DNREC Names Two to Leadership Roles

DNREC Division of Water Director Steven Smailer.

 

 

New Director for The Division of Water, Chief of Staff Within DNREC’s Office of The Secretary

Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced changes today to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s leadership structure, selecting Steven Smailer as new director of DNREC’s Division of Water and naming Kim Siegel as chief of staff within DNREC’s Office of the Secretary.

Smailer succeeds environmental scientist and wetland and stream restoration expert Virgil Holmes, who retired from DNREC after two stints with the Department totaling 15 years, including the last seven years leading the Division of Water. Smailer, a hydrogeologist, worked as an environmental program administrator in the division. He originally came into the Department and the then-Division of Water Resources in the early 1990s, then worked as a hydrogeologist for an extended period in the private sector, before returning to DNREC in 2015 as manager of the Division of Water’s Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section.

“Steve’s breadth of knowledge covering water resources top to bottom is unmatched,” said Secretary Garvin. “He has long been seen by peers as having a ‘most versatile player’ role for overseeing many aspects of Delaware’s most precious natural resource, our water. As the Department begins to implement Governor Carney’s Clean Water for Delaware Initiative, there couldn’t be a better choice to lead our Division of Water.”

Smailer is a Delaware-licensed professional geologist, Secretary of the Delaware Board of Geologists, a Groundwater Protection Council National Board Member, and has served as the chair of the State’s Water Supply Coordinating Council since 2017.
He is a Pennsylvania State University graduate with degrees in Earth Science/Geology and Marine Science. Smailer lives in Rehoboth Beach with his wife Laurie and their three children.

DNREC Chief of Staff Kim Siegel.
DNREC Chief of Staff Kim Siegel.

As chief of staff, Ms. Siegel succeeds Gregory Patterson who earlier this year moved to the Office of the Governor as the state’s infrastructure implementation coordinator to manage funding received by the State of Delaware through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“We’re excited to add Kim to the team whose knowledge of the legislative process and public policy experience will help us tackle Delaware’s environmental priorities across a range of issues, including air quality, clean water, climate change, wildlife protections and more,” said Secretary Garvin.

Siegel arrives at DNREC with 20 years of experience in state government and nonprofits. She most recently was the assistant director of government relations and advocacy at Mental Health Partnerships in Philadelphia, overseeing workforce development and individual advocacy programs and monitoring state legislative activity.

Prior to that, she was the FOIA coordinator and legislative affairs manager at the Delaware Department of Justice and the research director to then-Lt. Gov. Matt Denn.

Until 2014, Siegel served in several roles at Autism Delaware where she led a successful campaign to get insurance coverage for autism therapies and launched the Walk for Autism in Bellevue and Cape Henlopen State Parks. She has also worked for NAMI Delaware and was a legislative fellow in the General Assembly.

Siegel received her Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Delaware with a service term in the AmeriCorps program Public Allies between them. She currently resides in the city of Wilmington.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Water manages and protects Delaware’s water resources. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Secretary of State Jeff Bullock Announces Leadership Changes

Dover, Del.—Secretary of State Jeff Bullock announced on Friday that Jordan Schulties, Director of the Division of Small Business, and Tim Slavin, Director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, will depart from their roles to embark on new journeys at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) and Fort Dupont Redevelopment & Preservation Corporation, respectively. 

“I am grateful to both Jordan and Tim’s dedication and service to their divisions throughout these past few years,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “Jordan rose through the ranks from Deputy Director to Director of the Division and her steadfast commitment helped so many small businesses in the community receive all types of assistance from grants to resources, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“Tim’s leadership and passion throughout these past 17 years have transformed the division into what it is today and strengthened how Delawareans connect with all aspects of history. He has served Delawareans well. I wish both Jordan and Tim all the best in their new roles,” said Bullock. 

“It has been a privilege to lead the Division of Small Business, and I am honored to have served in this important role,” said Director Schulties. “In my time with the division, our team has provided millions of dollars in assistance to businesses throughout Delaware, creating and sustaining thousands of jobs and helping to grow our economy. I am incredibly proud of the team we have and the hard work they do every day to support our state’s small businesses.” 

