Home News New Castle County Business people: June 26, 2017

Business people: June 26, 2017

Business people: June 26, 2017
Palina Ivanova

Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation names executive director

The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation Board of Directors announced the appointment of Palina Ivanova as the organization’s first  Executive Director.

As Executive Director, PIvanova will lead the foundation to the next phase of creating a stronger Delaware and help formulate and direct plans for achieving the foundation’s mission, strategy, annual goals, and objectives. In addition, she will lead efforts on the foundation’s two signature events – Pete du Pont Freedom Award and the Reinventing Delaware idea generation series. 


She is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in Accounting with a focus in Entrepreneurial Studies. Ivanova has demonstrated experience in taking an idea from inception to execution through her involvement in University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship where she worked with her team to conceive, validate, and execute her startup, Revive, a sustainable approach for accessing a limitless wardrobe.

As Co-Founder and Head of Growth and Strategy, her focus is to develop the proper strategies and measures for ensuring the successful growth of the business. This past winter of 2017 she spent time in Spain studying and exploring the strengths and weaknesses of Barcelona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Her research has equipped her with energy, insights, and the desire to initiate progress toward establishing, building, and maintaining an entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

She has served as Vice President of UD Lazarus Rising, a nonprofit chapter that helps fight homelessness in Maryland and Delaware by providing professional services to empower individuals with the tools they need to re-enter the workforce. In this role, she helped recruit volunteers and lead workshop sessions at the homeless shelters. 

WSFS names Wawa CEO to board

 WSFS Financial Corporation announced the appointment of Chris Gheysen, President & Chief Executive Officer of Wawa, Inc. to its Board of Directors. He will stand for election for a three-year term at the 2018 Annual Shareholders Meeting.

Gheysens has served Wawa associates for more than 19 years and previously held the position of Chief Financial and Administrative Officer from January 2007 to December 2011, with responsibility for all financial, legal and human resource functions. Prior to joining Wawa, he worked in the audit practice at Deloitte and Touché, LLP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He graduated from the Villanova University School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy in 1993. He obtained his Master of Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University and was a Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey. He graduated from Saint Augustine Preparatory School located in Richland, NJ.


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Gheysens was appointed in 2013 to the Board of Directors for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). He also is the chairperson of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Villanova School of Business and is a member of the Economic and Community Advisory Committee for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He joined The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Board of Overseers in 2014 and has led the formation of their first Corporate Council. He has recently been elected to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Board of Trustees.

Belfint, Lyons & Shuman announces new shareholder, director

Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, P.A. (BLS), a certified public accounting and consulting firm announced the admission of Anne Mary Kluska, CPA, CVA as the newest shareholder and director.

Since joining Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, CPAs, Kluska has worked in every area of the practice.  She specializes in the consultation, preparation, and review of financial statements and tax returns for a variety of small businesses.

As a Certified Valuation Analyst, she is able to provide more support and expertise to our client base through business succession, acquisition, and expansion. Kluska is also actively involved in the training efforts of the firm. She provides mentoring and motivation to the future leaders of our firm.

She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Drexel University and is a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) and a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. 

Mancini named account executive at Tipton Communications

Tipton Communications announced that Lauren Mancini has been promoted to account executive at Tipton.

Mancini joined the Tipton team as a communications intern in February of 2016 and began working full-time as lead videographer and communications specialist in June. Over the past year, Mancini has worked with national and global brands and has created award-winning comprehensive client marketing and public relations plans and video productions that were recognized by the 2017 Videographer Awards and the Delaware Press Association.

In her new role as account executive, Mancini will be responsible for managing, strengthening, and building client relationships through the development and execution of strong, strategic planning. She looks forward to representing Tipton as a leading communications agency and providing top-quality service for every client she works with.

Before joining Tipton, Mancini graduated from the University of Delaware, where she studied mass communications and journalism. She is currently a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

La Penta retires from the University of Delaware

Tom LaPenta, who has served as chief human resources officer at the University of Delaware since 2013, has announced that he will retire, effective July 1.

As chief human resources officer, LaPenta provides strategic guidance on human resources matters to University leadership and heads UD’s human resources team, which provides a range of key services to employees, including employee relations, HR systems, employee development, compensation and benefits, and recruitment.

