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People on the Move

People on the Move – Sept. 10

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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].


Linda Choi MacDonald

Adesis, Inc. has announced that Linda Choi MacDonald has joined the company as Chief Operating Officer. MacDonald brings more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including leading organizations in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. As COO, MacDonald is responsible for overseeing Adesis’ P&L, operations and strategy.

Prior to joining Adesis, MacDonald served as Chief Operations Officer at Avanir Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical. Previously, she was Vice President of Global Marketing & Patient Access Operations, Vice President of Talent Services Asia Pacific, and Head of Global Customer-Facing Excellence Strategy & Operations at UCB Biopharma, and held various positions of increasing responsibility at Eli Lilly and Company across its commercial organizations. Her track record of success led her to be recognized as a 2020 HBA (Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association) Luminary Award recipient for being a “shining example of transformational leadership.”


Ed Morelli

CSC, a provider of business, legal, tax, and digital brand services, has added Edward Morelli as senior managing director to its Global Financial Markets division. He will lead the specialized escrow and agency efforts of its wholly owned subsidiary, Delaware Trust Company. Morelli will be responsible for growing and expanding the services for the escrow, reinsurance, project finance, and specialized agency markets to better serve our clients.

“I’m very excited to join Delaware Trust at this momentous time. Unlike many other providers, Delaware Trust is fully dedicated and actively investing in its corporate trust business,” says Morelli. “For clients looking for flexibility and superior service, Delaware Trust provides a winning model that maintains all the same protections as the big banks while offering niche expertise and flexibility to put the client first and get the job done.”

A corporate trust executive for more than 30 years, Morelli was most recently head of Citibank’s specialized agency business and a director within its agency and trust division. He previously held numerous leadership roles in corporate trust at Bank of New York and Chase Manhattan Bank.


Brett Stevens

Wohlsen has announced the addition of Brett Stevens to their team. Stevens joined Wohlsen in July as a Vice President with a focus on Business Development and Preconstruction in the Delaware Valley region. In this role, Stevens will work closely with our current Business Development and Preconstruction team members to enhance our focus on client relationships and support our commitment to provide best-in-class preconstruction services throughout the Region.

Stevens brings incredible business acumen and a wealth of knowledge with his over 21 years of experience in the Design, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management professions. During Stevens’s tenure, he has held various leadership roles, most recently as a Vice President of Finance, Real Estate Development, & Business Strategies. Notable accomplishments during Stevens’s career include a 40 under 40 Award from the Albany Business Review- American City Business journals and a Rising Stars Award-Stars to Watch in Student Housing from the Student Housing Business Magazine.

Stevens graduated with an undergraduate degree from Oswego State University and with an MBA from Drexel University. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, Chairman of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council Marketing Board, a Mentor for ACE Mentor Program of America, a Board Member for Habitat for Humanity, and an Eastern Regional Senior Associate for the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP).


Delaware State University recently announced the recipients of its 2020-2021 Faculty Excellence Awards. This school year’s group of awardees, who each received a trophy and $2,500, include:

Dr. Joseph Fees, Lecturer II – Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching

Dr. Fees has played an instrumental role in refining the Department of Language and Literature’s language programs and curriculum. He has designed online Spanish courses and created a community page with numerous resources for Spanish instructors. In addition to improving the content and assessments of many upper-division Spanish classes, Dr. Fees has also established a new Medical Spanish course, which was first offered in the spring 2019.

Dr. Fees have been actively involved in department and University service, including leading the department’s Strategic Plan Committee. He was the lead course designer and moderator for the HHMI Online Course Conversion Class during the summer 2020 and undertook the role of ODELT Online Coordinator for the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences in the fall 2020.

Dr. Eleanor M. Kiesel, Associate Professor of Social Work – Faculty Excellence Award for Service

Dr. Kiesal came to DSU in 2015 after practicing law with the Community Legal Aid Society for 17 years. With her ever-active goals of service, she provides legal representation for those in poverty and serves as a volunteer attorney for children in foster care. In higher education, she has provided Middle States with documentation that charts the last several years of Del State’s accomplishments, opportunities and challenges. She also serves on the University Strategic Planning Committee.

Currently the chair of the Department of Social Work, Dr. Kiesel is developing a Domestic Violence Specialist certificate program, as well as a minor and associate degree program in Social Work. In the last year, she has been engage in anti-racism work, which have included her involvement in the development of a African Centered Healing Program and participation in an African American Task Force and the Lewes Heritage African American Commission.

