Personnel File: April 4, 2023

Denise Dignam

Chemours announces top-level appointments

Chemours Company, Wilmington, appointed Denise Dignam as President, Chemours Titanium Technologies and Chemical Solutions. 2023. Chemours will promoted Gerardo Familiar to succeed Dignam as President, Chemours Advanced Performance Materials.

Denise Dignam

“Chemours is fortunate to have tremendous internal talent from which to draw in order to fill these key leadership positions,” said Mark Newman, Chemours CEO. “Both Denise and Gerardo are proven leaders who have helped to drive strong business performance and embrace our passion for producing critical chemistries that are innovative, responsibly manufactured, and play an essential role in a more sustainable economy.”


Denise Dignam brings more than 30 years of chemical industry experience to her new role leading Chemours’ largest business segment and Chemical Solutions business. Her expertise spans commercialization, sales, marketing, strategy, supply chain, and operations.

Gerardo Familiar has more than two decades of experience in the chemical sector. He is currently general manager for the Chemours hydrogen venture where he has been central to accelerating Chemours’ growth initiatives in clean energy and hydrogen solutions. Prior to that, he led Global Strategy, Marketing, and Regulatory Affairs for Thermal & Specialized Solutions (TSS). In his time with Chemours, Familiar was also Investor Relations director, and served simultaneously as president of Chemours Mexico and Latin Americas business director for both the APM and TSS segments.


DeRose named chief operating officer of Whisman Giordano


Whisman Giordano & Associates, Newark, named Lisa K. DeRose, CPA, CGMA, its first official Chief Operating Officer. DeRose will oversee the firm’s day-to-day operations in addition to her existing roles as Director of the Tax Department, leader of the Tax Committee, and the partner in charge of human resources.

DeRose has over 30 years of experience. She joined WGA as a partner in 2013. She helped found the Delaware chapter of the ACE Mentor Program in 2010. This program has given over $100,000 in scholarships to high school students interested in building design and construction careers. Since 2001 she has served as Treasurer to the Delaware chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association. 

DiSabatino named chairman of Business Roundtable

EDiS President & CEO Brian DiSabatino has been named Chairman of the Delaware Business Roundtable for a two-year term. 

DiSabatino takes over the role from former Chairwoman Dr. Janice Nevin, CEO of ChristianaCare Health Systems. The Roundtable was created in 1981 to enhance the quality of life in Delaware by promoting commerce, job creation and select public policy issues. 

“Our job at the Roundtable is at a macro level – to create the vision and inspiration of future growth in Delaware that ultimately will result in policy improvements and real, tangible prosperity for the greater good of all communities and residents of our great state,” said DiSabatino. 

He pointed to the “Ready in Six” initiative, a widely supported effort to improve Delaware’s ability to increase economic development by attracting and growing business. He went on to say that since Delaware’s permitting process can stretch up to 24 months, it places the state at a disadvantage when compared to neighboring states like Maryland and Pennsylvania, who have substantially faster permit approvals. “Ready in Six” is designed to cut the permitting timeline from 24 months to six months. 

DiSabatino further explained that his first focus is evolving and updating the Delaware Growth Agenda, first published by the Roundtable in 2016. 

Ritter named DNREC community affairs chief

Matthew Ritter as director of the DNREC Division of Community Affairs – a DNREC division that spans community-related government services sections, including the Delaware Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit, the DNREC Public Affairs team, and the Offices of the Community Ombudsman and the Small Business Ombudsman.

Ritter has served 18 years with the Department, most recently as an environmental program administrator for DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation. In his new position, he succeeds Pat Emory, who recently was appointed of DNREC’s director of Fish and Wildlife.

After joining DNREC in 2004 as a seasonal parks interpreter, Ritter worked his way up through the state parks.

Flynn to head broadband office


Chief Information Officer (CIO) Jason Clarke announced that Roddy Flynn will lead the state’s connectivity efforts as the Executive Director of the newly-formed Delaware Broadband Office. 

Flynn most recently served as the Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Appointed by the White House, Flynn led congressional affairs for the Internet for All initiative which is tasked with implementing the $48 billion high-speed Internet expansion portions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Delaware Broadband Office is entrusted with leading efforts to expand the availability of wired high-speed internet to all homes and businesses across the state. 

Flynn began his career as a law clerk to the state Supreme Court  Justice Henry duPont Ridgely before becoming a litigation associate at Richards, Layton, and Finger. His interest in public service led him to Washington, DC where he headed the Equality PAC, Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, and served as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon prior to joining the NTIA.

A native Delawarean, Flynn received his B.A. from American University and his J.D. from Washington & Lee University School of Law.

State Treasurer’s office  personnel changes

State Treasurer Colleen Davis announced changes to her leadership team in the Office of the State Treasurer.

Liza Davis, who has served as Deputy State Treasurer since 2019, has left to become the University of Pennsylvania’s new Associate Vice President for Finance and Treasury Management.

In her time as Deputy State Treasurer, Davis was responsible for supporting the oversight of daily operations of the office including managing the staff, assisting with oversight of an annual operating budget of $6 million, assisting with the cash and debt investment portfolio, and supporting supervision of tax-advantaged savings plans. Prior to her tenure as Deputy, Davis served as a Policy Advisor to the State Treasurer.

