Kent Economic Partnership awards dinner honors businesses


DOVER — Two businesses — a successful start-up and an existing job creator — will be honored at the annual Kent Economic Partnership dinner and award presentation Thursday, along with a mayor committed to local economic promotion.

Milford Mayor Bryan W. Shupe will receive the Economic Development Spirit Award for “individual commitment to promoting Kent County,” the KEP said.

Bryan W. Shupe

Bryan W. Shupe

The newly opened Inn at Duck Creek in Smyrna got the nod for the Economic Development Trailblazer Award, fueled by building owner Ed Ide, business partners Howard A. Johnson and Donna Ignasz.

The Edgewell company is the Economic Development Trendsetter Award recipient for “Expansion and new job creation in an existing business,” according to the KEP.

Donna Ignasz

Donna Ignasz

The dinner program will be held at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, beginning at 6 p.m. Individual tickets are $50, with reserved tables of eight going for $400. The final RSVP date is Sunday. For more information, email or call 678-3028. The fax number is 736-2279.

The KEP cited Bedford “Buff” Bruno for his work as Edgewell’s Global Fem Care Operations Director for Personal Care. Dover’s plant will be the only manufacturing site of Fem Care products after the Montreal plant closes in 2017.

Edgewell has been a separate company since July 2015 and includes brand names Schick, Edge, Playtex, Stayfree, Carefree, OB, Wet Ones, Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic.

Howard Johnson

Howard Johnson

First hired by Playtex in 2006, Mr. Bruno moved to Dover in 2008 and took the Fem Care leadership role in 2010.

A lifelong Milford resident, Mayor Shupe started Milford Live, a hyperlocal community driven media outlet, and the downtown-based Fur-Baby Boutique & Doggie Daycare with his wife Sherry.

Mayor Shupe is board of directors president of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, and is involved with Downtown Milford Inc., Greater Milford Chamber of Commerce, and the Milford School District. As a city councilman, he was a member of the Economic Development, Infrastructure and Public Works Committees in 2013 and 2014.

Located at 2 through 10 North Main Street, the Inn at Duck Creek had a soft opening on Dec. 30, 2015 and has been open for business since. The location combined several historical buildings, and allowed the building of six dining rooms seating about 12 to 20 people each, a tavern, a kitchen and office space.

According to Mr. Johnson in an earlier Delaware State News story, the Inn offers an upscale dining experience in a historic setting, featuring a full menu of steaks and seafood at affordable prices.

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