. William Henry Flayhart III of Dover passed away Jan. 26 at the age of 74. A professor emeritus at Delaware State University, Dr. Flayhart was a distinguished scholar, specializing in world history and maritime history, and was the author or co-author of six books. Dr. Flayhart was a professor of history at Delaware State from 1970 until his retirement in 2009. From 1993 to 2000, he was chairman of the history department. In 2006, the university’s board of trustees elected him the institution’s first professor emeritus.

Joseph Bennett Hill passed away Feb. 5 at the age of 74. He graduated from Rehoboth High School, then went on to Wesley College, and returned to work in the family real estate business. He spent over 50 years selling properties in his beloved Rehoboth Beach and was still active in selling real estate until his death. During his tenure as a real estate broker, Hill received the Emeritus Award from the Sussex County Association of Realtors and the Hall of Fame Award from Remax International.

Robert O. Wright passed away on Jan. 31. Robert was the founder and president of the House of Wright Mortuary and Cremation Services Inc., which he founded in Wilmington in 1987 with his wife Deborah and later expanded to additional locations in Smyrna and Penns Grove, New Jersey.

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