Speakers and Panelists - 2015


Welcoming Remarks

Dr. Mark BrainardDr. Mark Brainard

MARK T. Brainard,
President, Delaware Technical Community College
Dr. Mark T. 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 General Assembly, where he served as chief of staff for the House of Representatives 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 and on August 4, 2014, Dr. Brainard was appointed as the fifth president of Delaware Tech.

The Honorable Michael VincentThe Honorable Michael Vincent

The Honorable Michael H. Vincent,
President, Sussex County Council
Michael H. Vincent serves as the 1st district councilman on the five-member Sussex County Council, representing portions of western Sussex County, including the Bethel, Blades, Bridgeville, Laurel and Seaford areas. Since his election to County government in 2008, Mr. Vincent has served as vice president and is the current president of the County Council. A native of Seaford, Mr. Vincent is a former Seaford City Council member, as well as a past chief, past president and lifetime member of the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department, and a one-time president of the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association. Mr. Vincent owns a small business, Vincent Fire Equipment, which supplies volunteer fire companies throughout Delaware with the essential, life-saving tools the fire service – and public – depend on. Mr. Vincent considers public safety, land use and fostering economic development opportunities among his top priorities. Mr. Vincent and his wife, Elaine, live in Seaford and are the parents of a grown daughter and grandparents to three grandchildren.

Conference Moderators

ileana smith new 2015ileana smith new 2015

Ileana M. Smith, Ed. D.,
Vice President and Campus Director,
Delaware Technical Community College

Dr. Ileana M.Smith joined Delaware Technical Community College in 1980. She became Vice President & Campus Director of the Owens Campus in 2004. Dr. Smith has contributed to the growth and development of many college areas including instruction, planning, marketing, public relations, institutional advancement, higher education partnerships, and distance learning initiatives. She has also represented Delaware Tech in statewide roles as Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations and Assistant Vice President for Articulation. Dr. Smith has worked on the start-up of many educational initiatives including the development of the Academic Challenge Program for high school students.

Dr. Smith is a native of Cuba. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics and Masters Degree in Education from the University of Delaware and a Doctorate in Educational Innovation and Leadership from Wilmington University. She has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Delaware Institute of Medical Education and Research (DIMER), The Heritage Commission, Carl M. Freeman F.A.C.E.S. Foundation. She co-chaired Governor Markell's Education, Economy and Jobs Transition Team; currently, serves as a Delaware Judicial Nominating Commissioner and is a Board member for the Sussex Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC) and for the Hispanic community center, La Esperanza.

Statistical Summary
Edward SimonEdward Simon

Edward Simon,
Workforce Analyst, Delaware Economic Development Office
Ed Simon retired in March 2007 from the Delaware Department of Labor (DOL) after 32 years of service, during which time he received the department’s Employee of the Year Award. In his last years at DOL, Ed served as director of labor market information. His primary focus dealt with what was happening in the state’s labor market and how that could affect the future; to do that, he tackled such topics as demographics, industry growth, occupational projections, and the impact of changing technology on the workplace. In March 2007, Ed joined the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) and now provides research primarily on workforce issues and the impact on Delaware’s businesses. A lifelong resident of this state and a graduate of the University of Delaware, Ed and his wife, Pat, are residents of Sussex County.

Keynote Address

Founder and President, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Panel Discussions


Eric Christianson

Jeffrey Cooper, DMD, PA

Enhanced Dental Care

Marnie Oursler

Marnie Custom Homes

Lisa St. Clair

Tail Bangers

Breakout Session Presenters

Be Open to Diversification

  Valery Cordrey
  East Coast Garden Center

Be Responsive to Technology

  Jack Berberian
  Delmarva VoIP