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Board Members

Dr. Devona E. Williams, Board Chair

Dr. Devona E. WilliamsSworn in on March 1, 2012

Innovation & Sustainability Committee, Vice Chair

Dr. Devona E. Williams has over 25 years of experience in the fields of public policy, planning and public affairs with corporate, government and nonprofit sectors.

She is the founder of Goeins-Williams Associates (GWA), a successful performance management consulting business designed to help organizations achieve greater productivity in strategic work environments. The list of GWA clients includes AstraZeneca, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Christina Health Systems, the DuPont Corporation, the State of Delaware, and many others.

Dr. Williams’ professional experience spans the administration of public programs, the management of corporate public relations, policy issues, strategic planning, organizational and executive leadership. Her experience also includes executive appointments with the DuPont Corporation, as well as service as a U.S. Presidential Intern with the Office of Management and Budget, NASA and the EPA.

She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware, with specialization in social policy, program planning and analysis. Dr. Williams is a former assistant professor and instructor for the University of Delaware’s School of Urban Affairs.

She is a frequent keynote speaker on business, diversity, leadership, motivation and success. She is author of the new release, The Intentional Consultant: How to grow and sustain a consulting practice, and is a contributing author of the inspirational book Remarkable Women.

John Ridgeway, Vice Chair

John RidgewaySworn in on June 16, 2016

Operations Committee, Vice Chair

John Ridgeway is currently the corporate manager of Toyota’s Eastern Territory Service Center, which is based in Owings Mills, Md. Prior to arriving at Toyota in 2006, Mr. Ridgeway spent two years as a senior vice president of Customer Service and Support for Bank of America. He also previously held director posts for Sears, Roebuck and Co. All told, the Delaware State University alumnus brings 24 years of corporate experience to the Board.

During his undergraduate years at then-Delaware State College, Mr. Ridgeway earned a B.A. in Business Administration.

John J. Allen, Jr., Vice Chair

John J. Allen, Jr.First appointed by the Board in 2012 to succeed Dr. Richard Barros, who stepped down from the Board in mid-2012 due to term limits. Sworn in January 10, 2013.

Academic & Student Success Committee, Vice Chair

John J. Allen, Jr. is Delmarva Power’s vice president responsible for Kent and Sussex counties in Delaware as well as the counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland since 2005.

An employee of Delmarva Power for 32 years, Mr. Allen’s background includes Customer Care Leadership, Organizational Training and Development, Training Instructional Design and Development, Human Performance Technology and Performance Improvement, and he holds industry certificates for Strategic Leadership. 

Mr. Allen attended Lincoln University and Southwest Bible College & Seminary and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Theology.                                   

Mr. Allen is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society for Business, Management and Administration and is also a 2006 graduate of Leadership Maryland.

In civic and community service areas, Mr. Allen serves on the Executive Board of the Greater Salisbury (Md.) Committee, Salisbury Wicomico Economic Development, the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and the Maryland/D.C. Utilities Association. He also serves as a board member of Nanticoke Health Services, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Board of Visitors, the University System of Maryland Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lower Eastern Shore, as well as a member of the United Way of Delaware Kent & Sussex Advisory Council.

The Honorable Michael N. Castle

The Honorable Michael N. CastleFirst appointed by Gov. Jack Markell in mid-2012 to succeed Dr. Calvin T. Wilson, whose six-year term expired.

Executive Committee

Michael N. Castle is a former two-term Delaware governor (1985-1992) and a nine-term U.S. Congressman (1993-2011) representing the First State. He has also served as lieutenant governor (1981-1985), state senator (1968-1976) and state representative (1966-1967). During his state Senate years, he was the minority leader from 1975-1976. In total, Mr. Castle served as an elected public servant for 40 years.

As a Congressman, Mr. Castle served as the chair of the House Subcommittee on Education Reform, in which he played a major role in shaping the No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law by President George Bush. He also forged enacted legislation designed to improve the quality and relevance of education research through new standards of scientific rigor.

An attorney and member of the Delaware Bar and the Washington D.C. Bar, Mr. Castle is currently a partner of DLA Piper, a government affairs practice that maintains offices in Wilmington, New York City and Washington, D.C.  During his legal practice years, he was an associate attorney and later a partner of the Wilmington law firm of Connelly, Bove and Lodge from 1964-1975. He also served from 1965 to 1966 as a Delaware deputy attorney general.