Dr. Mukti Rana, Professor of Physics and Engineering – Faculty Excellence Award for Advising

With an open-door policy and a guiding motto of “students come first,” Dr. Rana has mentored and advised 124 middle school, 56 high school, 200-plus undergraduate and 33 graduate students since the fall of 2015. He has also mentored and advised seven junior faculty members and three post-doctoral research associates. Three of the students he advised became co-investigators of three patents.

He is the founding faculty advisor of the University’s student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. His work with students led NASA to present Dr. Rana with the 2019 Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.

Dr. Derrick Scott, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences – Faculty Excellence Award for Research and Creative Activity

Dr. Scott has published six papers in peer reviewed journals, given 18 presentations and and applied for 13 grants. Of those grants, nine were funded – just over $7 million as a principal investigator, just over $1 million as a co-investigator, as well as $6 million collaborative grant, in which he managed the $443,264 sub-award to Del State. The awards totaled just over $14 million.

Dr. Scott leverage his strength in research by his instrumental role in the creation of the Bioinformatics Program and the Biopharmaceutical and Manufacturing Technology concentration in partnership with industry giant Merck.

From L-R, Dr. Eleanor Kiesel, Dr. Derrick Scott, Dr. Joseph Fees and Dr. Mukti Rana


Jennifer Cohan

Leadership Delaware, Inc. (LDI) CEO Jennifer Cohan was named the “2021 Stars of Delaware Person of the Year” by the Delaware State News/Independent Media.

The award was given to Cohan on Thursday, September 2nd at the Delaware State Fair Grounds, during the Stars of Delaware Celebration event, honoring 198 organizations throughout Delaware.

After the unexpected win, Cohan stated, “It is an honor to be named Delaware Stars Person of the Year, and I want to thank all the citizens that voted for me and say a huge congratulations to all the Delaware Star Winners!” 

Along with being named Person of the Year, Cohan is a 2021 inductee of the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame, and in 2016 she was honored with the Kent Distinguished Citizen Award by the Del-Mar-VA Council of the Boy Scouts of America for her commitment to public service. 

Before joining LDI, she led the Delaware Department of Transportation under two Governors, where she led agency wide reforms and produced the largest capital program in the State’s history.


Doneene Damon

Doneene Damon, president of Richards, Layton & Finger, has been listed as a “Managing Partner of the Year—Law Firm” by Corporate Counsel in its 2021 Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards.  These awards recognize women lawyers who have demonstrated a professional commitment and personal dedication to advancing the empowerment of women in the legal industry.

Damon’s leadership within Richards Layton, the legal profession, and the community at large sets the standard for community involvement and professional excellence.  In addition to serving as Richards Layton’s president, she is co-chair of the firm’s Business Department and chair of the Corporate Trust and Agency Services Group. Damon focuses her legal practice on the use of Delaware and New York trusts in a wide range of commercial transactions, and represents banks and trust companies in connection with their trust and agency services under Delaware and New York law.

Doneene’s many awards include Savoy magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers, the National Association of Professional Women VIP Woman of the Year Circle, the American Bar Association’s Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award, the National Diversity Council Leadership Excellence in the Law Award, and the International Women’s Review Board for Excellence in Law.  She is also regularly named in several distinguished legal directories.


Darius Brown

The Wilmington HOPE Commission announced the appointment of Darius Brown as executive director of the Commission and Dr. Debra Mason as deputy executive director. Brown will be responsible for the overall management of the Commission, which focuses on reducing recidivism by assisting ex-offenders in their return to the community. He is responsible for board management and has direct oversight of the commission’s daily operations, talent management, fiscal operations, fund development and management of community relationships. As Deputy Executive Director, Mason will assist Brown in his duties and will work with the commission’s Clinical Director to oversee programmatic operations.

Since November of 2018 Brown has represented the Second Senatorial District in the Delaware State Senate, where he has been instrumental in passage of legislation improving Delaware’s criminal justice system. Earlier in his career, Brown was Chief of Staff, and prior to that position, Director of Community and External Relations at Connections Community Support Programs, Inc., which provides healthcare, housing and employment services for more than 40,000 Delawareans annually. He served as a member of the Wilmington City Council for more than five years and prior to that, served in staff positions for former U.S. Senator Edward Kaufman, and then U.S. Senator Joseph Biden. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Leadership from Geneva College.

A former member of the Board of Directors of the Commission, Dr. Mason joins the Commission staff from the Delaware Department of Correction, where she was a Training/Education Administrator. Earlier in her career, she served as a Senior Probation and Parole Officer for the Delaware State Probation and Parole Unit, as a Parent Educator for Child, Inc., and held a range of case management positions at the Delaware Center for Justice, Easter Seals, Community Education Centers and at healthcare and youth-serving organizations in Pennsylvania.

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