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Kent County Economic Summit Conference - Speakers and Panelists
View the 2014 speakers below:
Governor Jack Markell took office in 2009, inheriting a record budget shortfall, rapidly rising unemployment, and a stagnant economy. Since then, he worked to create and keep Delaware jobs in a range of industries, including re-opening a shuttered oil refinery in Delaware City and attracting new manufacturing to the site of the old Chrysler plant in Newark. The list of companies that have re-located or expanded their operations in Delaware under the Governor’s leadership include Amazon, Kraft Foods, Atlantis Industries, Citigroup, Capital One, Johnson Controls, JP Morgan Chase, Sallie Mae, Barclays, Miller Metal, Mountaire Farms, Baltimore Aircoil, Calpine, ILC Dover, PTM Manufacturing and Testing Machines, Inc. His administration has also provided grants and loans to help Delaware’s vital small businesses expand and grow.
The Governor made education one of his top priorities. As a result, Delaware won President Obama's Race to the Top competition to significantly improve public schools. Delaware’s plan was ranked first of 40 state plans by the U.S. Department of Education and was one of just two plans to receive initial funding. The State has focused on raising expectations for students; elevating the education profession; providing deep support to the state’s lowest-achieving schools and using data to drive decision-making. The state also won a federal Early Learning Challenge Grant with a plan to dramatically raise the percentage of high-need children in quality-rated early childhood programs. To equip Delaware students to compete in a growing global economy, the Governor began a World Language Expansion Initiative offering Chinese and Spanish immersion to students beginning in kindergarten.
Governor Markell brings innovative public and private sector experience to the Office of Governor. He began his career in the private sector helping lead the wireless technology revolution as the 13th employee at Nextel (a name he coined), where he served as Senior Vice President for Corporate Development. His other business experience includes a senior management position at Comcast Corporation, work as a consultant with McKinsey and Company and as a banker at First Chicago Corporation. He was elected to three terms as State Treasurer between 1998 and 2008, implementing innovative programs aimed at cutting spending and improving fiscal responsibility. He has been recognized in Delaware and across the country as a leader in promoting policies to help all people achieve their economic potential.
The Hon. Alan B. Levin is Cabinet Secretary, Delaware Economic Development Office. He is responsible for the business and economic strategies for the State of Delaware, focusing, among other areas, in the technology, life science, and venture capital business sectors. Previously, Mr. Levin served as President and CEO of Happy Harry's, the tenth largest drugstore chain in the United States, until it was acquired by the Walgreen Company in July 2006. He is a graduate of Tulane University and the Delaware Law School of Widener University.
Dr. Mark Brainard has spent 25 years in a series of executive level positions that have allowed him to lead successful efforts in higher education, business and government in Delaware. After earning an associate degree in Criminal Justice from Delaware Tech in 1981 and a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from Wilmington University in 1983, his career in public service began in the Delaware Legislature, where he was appointed as chief of staff for the House Minority Caucus for seven years. Dr. Brainard left the legislature in 1993 when he was appointed director of external affairs at the Delaware Department of Transportation. After graduation from Widener Law School in 1994, he was named assistant vice president for personnel and legal affairs at Delaware Technical Community College. Dr. Brainard then served as executive vice president at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. He left the Chamber in 2002 to serve as Governor Ruth Ann Minner’s chief of staff, where he developed aggressive agendas which included passage of landmark legislation such as the Student Excellence Equals Degrees (SEED) scholarship, the Delaware Cancer Treatment program, and workers’ compensation reform. He returned to Delaware Tech as assistant campus director for the Stanton/Wilmington Campus in 2008 and was appointed vice president and campus director in 2011. In this role, Dr. Brainard worked with the business community and state economic development leaders, including Governor Jack Markell, to respond to emerging workforce needs for existing and new businesses in Delaware. In July 2013, Delaware Tech’s Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Brainard as executive vice president of the College, which allowed him to work directly with the president to provide strategic thinking and direction for all operational areas of the college. On August 4, 2014 Dr. Brainard was appointed president of Delaware Tech.
Jeff Hall is the department chair for Engineering Technologies at the Terry Campus of Delaware Technical Community College. He has been employed by Delaware Tech for two and a half years. Previously, he served on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard for 31 years as a technical manager, project officer, and Technical Director for the Nationwide Automatic Identification System. He retired as a lieutenant commander in 2011. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Society of Engineering Education, and the Kent County Plant Managers' Association. He earned a Master of Science in Information Systems Technology from Wilmington University, his Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management from University of Maryland, and his Associate of Applied Science in Computer Engineering Technology from Delaware Tech.
Cindy Small is a native Delawarean with more than 35 years of experience in journalism, public relations and marketing with degrees in journalism and communications. For the past seven years, she has served as Executive Director of Kent County Tourism, a non-profit community-based organization located in Dover. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Dover Partnership and the Delaware Sports Commission; is a member of the Greater Kent Committee, the Kent County Regional Sports Complex Committee; as well as the Delaware Bayshore Byway and the Route 13 Improvement Committee.
