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People on the Move

People on the Move: April 14

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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 [email protected].


Jill MacKenzie

Jill MacKenzie has been named executive director of the Hagley Museum and Library, replacing David A. Cole, Jr., who has accepted the position of president and CEO of the Science History Institute in Philadelphia. His last day at Hagley will be May 17. MacKenzie has been Hagley’s director of museum and audience engagement for the past four years. Her tenure at Hagley began in
1982 when she was hired to lead the marketing department during a time when the museum experienced record attendance. MacKenzie will assume her responsibilities on May 18 and will focus attention on a new strategic plan for the museum and library that will take the institution into the next 10 years.

J.C. Barker has been named executive director of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, effective May 1. A classically trained musician, Barker comes to the DSO from the Mobile Symphony after a tenure of almost 13 years with that organization, most recently as general manager and director of artistic administration. During his time at the Mobile Symphony, Barker oversaw an orchestra of 75 musicians, developed ties with corporate and civic leaders, and assisted with the development of large capital projects.

Young Conaway has welcomed two new associates to its Intellectual Property Litigation Section.

  • Nicholas D. Picollelli, Jr. joins the firm after practicing asbestos law at a local Delaware office of a national firm. Mr. Picollelli earned his J.D. and Business Organizations Law Certificate from Widener University Delaware Law School in 2016. Following graduation, he completed back-to-back clerkships for the Honorable Charles W. Welch III in the Delaware Court of Common Pleas and the Honorable William L. Witham, Jr. in the Delaware Superior Court.
  • Joseph F. Ecker joins the firm after serving as a patent examiner at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Mr. Ecker earned his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of
    Law in its Intellectual Property Law Track in 2018.

Colleen Davis

Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis has been named to the Market Transparency Advisory Group of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). The group will help identify objectives for the modernization of the MSRB’s systems and provide input on potential data and technology tools for the market.

Stephen Kraftschik has joined Polsinelli as Of Counsel and member of the firm’s Wilmington, Del. office. A former electrical engineer, Steve’s practice focuses on a unique combination of litigation in Delaware’s state and federal courts, as well as patent litigation, with extensive background in electrical engineering. He brings experience within IP matters involving patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyright issues to Polsinelli, as he has represented clients in patent litigation in the U.S. District Court of the District of Delaware, the busiest patent litigation court in the country.

Donna Vieira, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Sallie Mae, has been named to Savoy Magazine’s list of the “2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America.” Vieira joined Sallie Mae in 2019 and oversees private student loans, retail banking, and credit cards as well as product development, sales, marketing, government relations, communications and community relations.

David Tate has been named senior associate with Diamond State Financial Group, a financial services firm in Newark. David, who has been with the firm since 2015, served in pastoral ministry in two congregations in southeastern Pennsylvania for more than 25 years while also pursuing a Doctor of Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary. David is a Certified Financial Planner and has also earned his ChFC® designation. 

John Thomas, branch manager of Primary Residential Mortgage Inc., has been recognized by Mortgage Executive magazine as a recipient of its 2019 Top 1% Loan Originators in America award.

Lori Brennan has been named the new executive director of the Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Brennan has more than 20 years of experience working with a variety of regional and national nonprofit organizations and most recently served as senior director of CCS Fundraising in Philadelphia.

Nemours Children’s Health System has announced three additions to its Delaware Board of Managers:

  • Gina Ward has been named chair of Nemours Delaware Board of Managers. Ward joined Nemours Delaware Valley Board of Managers in August 2014 and has been involved in healthcare throughout her professional life. In 2012, she was appointed by the governor as a public representative on Delaware’s Health Resources Board (DHRB), where she served for more than five years. She has also held board positions at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, including the executive committee of the board of directors and chairperson of the
    St. Francis Foundation.
  • John Wellons, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware has been named to the Nemours Delaware Board of Managers. Wellons was appointed to his position in 2017. He joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware in 2012 as chief of staff where he focused on business operations, fundraising and board development. He is also a trustee of the Hagley Museum and Library and ChristianaCare Health System. John has served on the boards of the Delaware Community Foundation, Pilot School, and First State Squash.
  • Sharon Mills Higgins, an independent marketing and philanthropy consultant, has also been named to Nemours Delaware Board of Managers. She spent 20 years at Xerox Corporation in a variety of sales, marketing, and senior management positions. Ms. Higgins is a member of the national board of trustees for the March of Dimes. She has been a volunteer leader for the organization since 2004 and has held multiple leadership roles for the organization.

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