Board members for new Delaware economic panel announced

DOVER — Gov. John Carney announced Thursday the 18 individuals who will serve on the board of the public-private partnership intended to attract companies to the state and help create jobs.

Known as the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, the initiative replaces the Delaware Economic Development Office. Its creation is arguably the biggest step taken by Gov. Carney in his eight months in office.

Gov. John Carney on Thursday announced the 18 members who will make up the board of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. The new entity replaces the Delaware Economic Development Office.
Members of the board are:
Gov. John Carney (co-chair)
Rod Ward, President, CSC (co-chair)
Desmond Baker, founder of Desmond A. Baker & Associates
Alan Brangman, executive vice president of the University of Delaware
Patrick Callahan, founder of CompassRed
Eric Cheek, associate vice president of Delaware State University
Doneene Damon, executive vice president of Richards, Layton, & Finger
Jeanmarie Desmond, co-controller of DowDuPont
Robert Herrera, co-founder of The Mill
Nick Lambrow, president of Delaware Region, M&T Bank
Sen. Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley
Greg Moore, vice president of Becker Morgan Group
Lori Palmer, ventures executive leader of Trellist Marketing Technology
Rob Rider, CEO of O.A. Newton
Rep. Bryon Short, D-Highland Woods
Richelle Vible, executive director of Catholic Charities
Sen. Jack Walsh, D-Elsmere
Rep. Lyndon Yearick, R-Camden

The partnership will be run by a full-time CEO and will aim to market the state, “with a focus on attracting early-stage and technology-focused businesses, recruitment of large employers and expansion of international business opportunities for Delaware companies,” according to the governor’s office.

The governor’s choice to head the entity has not yet been announced, but a selection could be made public as soon as today.

Gov. Carney and Rod Ward, president of the legal-service powerhouse CSC, will co-chair the partnership’s board. Other board members include business executives, nonprofit leaders and state legislators.

The Delaware Prosperity Partnership will receive $2 million annually from the state and $1 million from businesses to cover administrative costs.

“Collectively, this group of leaders from across our state will ensure that Delaware is positioned to create good-paying jobs, to attract talent, and to lead in a 21st century economy,” Gov. Carney said in a statement. “As co-chair, I will remain closely involved in the direction of the partnership, and Delaware’s economic development efforts. And we will focus on promoting innovation, attracting technology-focused jobs to Delaware, connecting entrepreneurs with available resources and building a talented workforce.”

The Delaware Business Roundtable in 2016 issued a report calling for greater collaboration between DEDO and businesses.

While some of the duties previously handled by DEDO now belong to the partnership, other are in the hands of the Department of State, under the new Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism.

The partnership was criticized by some when the bill was being debated by lawmakers in the spring, with opponents noting the partnership would be a private entity not subject to Freedom of Information Act laws.

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