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People on the Move

People on the Move – Jan. 29

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People on the Move is 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].


Kerri Palmer

Kerri Palmer has joined Sallie Mae as chief risk and compliance officer, where she will oversee integrated risk and compliance organization. 

Palmer joins Sallie Mae from Capital One, where she served as senior vice president of risk management. She brings more than 20 years of experience in risk assessment and management, regulatory compliance, process improvement, program management, business analysis, operations leadership, and change management. 

“Strong risk and compliance functions are critical to Sallie Mae’s success, providing credible challenge to our leaders, and ensuring the proactive management and mitigation of enterprise-wide risk,” Sallie Mae CEO Jonathan Witter said in a statement. “Kerri will play an integral role as we drive focus and alignment to our strategic priorities and I’m confident her comprehensive experience will help us continue delivering for our customers.”


Peter Gasparro has been appointed by Barclays US Consumer Bank as its new chief development officer. He will lead the bank’s business and corporate development efforts as well as its strategy and market insights functions. 

Gasparro is a seasoned financial services leader with more than 25 years’ experience in credit cards, banking and payments. He spent 21 years at JPMorgan Chase, where he held leadership roles in business and corporate development, strategy, product development, and client management for several of its US consumer businesses. 

“We’re thrilled to have a dynamic, talented and forward-thinking leader like Peter join our organization,” Barclays US Consumer Bank CEO Denny Nealon said in a statement. “Peter will play an important role in accelerating our growth plans by forging strategic partnerships with America’s best-known brands and identifying new markets and opportunities that further diversify our offerings and meet the ever-changing needs of businesses and consumers alike.”

“I am excited by the opportunity to join a business with a proven track-record of success, ambitious growth plans and a strong reputation in the industry as a partner-focused bank that is truly differentiated in the market,” Gasparro added in a statement. “I look forward to building upon the success of Barclays’ partnership business and developing new avenues of growth for the bank.”


Earl Jeter

Earl T. Jeter has joined Second Chances Farm as its chief financial officer. Jeter has more than two decades of experience in all phases of private and public accounting.

He started his career with Wheeler, Wolfenden and Dwares, a Wilmington firm, where he prepared audited financial statements for various for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Jeter was later hired by a nonprofit organization as a chief financial officer preparing financial projections and strategic reports for housing development projects, overseeing the analysis of housing developments and the preparation and presentation of annual budgets.

Jeter worked for the city of Wilmington in two capacities: as an internal audit manager from June 2007 to December 2008, and later was appointed and reappointed as city auditor by two different mayors, serving from 2013 until 2017.


John Rafferty

John Rafferty has been named a partner at Gawthrop Greenwood, PC.

Rafferty is based in the firm’s West Chester office, where he focuses his practice on civil litigation, including commercial and emerging tech matters. He and the firm’s Litigation Department also represent survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation, including recovering damages for the traumas that adults experienced as children. Rafferty supports clients during every stage of dispute resolution, including pre-litigation negotiation, mediation and jury trials. He serves as a mediator for the Chester County Bar Association and as an Arbitrator for the Chester County Court of Common Pleas. Rafferty is also appointed on an as-needed basis by Chester County judges to represent vulnerable senior citizens in guardianship actions.

Rafferty joined Gawthrop Greenwood in 2017 as an associate, following his service in the Chester County District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit. As an Assistant District Attorney, he managed multiple cases from investigation through trial, prosecuting serious criminal matters, including homicides and sexual assaults.

“As a litigator, John has demonstrated an unflagging dedication to his clients from day one, coupled with a passion for community service and outreach that is highly valued by our firm,” says Patrick McKenna, Chair of the Management Committee at Gawthrop Greenwood. “We are thrilled to welcome him as our partner.”

A frequent speaker and instructor in Continuing Legal Education, Rafferty is often invited to speak on emerging legal issues including blockchain and drone technology.


Rochelle Gumapac

Rochelle Gumapac, a partner at White and Williams LLP, has been announced as the firm’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer. In creating this new role, Gumapac will spearhead and oversee the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. Gumapac has been with the firm for over 10 years and is a partner in the Wilmington, Delaware office.

“Improving diversity in the legal industry cannot be taken lightly and needs to be a stated priority for all law firms with emphasis from the top down,” said Gumapac. “I’m excited to work closely with Andy Susko, the firm’s Managing Partner, and firm management to further the firm’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our established committees, including Diversity, Associate Development, and the Women’s Initiative, will be expanded and will supplement our already progressive programs in place as we launch new innovative initiatives with the goal of making meaningful and systemic change.”

“One of my primary goals as Managing Partner is to build upon the foundational diversity initiatives Patricia Santelle implemented during her tenure as the firm’s first female Managing Partner,” said Andrew Susko, Managing Partner of the firm and Chair of the Executive Committee. “Appointing Rochelle as the firm’s leader on diversity, equity and inclusion is the next logical step, representing an extension of our firm’s commitment to be a more inclusive organization and one which reflects today’s diverse society.”

The goals of the new position are to sustain the recruitment of diverse candidates and summer associates and continue to build upon and expand the mentorship and associate training programs. In addition, the firm will seek to foster and retain diverse legal talent, create a leadership pipeline and sponsorship program to invest in diverse future leaders, and provide opportunities to participate actively in firm management and firm management committees. In pursuing these goals Gumapac plans to partner with legal industry associations to support and shape DEI initiatives industry-wide, including launching a formal metrics evaluation to measure the success of the firm’s short and long-term goals.


Melissa Hopkins

Melissa Hopkins of Newark was announced as the 2021 Delaware Mother of the Year. She is the 70th woman in Delaware history to hold this honor. Hopkins is a lifelong Delawarean, a mother, and wife and a dedicated advocate for the Delaware nonprofit sector as the Executive Vice President of Sector Advancement at Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, DANA.

Hopkins, along with honorees from states across the US, will be recognized during the 86th National Convention of American Mothers, Inc. this May. She will also serve as an ambassador for Delaware mothers during visits with members of Congress. One honoree will be named the National Mother of the Year during the convention.

“For over 85 years American Mothers, Inc. has held the responsibility of searching for and selecting the Mother of the Year in every state, district and territory in our country,” said Connell Branan, Board President in a statement. “Like all of the honorees before her, Melissa Hopkins now joins the ranks of Delaware history, with the opportunity to become a part of American history as she represents the mothers in her state and is considered for the honor of 2021 National Mother of the Year.”

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