Governor Markell Visits Businesses in Japan and Korea, Expands Social Media Use While Overseas

Week-long economic development and goodwill visits documented via real-time technology

(Wilmington, DE)  As part of his week-long economic development and goodwill trip to Japan and Korea, and in lieu of his regularly scheduled weekly message, Governor Markell participated in two Google+ Hangout events while overseas. On Tuesday, December 11, he participated in a hangout from Japan with Japanese language students at Appoquinimink High School and members of the media. The Governor discussed the purpose of his international trip and the exchange with Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai, which acknowledged 15 years of sister state relations between Delaware and Miyagi.

“The way we do business has fundamentally changed with the increasing use of these technologies,” said Governor Markell. “The more familiar our young people are with these tools and the more they are given the opportunity to use them in the classroom, the greater their chance of success will be when they go to compete for jobs in a global economy.”

Later that week, on Friday, December 14, he and Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee participated in a hangout from Korea with University of Delaware staff, members of Delaware’s agriculture community and media at the University of Delaware’s Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown, DE. The Governor discussed his visit with Harim Group, the leading agribusiness in Korea, which bought Delaware-owned Allen Family Food in 2011. He also discussed a visit he had with leaders and members of the Korean Chamber of Commerce.

“We are part of a global market,” said Governor Markell. “In order to make sure Delaware companies have as many opportunities as possible to export and expand their products, we must continually work to strengthen relationships with others around the world.”

“Nearly one-third of the world population lives within the band that includes Korea, Japan, China and Indonesia,” said Secretary Kee. “As we, in Delaware, continue to explore new ways to service that population with our exports, it is important we take advantage of opportunities to conduct business and communicate with our global customers.”

Beyond business development and goodwill opportunities for Delaware, this trip also offered a chance to try new technology. In addition to the Google+ hangout sessions, the Governor officially launched his Instagram account on this trip, posting photos of various scenes; and he used a Google Map to document his whereabouts with photos, videos and pinpointed information.

Score one for Kent County – sports complex funding gains approval

Infrastructure committee approves more than $3.2 million for project with $18 million projected economic impact

Dover, Del. (July 17, 2012) – After three years of meetings and debate, Kent County will be home to a sports complex boasting an indoor facility and 15 fields – including a championship lit turf field – thanks to more than $3.2 million in state funding.

The Greater Dover Committee and Kent County Levy Court resubmitted their application before the Delaware Infrastructure Investment Committee Tuesday in Dover to have the complex built on a parcel of county-donated land near Frederica. Committee members stated that their application qualified for the New Jobs Infrastructure Fund because it created a projected economic impact of more than $18 million annually and the creation of 302 jobs in Kent County.

Unlike previous meetings, Tuesday’s session flew by, lasting less than an hour, as both sides came to a quick agreement that this project was a viable one for Delaware.

“This will provide the state with the infrastructure needed to compete for more sports tourism – already a $2.1 billion industry in Delaware,” said Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office. “We’re excited about what this means for the future of Kent County and the state as a whole – this will be a big plus for economic development.”

Bill Strickland, president of the Greater Dover Committee, has been championing the complex – which will host mainly soccer, lacrosse and field hockey events and could draw up to 10 major annual sports tournaments – for the past three years.

He said the next step was to continue to develop and finalize the funding and to get started on construction of the outdoor fields, which he joked would begin “this afternoon.”

“We are ecstatic that the committee saw the merit in the economic development potential of the Kent County Regional Complex Association,” Strickland said. “I can’t overstate how appreciative we are of the broad-based support that we’ve received from both our public and private leadership to continue to advance this project.”

Sen. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) has also been a big supporter of the project, rallying key figures and bringing them together – many officials present agreed that approval of the complex was a “team effort.”

Bushweller said 302 jobs in Kent County is a “huge number.”

“The whole objective of the complex is to create economic activity to bring jobs to our county,” Bushweller said. “But in addition to creating these jobs, this project is going to draw more people to Kent County and thus expose them to the recreational opportunities we have here, and the tourist attractions we have here, and to other economic development opportunities.”

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware.  For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.


Media Contact:
Peter Bothum
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
State of Delaware
302-672-6813 (office)
302-632-6665 (cell)

Firefly Music Festival set to make Delaware’s economy glow

Dover, Del. (July 12, 2012) – A crew from the Delaware Tourism Office toured the site of the Firefly Music Festival Thursday, and what they saw was jaw-dropping – an area near Dover International Speedway that was trees and grass is now fitted with vendor tents, staging areas, gravel roads, hammock stations, portable restrooms and an entrance with a huge sign that reads “Firefly.”

“To have the vision to take the woods and transform it into a mini-Woodstock is pretty amazing,” Delaware Tourism Director Linda Parkowski said while surveying the area.

Firefly takes place July 20-22 at this sprawling sea of green, renamed The Woodlands. Headliners at the rock festival, run by Red Frog Events, include big-name acts such as Jack White, the Black Keys, the Flaming Lips, OK Go, John Legend, The Killers and Death Cab For Cutie.

“We’re talking about a whole festival of acts that have been or could be on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ any of the late night talk shows or even the cover of Rolling Stone,” Parkowski said.

Parkowski said the heart of Delaware will see a double dose of cash and visitor influx next week, as Firefly will bring roughly 30,000-40,000 people daily to the Dover area, and the Delaware State Fair, which runs July 19-28, will bring about 35,000 daily to the Harrington area. The Firefly festival alone is expected to generate $12.6 million in revenue, Parkowski said. Firefly crews have already been spotted buying up supplies at local stores.