Before being named chief human resources officer, LaPenta served five months as interim director of UD Human Resources. Previously, as assistant vice president for labor and employee relations, he was involved in the negotiation and administration of union contracts. He also advised academic and non-academic managers on a variety of labor and employee relations issues. He has worked at UD since 1981.

A University of Delaware graduate, LaPenta earned his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law and is a member of the Delaware Bar Association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. He began his career as a deputy attorney general in the state Department of Justice.

Council on Transportation members named

Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan welcomed Tom Holmes and Pamela J. Scott as the newest members of the Department’s Council on Transportation (COT).

The COT is a nine-member, bipartisan advisory panel appointed by the governor. It is made up of business and community leaders who have expressed interest in transportation subjects and have demonstrated expertise or experience that would help in evaluating relevant issues and programs.

The Council serves in an advisory capacity to the department on issues relating to transportation and other matters which may aid the Department in providing the best possible transportation services for the traveling public.

The duties of Council Members include setting transportation priorities, adopting DelDOT’s Capital Transportation Program, and approving highway realignments.

Two appointed to University of Delaware Board of Trustees

The Delaware Senate confirmed the appointments of long-time faculty member Debra Hess Norris and recent graduate Georgina Class-Peters to serve as members of the University of Delaware Board of Trustees.

The Unidel Henry Francis du Pont Chair in Fine Arts, Norris continues a long-standing practice of having a current faculty member serve as a trustee. She was elected to a six-year term.

Class-Peters, a 2016 graduate who received her master’s degree in entrepreneurial studies from UD last month, is the latest Recent Graduate Trustee. She was elected to a two-year term.Both women were recommended by

Both women were recommended by unanimous vote of the board at its spring meeting on May 17.

The Board of Trustees, which is charged with the management of the affairs of the university, has 28 members and four ex-officio members: the governor, the University president, the master of the State Grange and the president of the state Board of Education. Of the 28 regular members, eight are appointed by the governor and 20 are elected by majority vote of the whole board. Both appointed and elected members must be confirmed by the state Senate.

A world-renowned expert in the preservation and conservation of photographs, Norris chairs the university’s Department of Art Conservation, one of only five such programs in North America.

Class-Peters, now an operations analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co., earned her bachelor’s degree at UD in 2016, majoring in political science. While she was an undergraduate, she served as the vice president of the Lambda Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She was selected as a 2015 Woman of Promise and held several leadership positions, including president of the Cultural Programming Advisory Board, a member of the Student Executive Board through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and student engagement adviser. She is the founder of Sisters on the Move, an award-winning registered student organization with the mission of empowering college-bound women of color in the Newark area.                                                            

With funding from several university offices, Class-Peters released her first documentary, Through the Eyes of the Beholder: Perceptions of Beauty, which examined the negative psychological and emotional effects that result from an oppressive beauty culture.

Garcia joins Saint Francis Healthcare

Saint Francis Healthcare announced the addition of pioneering vascular and interventional radiologist Mark J. Garcia, M.D., F.S.I.R., F.A.C.R to our medical staff at Saint Francis Healthcare.

Garcia has over 20 years of experience treating patients using image-guided techniques that include X-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI. The techniques are minimally invasive, using needles and small catheters to direct treatment rather than surgical incisions. He treats patients with many conditions, from peripheral arterial disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins and pulmonary embolism to many types of cancer, spinal fractures, uterine fibroids and more.

Garcia will perform his first chronic DVT procedure at Saint Francis on a patient from Vancouver, Canada, on Monday, June 12. The administrators at Saint Francis hope that this will become the Comprehensive Vein Center.

Garcia is the Medical Director and President of Vascular & Interventional Associates of Delaware and EndoVascular Consultants, housed at Suite 401 in Saint Francis Healthcare’s Medical Office Building. In the past, he treated patients at Christiana Care Health Services as a staff physician in interventional radiology. While there, he also served as Chief of Interventional Radiology, Medical Director of the Center for Comprehensive Venous Health, as well as Medical Director of the Center for Heart & Vascular Health Peripheral Labs. He also started and directed the accredited interventional radiology fellowship training program.

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