People on the move: December 17


People on the Move is a recap of recent hires, promotions, appointments and other notable accomplishments of professionals in the state. If you are interested in submitting an application, please contact [email protected].

Stephen J. Gardner will be named Amtrak’s new President and CEO, effective January 17.


Gardner is currently President of Amtrak, leading the day-to-day operations of the railway, customer growth initiatives and strategies to modernize Amtrak’s products, services, infrastructure and fleet.

He has been with Amtrak since 2009 and has held various leadership roles including Chief Operating Officer and Commercial Director. He has been responsible for efforts to expand state-supported service partnerships, increase Acela capacity, improve Northeast Corridor infrastructure, and develop Amtrak’s strategic plan.

Prior to Amtrak, Gardner worked as a senior executive on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. Previously, he served as legislative assistant for transportation to Senator Tom Carper.

Off the Hook Restaurant Group recently announced that the co-founder and owner of the company Kevin Frey Resigned. The restaurant group operates Off The Hook in Bethany Beach, Just Hooked in Fenwick Island and Hooked Up in Millville.

Co-founder and business partner Steve Hagen assumed his new owner / operator role on December 1.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with our dedicated and passionate team over the past 10 years. Now is the time for me to retire from the Off The Hook restaurant group and for Steve to lead the business into the future. We have built five strong concepts and I am so proud of the culture and quality people who make our group of restaurants exceptional. I want to recognize the hard work and dedication we have received from our employees, past and present. I have immense respect for Steve and have no doubts that he will take Off Hook Group to new heights for our teams and our guests, ”Frey said in a statement.

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law Honored Ballard Spahr Senior Counsel Tom sager with the Whitney North Seymour Award, given to a member of the organization’s board of directors who demonstrates exemplary service and integrity.


Sager, a member of the board’s executive committee and former board co-chair, was honored at the committee’s annual virtual awards ceremony. The award recognizes a member of the board of directors who exemplifies the legacy of service and integrity that characterized the life of Whitney North Seymour Sr., who served as president of the American Bar Association and was known for her dedication to civil liberties for under-represented groups and individuals.

Sager is the former general counsel and senior vice president of the DuPont company. As a leading and strong advocate for diversity in the legal profession, Mr. Sager helped develop the DuPont Company legal model – an industry benchmark that has been acclaimed nationally for its innovative approach. of corporate legal practice. He is the recipient of the prestigious American Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award and the namesake of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Thomas L. Sager Award, awarded annually to law firms that demonstrate a commitment to law enforcement. diversity and inclusion.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, headquartered in Washington, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization established in 1963 at the behest of President John F. Kennedy to draw on the leadership and resources of the private bar in the fight against racial discrimination and inequality of opportunity. For more than 50 years, the organization has mobilized a national network of leading private sector lawyers to provide pro bono legal services to tackle the most critical civil rights issues of our time.


Subaru of America announced that Renee rhem, Vice President of Customer Defense at Subaru of America, has been named to the Subaru leadership team. Rhem is the first African-American woman to hold a C-Suite position at Subaru.

As Vice President of Customer Defense and a member of the executive team, Rhem oversees the Subaru customer experience across all channels, ensuring the Subaru Love Promise is present in all interactions with Subaru customers. . The Customer Advocacy Department strives to maintain customer and brand loyalty and foster positive partnerships with Subaru retailers to resolve customer issues. Rhem joined Subaru as Vice President of Customer Advocacy in 2020. Previously, she held positions in operations, sales support and customer service including at Prudential Financial, Independence Blue Cross and Bank of America.

The Delaware resident is also a board member of Las Americas ASPIRA Academy (Delaware Charter), as well as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College.

Hara wright smith joined the Wilmington Alliance as Director of e-Business Development and Inclusion. She will serve as the organization’s coordinator, helping to bring together local, regional and national stakeholders to lead equitable economic mobility efforts and help create a culture of inclusion for the City of Wilmington.


Wright-Smith brings a fair perspective to the region’s current and future economic development, which focuses on removing barriers to economic opportunity and advancement, especially for people of color. She is originally from Delaware and passionate about leading transformative community change with a commitment to dismantling social inequalities in underserved communities. His professional career spans more than 20 years in the areas of housing and community economic development, community reinvestment consulting, entrepreneurship and education.

Wright-Smith is also the author of the soon to be released book, “African Americans on the East Side of Wilmington,” which chronicles the historical development of the East Side of Wilmington, including individuals, families, black children, churches, businesses. , schools and social institutions that shared a rich tradition of African-American life and success that made up the fabric of the neighborhood.

New partners of Young Conaway effective January 1, 2022

Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP is pleased to announce that seven new partners have been elected to join the firm, effective January 1.

Travis G. Buchanan is a member of Young Conaway’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group, with experience in a wide range of Chapter 11 matters ranging from debtor practice and bankruptcy litigation to mass tort insolvencies and settlement trusts .

Justin P. Duda focuses his practice in the area of ​​business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and financing matters.

Ashley E. Jacobs focuses his practice on representing debtors, lenders and other parties in Chapter 11 cases, as well as foreign representatives in Chapter 15 cases.

Allurie R. Kephart focuses his practice on the wide variety of issues that can arise during the lifecycle of various types of businesses, including corporations and unincorporated entities.

Lakshmi A. Muthu focuses his practice on corporate litigation, primarily in the Delaware Court of Chancellery, representing clients in contractual and corporate governance disputes, book and case claims, and expedited injunction requests.

Nicolas J. Rohrer focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancellery, including contract litigation, corporate governance litigation, accounting and accounting actions, progress proceedings, and litigation involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.

Robert M. Vrana assists clients in commercial and intellectual property litigation, ranging from patent infringement litigation to copyright, trademark and trade secret advice and litigation.

Sussex County Council voted to nominate Tracy N. Torbert, of Delmar, as the next clerk of the council.


Torbert, who is currently the Town Clerk of Seaford, will replace Robin A. Griffith, who will retire in early 2022 after more than 30 years as the County’s Top Clerk. Griffith is the oldest council clerk since the council form of government was established by the Delaware General Assembly in the early 1970s.

Torbert was selected from a pool of six potential candidates for the post that oversees the day-to-day administrative responsibilities of the County Council, including recording meeting minutes, posting agendas, advertising and ordering orders. cataloging, and maintaining the county code, among other tasks. . The position is appointed by the Departmental Council.

Architectural designer of the Becker Morgan group, Megan me kelly, recently obtained its LEED AP Building Design + Construction certification.


The LEED AP BD + C designation distinguishes those with advanced knowledge in green building design with a specialty in green building design and new construction. Kelly joins 12 other Becker Morgan group staff with the designation. Designation requires a series of tests and hands-on project experience.

Kelly has gained valuable green building design practices on a number of recent projects with the company, including Showell Elementary School and the Patricia and Allen Gurrieri Center for Applied Technology at Wor-Wic Community College.


Diamond State Financial Group Financial Advisor Michael durstein has obtained the Certified Financial Planner certification. The CFP certification is awarded to candidates who complete a rigorous program of study and meet ethical and professional requirements. Applicants receive training in financial planning; more specifically, income tax, cash flow, retirement, inheritance and investment planning.


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