Hans Medlarz is the Kent County Director of Public Works. He has served in this position for more than 12 years. Prior to being Director, he also worked for more than 20 years in the field of private engineering consulting, with his last position as a partner in a local firm. Mr. Medlarz is currently President of DAPE (Delaware Association of Professional Engineers), a member of the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council, and has served more than 10 years as vice president of American Public Works Association, Delaware Chapter. He earned a master-of-science degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and was a part of the joint state/county research effort on the site specific water quality criteria for the tidal portion of the Murderkill River.
Ed Jackson is the principal/owner of Affinity Energy Management for the past eight years. Prior to Affinity, he worked for MBNA America, Corporate Energy Manager, and Delmarva Power, in various engineering, operations and management positions. Mr. Jackson is a member of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, Delaware State Chamber, IFMA, Association of Energy Engineers, Delaware Restaurant Association, Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. and several other local chambers. The University of Delaware class of 1983 alum earned a bachelor-of-science degree in mechanical engineering and holds certifications as a Certified Energy Manager, Certified Energy Procurement Professional, and a Certified Lighting Professional. He played an integral part in helping implement the largest electricity aggregated purchasing co-op on Delmarva through the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. including more than 500 individual customer accounts.
Andrew West is now in his 25th year with the Delaware State News. He has been Managing Editor, leading the news operations for the newspaper, since 1996. He started as Sports Editor in 1990. From 1993 to 1996, he held editor positions for Delaware State News sister publications in Sussex County. Mr. West got his start in newspapers as a senior in high school, reporting on sports for The Daily Times in Salisbury, Md., in 1980. After graduating from the University of Delaware in 1985, he worked for The (Wilmington) News Journal, USA Today, The Saratogian in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; The Lansdale (Pa.) Reporter and The Reading (Pa.) Eagle-Times.
Jeffrey L. Stone has 40 years of experience in the economic development profession. His experience spans urban, suburban and rural economic development operations in three states; Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. In addition to his current role as Director of Infrastructure and Intergovernmental Relations, Delaware Economic Development Office, he served as Director of Economic Development in the City of Paterson, N.J.; Director of Economic Development in Anne Arundel County, Md.; Director of Economic Development in Calvert County, Md.; Director of Economic Development with the Washington D.C. Chamber of Commerce and Assistant to the Maryland Secretary of Transportation. He also served for over six years as a Vice President of the International Economic Development Council, the professional association for economic development practitioners.
Dr. June S. Turansky is Vice President & Campus Director for the Terry Campus. Previously, she has served as Assistant Vice President for Curriculum and Instruction in the Office of the President. During her 32-year tenure with Delaware Tech, she has held the positions of Nursing Instructor and Chairperson, Assistant Dean of Instruction, and Dean of Instruction. She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Marymount University, and a master's degree in nursing and doctorate in educational leadership from University of Delaware; she is a proud recipient of an associate’s degree in nursing from Delaware Tech. She also is a graduate of Delaware Tech's leadership development program. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Bayhealth Medical Center and the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. Previous community leadership positions include president and member of the Cape Henlopen School Board, president of the State Board of Nursing and member of the Delaware Health Care Commission's Committee on Nursing Workforce Supply and chair of its education subcommittee.
Michael J. Petit de Mange, AICP, became the County Administrator for Kent County, Delaware in 2007, after serving as the County's Planning Director for nearly five years. Prior to joining Kent County, he served as Planning Director for the City of Dover, Delaware, and has more than 20 years of experience in municipal and regional planning. Mr. Petit de Mange, a native Delawarean, is a graduate of the University of Delaware, and is a Certified Planner awarded by the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Planning Association. He was a founding officer of the Delaware Institute for Planning and Design, and has held various offices in the Delaware Chapter of the American Planning Association including Chapter President from 1998 through 2001. Mr. Petit de Mange is also a member of the Colonial Rotary Club of Dover.
James G. Waddington is Director of Economic Development in Kent County. He currently is serving his 22nd year on the Salem City Council and also serves as Vice President of Stand Up For Salem, the non-profit organization which oversees the Salem Main Street Program. The position of director of economic development is a newly created position in Kent County, with Mr. Waddington as the first person to hold the job. He had previously worked as Director of Economic Development for the Salem County Improvement Authority and the Salem County freeholder board, during which he was responsible for managing the county’s economic development activities, administering the county’s revolving economic development loan fund, and serving as the county’s representative on numerous state-sponsored economic development groups since 2003. Previously, he spent more than 20 years as President and CEO of Waddington Dairy, a family-owned dairy and food manufacturing and distribution business, and as Vice President of Marketing following a successful business merger.