The News Journal/Delaware Onlinerecently rolled out a list of the most influential business people in the state. The list included seven other categories, with Joe Biden topping the political list.
Listed as most influential in the business category was Rod Ward of Corporation Service Co. The family-owned company that provides incorporation and other business services keeps a low profile but made the news with the purchase of a building near the Wilmington Train Station. Earlier, the company built a new headquarters west of the city. Ward has also been involved in efforts to boost the state’s economy.
What is striking about the list is the lack of females in leadership roles. It wasn’t that long ago that we had female CEOs at DuPont and W.L. Gore.
I’ll also throw some additional names as candidates for the list.
- Dr. Janice Nevin, CEO of ChristianaCare, deserved the list the business list. (She’s on the science and tech list). ChristianaCare is the state’s largest private employer.
- Jeff Householder, CEO of Chesapeake Utilities, has put his imprint on what some see as the state’s best-managed public company. Chesapeake continues to grow while placing some wise bets on renewable natural gas that could come from poultry waste.
- Dian Taylor, CEO of Artesian Resources. Taylor has headed the company for three decades, with Artesian carefully expanding its statewide water and waste treatment systems into Cecil County, Md.
- Mark Vergnano, CEO of Chemours. Despite getting castoff businesses and environmental liabilities from DuPont, Vergnano and his management team have navigated difficult conditions and continued to invest in Delaware with renovated space in the DuPont building and a new R&D center in Newark.
- Gary Stockbridge, president of Delmarva Power, is a busy man since he also heads another Pepco subsidiary, Atlantic City Electric. Gary makes my list, thanks in part to his community involvement in areas such as education.
- Chris and Preston Schell head Sussex County development and home-building companies, Schell Brothers and Ocean Atlantic, that have helped spur growth in coastal Delaware.
- Kurt Foreman, CEO of Delaware Prosperity Partnership. Despite early criticism over a lack of transparency, the private-public development agency that came out of a restructuring of the Delaware Economic Development Office has racked up wins in attracting and retaining businesses. Foreman is another most influential list.
- Brett Snyder, the new CEO of Gore, was listed in science and technology. Snyder should also be on the business list. Snyder is a Gore family member who took the helm after two non-family members headed the company.
The list included restaurant industry notables that included Sam and Mariah Calagione, who built and sold Milton-based Dogfish Head brewery, and Scott Kammerer, president of Rehoboth-based SoDel Concepts. All should have been on the business list. Gov. John Carney should also be on the business list, although he definitely belongs on the political ranking.
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Below is the News Journal’sbusiness ranking
- Rod Ward – Corporation Service Co.
- Edward Breen – DuPont
- Tony Allen – Delaware State University
- Chris Kenny – CEO Shoprite stores in Delaware
- Doneene Damon – President, Richards, Layton & Finger
- Dennis Assanis, University of Delaware
- Robert and Chris Buccini, Bucccini/Pollin
- Alan Levin -Happy Harry’s, SoDel Concepts
- Ben duPont – Venture Capitalist, Zip Code Delaware
- Megan McGlinchey – Delaware Riverfront Corp.
- Rodger Levenson – CEO, WSFS
- Gregory Pettinaro – Pettinaro development firm that owns and manages commercial property and apartments.
- Tom Hanna – Harvey Hanna and Associates, developer of Boxwood GM site
- Linda Parkowski – Executive Director of the Kent Economic Partnership, Inc
- Jennifer Cohan – Former DELDOT secretary, now CEO of Leadership Delaware
- Louis Capano III – Apartment and shopping center manager/developer.
- Fran DiNuzzo – CEO, ILC Dover.
- Rhett Ruggerio – Interim head of University of Delaware’s Government Relations Department and prominent lobbyist
- Robert Herrera – The Mill Coworking space
- Ernie Delle Donne – Developer of former AstraZeneca campus.
Feel free to pass along your own nominations. Simply hit reply and type away. Enjoy the rest of the day. Take care, if you haven’t finished shoveling. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.