Jordan Seemans, who spent the past three years as the Treasurer’s Director of Policy and Communications, will replace Davis as Deputy State Treasurer. Prior to joining the Office of the State Treasurer in 2020, Seemans served as the Director of Legislative Affairs in the Office of Governor John Carney.

The change in the Deputy Treasurer position follows other recent promotions. Lisa Embert, the former Director of the Reconciliations & Transaction Management (RTM) Division became OST’s Chief Operating Officer after the previous C.O.O. Daniel Madrid took a position as the Deputy Director of Government Efficiency and Accountability Review (GEAR) within the Department of Finance. Brennon Fountain has taken over as RTM Division Director after serving as Controller II.

Tatnall School leadership announcements

The Tatnall School, located west of Wilmington,  announced the following leaders as part of its restructuring under an action plan.

“This new administrative structure will empower our leaders to make the best decisions for our students now and in the years ahead,” said Andrew D. Martire, h Head of school. “Being more structurally aligned better optimizes our resources and makes Tatnall a more nimble, responsive and efficient organization. I am proud to lead this exceptional team, who will support our students and the faculty and staff who deliver on the Tatnall mission every day.”

Michele Ciconte, currently the Head of Lower School, will assume the role of Director of Special Projects at the end of the academic school year. Ciconte will work closely with   Martire on a range of schoolwide projects related to curriculum and instruction, faculty professional development and the implementation of Today, Tomorrow, Tatnall initiatives. 

Kim Wagner  will become Tatnall’s Head of Lower School, effective July 1. For the past three years, Dr. Wagner has served as Head of School at Christ Church Episcopal Preschool (CCEP), and spent the previous 15 years working in elementary education as a teacher, literacy instructional specialist, professional development project manager and team leader. 

Adrienne Meade has been named Head of Early Childhood, effective July 1. For the past three years,   Meade has served as the first-ever Early Years Department Chair at Wilmington Friends School (WFS) and has more than 15 years of experience as a lead preschool teacher. 

Ensign Simmons, presently the Middle/Upper School Coordinator of Innovation and Media Services, will assume the schoolwide role of Director of Innovation and Technology.  in July. In this capacity, Simmons will oversee academic technology, network systems, MyTatnall, media services and the new Concentrations program, as well as Tatnall’s   partnership with the University of Delaware. In addition, he will serve as Computer Science Department Chair

Grogan named director of  Delaware Restaurant Foundation


The Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) has announced the promotion of Raelynn Grogan as the Executive Director of the Association’s philanthropic arm, The Delaware Restaurant Foundation (DRF). The announcement of Grogan’s promotion of the DRF (formerly the Delaware Restaurant Association Educational Foundation or DRAEF) comes at a pivotal time for the association and its expanded vision and work to support the restaurant industry through its workforce development initiatives. 

Carrie Leishman remains the President & CEO of The Delaware Restaurant Association and The Delaware Restaurant Foundation.

During Raelynn’s tenure at the DRF, its ProStart  high school culinary and restaurant management program has grown to include 21 high schools and two correctional facilities (reaching 3,000-plus  students across the state), restaurant industry apprenticeship programs in Delaware have been expanded to include young adults, re-entry and justice-involved individuals, and specialized training/employment opportunities pathways have been implemented for adults with disabilities. 

Senior accountants join Whisman Giordano


Whisman Giordano & Associates, LLC, Newark,  announced the hiring of three Senior Accountants: 

  • Jeni Head
  • MaKayla Vidal, CPA
  • Joan Wilson, CPA, MBA

Jeni Head comes to the firm with over 20 years of accounting experience in various capacities. Her specialties include employee benefit plans, not-for-profit organizations, partnership and individual taxes. Head is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and will be involved with both the firm’s audit and tax practices. 

MaKayla Vidal, CPA, is a graduate of Lamar University in Texas and specializes in not-for-profit organizations and financial statement preparation.. 

Joan Wilson, CPA, MBA, brings 25 years of accounting experience to WGA. Her specialties include not-for-profit organizations, closely-held businesses, low-income housing, retirement plans, S-corps, partnerships, and individual tax. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. 

Sherman to manage Northeast Seafood Kitchen


Katie Sherman was recently promoted to general manager of Northeast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View, Delaware. The Ohio native has been a resident of the coastal Delaware town for more than 15 years.

“I’ve witnessed the incredible growth in the Bethany Beach-Ocean View area, and NorthEast Seafood Kitchen helped pave the way west of Route 1,” she says. “It’s an OG restaurant that keeps things fresh, and we have a loyal customer base of locals and visitors.”

A hospitality veteran, Sherman worked the front desk at the Hotel Rodney in Lewes before entering the coastal restaurant industry. She’s been a server, bartender and bar manager. 

In 2015, Sherman joined the opening team at Crust & Craft, located in the Midway area between Lewes and Rehoboth.

Both Crust & Craft and Northeast Seafood Kitchen are part of SoDel Concepts.