Mr. Castle has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center of Washington, D.C.

He was born and raised in Wilmington, Del., where he currently lives with his wife, Jane.

Norman Griffiths, Esq.

Sworn in on January 30, 2018 

Norman Griffiths served for 32 years as an in-house legal counsel for DuPont, retiring in June 2015. While advising DuPont officials and their clients on numerous areas of law, he also served 20 years (1992-2012) on the Wilmington City Council – 16 years as an elected councilman and four years as the council president. During that period, he served as the chair of the council’s Finance, Public Safety and Cable Communications committees.

The new University trustee brings abundant board experience with him. He has served on the boards of Delaware Technical Community College, the Riverfront Development Corporation, Wilmington Downtown Visions, Christiana Care Health Systems, Wilmington Economic Development Corp., and others.

He currently serves on the boards of Village of St. John, Inc., Salesianum High School, Delaware Solid Waste Authority, Westside Family Healthcare, Inc., and on the Governance Committee of Christiana Health Care.

Mr. Griffiths earned a 1980 Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from American University and a 1983 Juris Doctorate from Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, both schools in Washington, D.C. He currently is a member in good standing in the District of Columbia Bar.

Dr. Debbie Harrington

Dr. Debbie HarringtonSworn in on September 22, 2016

Executive Committee
Academic & Student Success Committee

Dr. Debbie Harrington – a native of Portsmouth, Va., and currently a resident of Middletown, Del. – was appointed to a six-year term by the Board to succeed former Board Member James Stewart, whose term expired Aug. 31.  

In her Army career, Dr. Harrington was an expert logistician with 25 years of experience in international multi-modal transportation systems and infrastructure, procurement, contracts, facility management and supply distribution.

After her retirement from the U.S. Army in 2005, Dr. Harrington worked in the areas of nonprofit organizational management, community development and social justice.

She has served the State of Delaware in several capacities. She served on a task force established by the state General Assembly to study education for students with visual impairments. She also works with the Delaware Department of Visual Impairment on education and employment initiatives and serves on its Rehabilitation Advisory Council.

Most recently, Dr. Harrington has worked with the Delaware Department of Education to strategically plan for the education of students with low-incidence disabilities. She also is an appointed commissioner and chairs the commission that administers the State Use Law.

She has managed the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square, a mega Baptist Church in Landover, Md., and the Resurrection Center churches in Wilmington and Middletown. At those churches, she has conducted capital planning and extensive outreach opportunities in education and economic empowerment.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Norfolk State University in Virginia, a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C., and a Doctor of Education in Innovation and Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University.

Lois M. Hobbs

Lois M. HobbsFirst appointed by Gov. Jack Markell on June 11, 2010. Reappointed in January 2017 for a six-year term.

Academic & Student Success Committee

Lois M. Hobbs has worked the last four years as an independent educational consultant. Prior to that from 1996-2006 she served as the superintendent of the Indian River School District, which serves 7,600 students in Sussex County. During her career, she has also been a regional administrator for the Charles County Public Schools and a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent for the Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Ms. Hobbs has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Elementary School Administration. She has served on the Governor’s Task Force on School Libraries and on the Lt. Governor’s Models of Excellence in Education Steering Committee. The former district superintendent is a resident of Fenwick Island, Del.

Margie Lopez Waite

Appointed by the Board in September 2018

Margie Lopez Waite succeeded Charles McDowell, who stepped down from the Board due to term limits.

A Class of 1990 alumna of Delaware State University, Ms. Waite – a resident of Bear, Del. – is currently the Head of School of the Las Americas ASPIRA Academy in Newark, Del., a post she has held since 2009. Prior to that she taught Spanish in the Appoquinimink School District.

Before her years as an educator, Ms. Waite held an ascending number of posts with MBNA America Bank in Wilmington, Del., from 1990 to 2006 – culminating in the last nine years as a Senior Vice President overseeing a variety of areas.

Ms. Waite earned a Bachelor of Science Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Marketing from Delaware State University in 1990 and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Wilmington University in 2008.

The Honorable Jack Markell

Sworn in June 15, 2018

Dr. Wilma Mishoe

Dr. Wilma MishoeSworn in January 25, 2020

Harold Stafford

Sworn in on June 15, 2018

Harold E. Stafford, a former Delaware Secretary of Labor, brings to the Board 31 years of state executive experience. He served as the Secretary of Labor under Gov. Ruth Ann Minner from 2001 to 2005. Prior to that, he worked at the Delaware Economic Development Office from 1998-2001 as the director of administration and the last four months as acting director. He also held the position of director of administration at the state Department of Labor from 1993-1998.