“The whole state will actually get a little bit of this economic infusion, because hotels in all three counties are booking up thanks to Firefly,” Parkowski said.

Music fans from 48 of the 50 states will attend the festival, and hotel reservations and chatter on social media suggest that they might extend their stay beyond the weekend. While five-star beaches in Rehoboth and Dewey will be among the top destinations, there are other attractions as well, Parkowski said. The Delaware Tourism Office’s Delaware Wine and Ale Trail offers a trip to 12 breweries and wineries offering the best suds and wines that the First State has to offer, including Dogfish Head – the official beer of Firefly. There’s also the Delaware History Trail, which includes 36 noteworthy sites throughout the state.

“We’re hoping the music fans who come to the festival get here early and stay a little longer after it’s over,” Parkowski said.

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware.  For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.


Click here to watch a video featuring footage from the grounds of the Firefly Music Festival

Peter Bothum
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
State of Delaware
302-672-6813 (office)
302-632-6665 (cell)

New book celebrates Delaware history

Dover, Del. – History buffs and proud Delaware residents gathered at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries Tuesday as the creative team behind “Landmarks & Legacies” signed the book and detailed the thorough research, vivid storytelling and photographic artistry that went into their hardback portrait of the First State.

Writer Pam George, photographer Kevin Fleming and eminent Delaware historian Russ McCabe, who provided the introduction and chose the 50 historic locations spotlighted in the book, discussed their favorite photos and interviews and talked about the importance of capturing Delaware’s history.

The book was conceived last year as a prize to be handed out to those who completed the Delaware History Trail, a 36-site tour of exploration that tells the stories of early settlers and Native Americans and showcases the state as a cradle for inventiveness, artistry and ingenuity and a forerunner in both the Industrial and Agricultural revolutions.

Those who fill out a passport and visit at least six sites in each of the state’s three counties will receive a copy of the book, which also includes a Forward by Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., a life-long Delaware resident.

The book is now also available for $25 online at the Delaware Tourism Office’s e-Store.

Tourism Director Linda Parkowski said “Landmarks & Legacies” has illuminated the Delaware History Trail and enhanced its ability to increase visitation and bring tourism dollars to the First State.

“Russ, Pam and Kevin have combined their talents to capture scenes from Delaware’s past and make them vibrant tourist destinations that will amaze visitors today,” Parkowski said.

Once the idea for the book was decided on last summer, McCabe planted the seeds by using his encyclopedic knowledge of First State history to choose the sites.

He said his selections were intended to provide a cross-section of all of the great things to see and do in Delaware, rather than an all-inclusive list.

“There are so many more great places to see and things to do – the Trail is simply a starting point for discovery,” McCabe said. “The 50 sites featured in the book make for a nice cross-section or sampling covering a wide variety of subjects, time periods and locations that illustrate our state’s grand heritage.”

Fleming said that each location offered a unique photographic challenge. He used airplanes and helicopters to capture the large-scale scenes and macro lenses to see the details. And just to make sure he captured all of Delaware’s diverse beauty, he photographed the First State in all four seasons.

“There were many subjects in this book that I drove past a hundred or more times without knowing why they were historically significant,” Fleming said. “For me, photographing this book was a great opportunity to better get to know the state I proudly call home.”

George provided images as well, only those came in the form of stories and prose that brought McCabe’s site choices and Fleming’s photos to life. Many of her stories and anecdotes came from countless interviews with residents and key figures.

“I wanted to tell the story of Delaware through the eyes and memories of those who lived it,” George said. “I went to the people who knew these stories best, and they translated that history into what you see in the book.”

Since its launch in December 2011, the Delaware History Trail has been a strong driver for the growth of tourism in Delaware, which draws more than 7 million visitors annually, stands as the third largest private employer and contributes $2.1 billion to the state’s Gross Domestic Product.

To get started on the History Trail, participants download a Trail Passport and obtain a list of sites and trail rules at As visitors experience each historic site, they record site codes in their passport found on the Delaware History Trail signs posted at each trail site. Passports are then submitted to the Delaware Tourism Office to receive a special reward for completing the trail.

Trail participants who visit a minimum of 18 sites, including six sites from each of Delaware’s three counties, are eligible to receive “Landmarks and Legacies.”

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware.  For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.

Governor’s Weekly Message: Making Delaware’s Case to Major Employers

DOVER – In his weekly address, the Governor talks about two new chances to make Delaware’s case in the national debateon how to get people working, make our schools even stronger and better prepare our nation for what is emerging as a global war for talent and jobs.

The Governor was asked to kick-off a national STEM Connector Town Hall Wednesday and earlier that day,  he and former G-E CEO Jack Welch were asked to be the closing speakers for the The Wall Street Journal’s annual conference, called Task Force for Women in the Economy.

On a number of the topics from supporting entrepreneurs, to improving STEM education, Delaware has a number of efforts underway,” said Governor Markell.  “The chance to make our state’s case to people who keep millions working was an opportunity we could not turn down. As they build out their ideas own for new and best practices, we’ll be looking for new ways to partner, new answers to create more economic opportunity, and new approaches we can adopt right here as we keep working together to keep Delaware, moving forward.”

At noon every Friday, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form.  The message is available on:

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Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Making Delaware’s Case to Major Employers