Governor Carney Issues Statement on Senate Confirmations

DOVER, Del.Governor John Carney issued the following statement on the Delaware Senate voting to confirm judicial nominations on Wednesday:

“I want to thank members of the Delaware Senate for their careful consideration of our nominees,” said Governor Carney. “I’m confident that each has the good judgment and experience necessary to serve on Delaware’s world-class judiciary with distinction. Thank you to all the nominees for their willingness to serve.”

The following nominations were confirmed on Wednesday:

Martin O’Connor was confirmed to serve as a Superior Court Commissioner in New Castle County. O’Connor has served as a Deputy Attorney General since 1998. During his time at the Delaware Department of Justice (DOJ), O’Connor has served as a Criminal Division prosecutor, as well as serving in the Criminal Division Appellate Unit, Medicaid Fraud Unit, and in the Civil Division.

Theresa Hayes was confirmed to serve as a Judge on the Family Court in Sussex County. Hayes has been a Family Court practitioner since 1996. She practices at the Office of Edward C. Gill P.A. in Georgetown, where she represents clients on all aspects of Family law. Previously, she served as a law clerk from 1994-1996 to the Honorable Battle R. Robinson and the Honorable Kenneth M. Millman on the Family Court in Sussex County.

Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster was reappointed to serve as a Vice Chancellor on the Delaware Court of Chancery, where he has served since 2009. Previously, Vice Chancellor Laster was a founding partner of the corporate law firm Abrams & Laster LLP, and a director in the Corporate Department at Richards, Layton & Finger.

Earl MacFarlane was confirmed as Justice of the Peace for New Castle County.

Kristine Kellenbenz was confirmed as Justice of the Peace for Sussex County.

Taylor Oliphant was confirmed as Alderman of the Town of Laurel.

The Hon. Theodore Becker was confirmed to the Delaware River and Bay Authority.

Earl Jeter was confirmed to the Lottery Commission.

William Tobin was confirmed to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

Monica Alvarez and Kim Warfield, Ph.D. were confirmed to the State Board of Elections.


Governor Carney Issues Statement on Cabinet Confirmations

WILMINGTON, Del. –  Governor John Carney on Wednesday issued the following statement on Senate confirmations of Cabinet officials to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Department of Transportation (DelDOT), the Department of Human Resources (DHR), and the Department of Technology and Information (DTI):

“I want to thank members of the Delaware Senate for their thoughtful consideration of these important Cabinet nominations,” said Governor Carney. “This is a group of Delawareans who are driven by public service. Their experience, good judgment, and commitment to Delaware will serve our state well. Our goals are simple. We want to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis and make Delaware an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. Working together, I firmly believe Delaware will come out of this difficult period stronger than ever.”

Cerron Cade was confirmed by the Senate as the next Director of the Delaware Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which manages Delaware’s annual financial plan and State of Delaware facilities. Since 2018, Cade has served as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor (DOL), where he has led Delaware’s workforce development and employment programs through the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, Cade served as the first Director of the Delaware Division of Small Business.

Nicole Majeski, confirmed by the Senate as the next Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), has served as the Deputy Secretary for DelDOT since 2011. Previously, Majeski worked for New Castle County government, serving as Chief of Staff to then-County Executive Chris Coons. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

Amy Bonner was confirmed by the Senate as the next Secretary of the Department of Human Resources (DHR). In her current role as Deputy Director at OMB, Bonner oversees financial operations, information technology and human resources. Previously, Bonner served for five years as the Deputy Director for the Division of Human Resources Management, where she directed employment services, Equal Employment Opportunity and policy development for the division.

Jason Clarke was confirmed by the Senate as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the State of Delaware, leading the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI). Delaware’s CIO manages the State of Delaware’s information technology infrastructure and leads Delaware’s cybersecurity efforts. Previously as Chief Operating Officer of DTI and Acting CIO, Clarke has helped manage an expansion of high-speed broadband service in rural Kent and Sussex counties and is leading a transition to digital government services at DTI.


Delaware Senate confirms Collins to lead Aglands Preservation Foundation Board of Trustees

DOVER, Del. (June 23, 2020) – Through a virtual confirmation hearing, the Delaware Senate confirmed and appointed Mark Collins to lead the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation Board of Trustees.

“We want to take this time to personally to thank Chairman Bob Garey for his dedicated service to the Aglands Foundation over the past 25 years,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “We are pleased with the Senate’s confirmation of Mark Collins and are looking forward to working with him as he steps into the chairmanship of the Foundation. As a fifth-generation family farmer, Mark has participated in the Aglands Preservation Program and understands the importance of preserving farmland so that we can continue to locally produce food.”

Mark Collins, Chairman, Delaware Aglands Foundation Board of Trustees:
As a life-long family farmer from Laurel, Mark Collins tills 1,300 acres. He and his wife, Dawn, produce watermelon, corn, soybeans, and poultry. Collins has been involved in the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Program with land enrolled in an agricultural district for 25 years. He has had the development rights purchased by the state over the years, so that farmland can be preserved for the next generation at DMC Farms. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Collins earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering. He has been instrumental in the Laurel Auction Market and the Mar-Del Watermelon Association, having served as a board member and president. He has served as an Executive Committee Member and Executive Council Member of the National Watermelon Association. Collins was recognized by the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in March 2019 with the Distinguished Alumni Aware for his outstanding career accomplishments, service, and leadership to the agricultural profession and community.

The original farmland preservation law was passed in 1991, which established the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation Board of Trustees and county level advisory boards. The first funding was received in FY1996, part of the 21st Century Fund.

Collins is only the third chair of the Board of Trustees in the history of the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation. His appointment will begin on July 1, 2020.


Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4542,

Governor Carney’s Statement on Senate Confirmation of Brigadier General Michael Berry

DOVER, Del. Governor John Carney on Wednesday issued the following statement on the Delaware Senate’s confirmation of Brigadier General Michael Berry as the next Adjutant General for the Delaware National Guard:

“Thank you to the members of the Delaware Senate for confirming Brigadier General Michael Berry to the position of Adjutant General. Delaware is fortunate to have a leader of Brigadier General Berry’s caliber prepared to lead the Delaware National Guard. He’s a dedicated public servant who walks the talk— as he has for our state for nearly 30 years with Delaware State Police and in service with the Guard. We are confident that Brigadier General Berry will continue the tradition of exceptional leadership in the Delaware National Guard.”

Berry will replace current Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Carol Timmons. Timmons has announced her retirement, effective March 2019, when she will complete 42 years military service.


Governor Carney’s Statement on Senate Confirmations

“Thank you to the members of the Delaware Senate for confirming a group of dedicated public servants to positions in my Cabinet. Together, we will work to improve our public education system; make common-sense criminal justice reforms; invest in Delaware’s agricultural industry; expand broadband access; make affordable housing more accessible; and continue to make investments that modernize our Delaware National Guard.”

The Delaware Senate voted to confirm the following nominees to Governor Carney’s Cabinet on Wednesday:

Photo of Brigadier General Carol A. TimmonsBrigadier General Carol A. Timmons was confirmed as the next Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard. General Timmons will replace Lieutenant General Francis D. Vavala, who will retire effective January 31 after nearly 50 years of service. He has led the Delaware National Guard as Adjutant General since 1999.

General Carol A. Timmons is currently the Assistant Adjutant General responsible for leading the Delaware Air National Guard, commanding an authorized force of 1,100 Airmen and ensuring that all Guard Airmen are trained, organized and equipped to support federal and state missions.

General Timmons has served as a member of the Delaware National Guard for 39 years, serving as a pilot in both the Delaware Army National Guard and the Delaware Air National Guard.

She is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Joint Guard, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom. In 2008, she earned a Bronze Star for her service commanding a combat deployment to Afghanistan.

General Timmons will become Delaware’s first female Adjutant General, with responsibility for preparing the Delaware National Guard to support both federal and state missions.


Photo of Secretary Ben AddiAnas Ben Addi was confirmed to continue serving as Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, a housing finance and community development agency that ensures that Delawareans have access to quality, affordable housing and oversees community and neighborhood revitalization efforts statewide.

Ben Addi was first nominated by Governor Jack Markell and confirmed by the Delaware Senate in 2009 to lead DSHA. During his time as Director, Ben Addi has helped launch and implement the State Rental Assistance Program, which helps Delawareans who require supportive services to live safely and independently in their communities.

He also has expanded access to DSHA’s low-cost mortgage programs and led efforts to drive private investment in Delaware’s downtown areas through the Downtown Development Districts program.



Image of Susan Bunting Department of Education SecretaryDr. Susan Bunting was confirmed as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education, overseeing Delaware’s public school system and serving as an education policy adviser to the Governor.

Since 2006, Dr. Bunting has been Superintendent of the Indian River School District, one of the state’s largest school districts serving more than 10,000 students. Dr. Bunting has worked at Indian River since 1977, first as a teacher, and later as the district’s Supervisor of Elementary Instruction and K-12 Director of Instruction.

In 2012, she was one of four finalists for the American Association of School Administrators’ National Superintendent of the Year award. Dr. Bunting earned a Doctorate in Education Leadership from the University of Delaware.



Photo of Robert CoupeRobert Coupe was confirmed as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the agency with responsibility for protecting the safety and welfare of all Delawareans, overseeing the Delaware State Police, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, and the State Council for Persons with Disabilities, among other divisions.

Coupe has served as Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction since 2013, having been appointed by Governor Jack Markell and confirmed by the Delaware Senate. In his current position, he oversees Delaware’s correctional system, leading an agency with 2,500 employees that supervises more than 7,000 inmates.

Previously, he spent more than 28 years at the Delaware State Police, including more than three years leading the State Police as Superintendent. During his career as a State Trooper, he worked as a Detective in the Major Crimes and Homicide units, drill instructor at the training academy, Patrol Sergeant, and Internal Affairs investigator.


Photo of CIO CollinsJames Collins
was confirmed to continue serving as Chief Information Officer at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information, overseeing the department that provides technology services to state organizations and serving as a technology adviser to the Governor.

Collins was first nominated as Chief Information Officer by Governor Jack Markell and confirmed by the Delaware Senate in 2014. During his tenure, Collins has expanded broadband services across rural areas in Delaware, helped implement the Delaware Cyber Security Advisory Council and expanded the state’s open data portal.

He previously served as Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Markell. Earlier, he was a senior consultant with Peregrine Systems and MAXIMUS Inc., implementing large-scale software projects for clients including Pepsi Bottling Group, the U.S. Marine Corps and the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. Collins is also an 8-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he helped implement the Composite Healthcare System to convert from paper-based to electronic record and scheduling systems.



Photo of Michael ScuseMichael Scuse was confirmed as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Agriculture, an agency that promotes and supports Delaware’s agricultural industry, oversees food inspection services to protect Delaware consumers, ensures agricultural compliance statewide, and helps conserve forest resources.

Scuse has served as the Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture since March 2016, helping support the national agricultural industry, promote vibrant rural communities, and open new markets for America’s farmers. Previously, Scuse was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, leading efforts to promote American agricultural products globally. From 2001 to 2008, he served Secretary of the Delaware Department of Agriculture under then-Governor Ruth Ann Minner.