He began his career in state government from 1974-1990 in the Department of Corrections, where he served in several positions, including chief of Community Custody and Supervision, chief of Industries and Services, and others.

After his time ended as a cabinet secretary in 2005, Mr. Stafford founded The Stafford Firm, a management consultant business to assist nonprofits and government agencies to implement quality standards to improve performance and streamline operations. Since early 2017, he has also served as the board president for HELP Initiative, Inc., a nonprofit agency that coordinates low-income energy efficiency programs, improves the quality of life and reduces dependency on social service programs.

Mr. Stafford has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Henderson State University in Arkansas, and a Master of Social Service degree in Social Service Administration.

Jocelyn Stewart

Sworn in on March 15, 2018

Jocelyn Stewart directs the community investment effort for Barclaycard US. Since the company’s founding in 2000, she has developed its community strategy and managed Barclays volunteer and financial resources to achieve Barclays’ community goals. She has created innovative partnerships with Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the National Institutes of Health to create and evaluate entrepreneurship programs. She is also responsible for Barclaycard US compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act which is audited by the FDIC.

Prior to joining Barclays, Jocelyn worked for First USA Bank, where she started and led the event marketing department,  generating over one million new credit card accounts per year. She also founded and led “At Your Request,” a value-added concierge service for credit card customers.

Jocelyn is active in the community as the Chair of the Board for Teach for America Delaware and the Summer Collaborative, Vice Chair of East Side Charter School and on the Land Bank of Wilmington Board, Wilmington Leaders Alliance and Bright Spot Ventures. She was appointed by the Governor of Delaware to serve the Delaware State University Board, the Judicial Nominating Committee, Early Education and the Economy Committee and was past Vice Chair of the Early Childhood Council. She is a trustee on Christiana Care Health Services.

Leroy A. Tice, Esq.

Leroy A. Tice, Esq.Appointed by Gov. Jack Markell in January 2010 to complete the term of Dr. Lillian Lowery, who resigned, and was sworn in that same month.

Audit & ERM Committee, Vice Chair

Leroy A. Tice is an attorney with his Wilmington firm of Leroy A. Tice, Esquire, P.A., a general litigation firm that focuses on personal injury, criminal defense, worker’s compensation and civil rights matters. Mr. Tice is a member of both the Delaware State Bar Association and the New Jersey State Bar Association.

He is a member of the Delaware Bar Association’s Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section, the Delaware Trial Lawyers, as well as the National Employment Lawyers Association. He also serves as an outside counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and as a special hearing officer for the Prestige Academy, a Wilmington charter school.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Delaware State University and later earned a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law.

He is a native of Milford, Del., a 1987 graduate of Milford High School and also a 2002 alumnus of Delaware State University.

Mr. Tice was appointed to finish the six-year term of Dr. Lillian A. Lowery, who resigned from the board in January 2010. In completing Dr. Lowery’s term, Mr. Tice’s current appointment lasts until Oct. 17, 2020.

Bernadette Dorsey Whatley

Sworn in on March 15, 2018

Bernadette Dorsey Whatley is a Managing Director with more than twenty years of experience in Operations at JPMorgan. Roles have included Operations Manager, Chief Administrative & Communications Officer, and Program Manager. After spending her entire career in the Corporate & Investment Bank, Bernadette accepted a mobility opportunity to join Asset & Wealth Management (AWM), and more specifically Wealth Management (February 2016), where she is responsible for US Private Bank Client Onboarding markets across the East Coast.

At JPMorgan, she is active Mentor and also serves on the AWM Operations People Committee. In addition, she is Co-Chair of the Communications Committee within the AWM Black Leadership Forum (BLF). In 2017 she was recognized as a Rising Star by the Harlem YMCA Black Achievers in Industry (bai) program. Prior awards for her community service and JPMC leadership have included the Walnut Street (Wilmington, Del.) YMCA Black Achiever Award, JPMC Super Star Award, YMCA recipient of the Evening of Style Award, United States Volunteer Service Award from the President’s Council on Service & Civic Participation, and finally Diversity MBA Magazine Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executives Award. Bernadette believes that “to those whom much is given, much is required”; hence, her commitment to serving in various leadership capacities at JPMorgan as well as within her local community.

Bernadette was born and raised in Delaware, and is a proud graduate of University of Delaware, where she earned degrees in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance (1992) and a Master of Business Administration (1998). She also holds a Series 99 license.

Bernadette resides in Bear, Del., with her husband, Hiram. In her leisure time she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends. She is an active, Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service organization.

Esthelda R. Parker Selby

Sworn in June 20, 2019

Esthelda R. Parker Selby, fondly known by family and friends as “Stell,” is the daughter of Violet Ramona Parker and the late Denver B. Parker. She has a brother, Gayelon D. Parker, and two sons, Myron D.P. Selby and Nashon R.P. Selby. Esthelda is also a proud grandmother and great-grandmother.

Esthelda was born in Milford, Del., and raised in Lewes and Milton, Del. All of her early and later living and career has been in the Milton, Lewes, and Rehoboth areas. Esthelda attended elementary school, grades 1-6, in Milton School #196-C in a time of segregation and segregated schools. The “C” identified these schools for “Colored ”students. Grades 7-12 were completed at the William C. Jason Comprehensive High School in Georgetown, Del. (now known as Delaware Technical Community College, Jason Building/ Owens Campus).  She received her BA in Sociology at Delaware State College/University with a minor in Education. Later, Esthelda completed her Master’s at the University of Delaware, which made her completely certified in the field of Education.

In 1970, Esthelda was hired as a full-time teacher in the Cape Henlopen School District. She has taught and served as an administrator for grades K-12. She has served as an Administrative Intern, Assistant Principal, and Principal in Shields Elementary School,  Rehoboth Elementary School, Cape Henlopen High School and Booker T. Washington  Elementary School in the Capital School District. She served as an Adjunct Professor at Delaware State University for several years. Prior to retiring with 34 years of experience in education, Esthelda served as a District-level Administrator in the Departments of Human Resources and Community Services, Mentoring and School Climate Issues in the Cape Henlopen School District.

After retirement, Esthelda continued to serve in higher education by becoming the Director of Student Teaching for Delaware State University on the Dover Campus and later Director of its Georgetown Campus site. She has also served as a Student Teacher Adviser for Wilmington University.  

Esthelda has always been a very active community person involved in numerous clubs and organizations. She has done so much to help others from all walks of life. She loves people and presents herself through public speaking engagements, serving on committees and by being a strong leader. She has impacted the lives of countless students and continues to participate in such organizations as the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice, Delta Kappa Gamma Society, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Sussex County Alumni Association of Delaware State University, Delaware Retired School Personnel Association,  DE Tech Development Council, DE Historical Society Board, Milton Historical Society Board, DE Historic Preservation Board and more.

She has served on the Cape Henlopen School Board (elected in 2005 with an outstanding voter turn out of over 1,200 votes), AARP Local Advisory Committee, Beebe Medical Center Board (16 years), Delmarva Peninsula Red Cross Board of Directors, and Delaware Historical Society Board.

Prior service has been as a past Chairperson of the Sussex YMCA Board of Managers in Rehoboth, Past Chairperson of the Rehoboth Art League Cottage Tour, Past Member of the Delaware Principal’s Academy Board, and Past President of the Delaware State University National Alumni Association. She has served on the state’s Diversity Recruitment Committee, Kent and Sussex Symphony Committee, Delaware Law Education Committee, member of the Association for Supervision of Curriculum and Development, Delaware Administrator Standards Committee, and Higher Education Commission, and was appointed in the 1970s by Governor Pete duPont to serve on the First State Testing Committee headed by Dave Burton.

By special invitation in 1999, Esthelda was called by Senator William V. Roth’s office to testify before the United States Joint Finance Committee about the then new “Saving for Education Through Tax Sheltered Plans” initiative. In 2002, Esthelda went into the 19th Senatorial race against incumbent Senator Therman Adams who, for the first time in a long time, had an opponent. After that race, she said that she would return someday to the political arena and try for another office and she did enter the State Treasurer’s race against Jack Markell in 2006. Defeat did not stop her as she went on and later became a Councilwoman and Vice Mayor of the Town of Milton through April 2017.

Esthelda has received numerous awards, honors and recognitions. Some include the YMCA Black Achiever Award, the Sussex County Dr. Martin Luther King Community Award, and the Delaware Principal Academy Service.