Regina Mitchell, Deputy Director of the Division of Small Business, will serve as Acting Director until a successor is named. 

 “I owe a debt of gratitude to my colleagues at Historical and Cultural Affairs for all that we have accomplished,” said Director Slavin. “Their work continues to improve our lives in Delaware; they are truly dedicated public servants.” 

Slavin will serve until June 30, 2022. A successor will be named to head the division before June 30th.    

The Division of Small Business is a service-focused agency committed to supporting businesses starting and growing in Delaware. Small businesses can reach out to the Division for assistance in connecting to the resources and advice to succeed. To learn more about the Division of Small Business, click here. 

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs serves the public by identifying, collecting, preserving, and interpreting inclusive Delaware history and engaging diverse cultures. HCA activities foster strong communities, engaged citizens, economic vitality, and a deeper understanding of Delaware’s role in world history. To learn more about the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, click here.   


DNREC Parks Director Earns National Award

DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation Director Ray Bivens /DNREC photo

 

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced Division of Parks and Recreation Director Ray Bivens has received the 2021 National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) Conference Distinguished Service Award Sept. 10 during the NASPD’s annual conference.

NASPD states on its website that “The Distinguished Service award is given to a state park director who has demonstrated a long-term, sustained record of professional accomplishment in the field of park and recreation management.”

“Ray is the perfect recipient of this national award. He is an innovative problem solver and leader whose passion for the environment, people and our state park system directly benefit the millions of people who visit Delaware State Parks each year,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “He is a true steward of park lands with a customer-centric focus who pushes his team to excel and provide the public with enjoyable experiences within our state parks.”

For 30 years, Bivens has dedicated his career to park stewardship with a passion for natural and cultural resources, customer service, training, partnerships and staff development. He is a hands-on leader who often works alongside Delaware State Parks field staff to gain perspective of the visitor experience.

He has placed a focus on youth during his 18-year tenure with Delaware State Parks, and played a lead role in creating the Delaware Children in Nature plan and the creation of the First State Heritage Park in Dover. One of his first acts as director was to establish the Delaware Youth Conservation Corps. Other accomplishments include having a key role in the creation of the Trap Pond and Killens Pond state park nature centers, and the development of multiple new trails and playgrounds.

Under Bivens’s leadership, the Delaware State Parks system, administered by the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, has seen tremendous growth and broken records in various areas, including camping/cabin stays, volunteer hours, park attendance, and revenue. Park users generate 65% of the revenue utilized to operate and maintain the parks. A recent economic impact study concluded that out-of-state visitors generate close to $400 million in impact on the Delaware economy thanks to the state park system. Other milestones include the dedication Delaware’s 17th state park, Auburn Valley, in 2018 and the creation of the division’s first strategic plan in 2020.

In 2016, the division was selected as the only small state to be awarded the National Gold Medal as the best managed state park system for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA). Delaware State Parks is currently a finalist for the 2021 Gold Medal award to be announced later this month.

“Delaware State Parks has an abundance of natural and cultural resources,” Bivens said, “but our greatest resource are the dedicated staff and volunteers who passionately give of their time and talents.”

Prior to being named Delaware’s eighth state park director in 2013, Bivens served as the division’s chief of interpretation and operations section manager. Bivens’s natural resources career started as a teenager in the Maryland Youth Conservation Corps. He served as a park naturalist for various Maryland state parks including Rocky Gap, Tuckahoe and Point Lookout state parks. Bivens and his wife, Becky Bivens, reside in Frederica.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov

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Secretary Magarik Announces Leadership Changes at Department of Health and Social Services

NEW CASTLE (July 12, 2021) – Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Molly Magarik today announced leadership changes for the organization involving three divisions.

Magarik said the changes will help DHSS begin to embrace the goals outlined in the agency’s draft Strategic Plan, “Achieving the Vision: Person-Centered Health and Human Services in Delaware,” of modernizing the infrastructure and delivery of health and social services in order to help Delawareans live their best lives possible.

The changes:

Tom Hall, who has served as Acting Director of the Division of Social Services since April 2021, has been named Division Director, effective July 12. Hall joined DSS in 2006 as a Social Services Administrator, with policy oversight of the TANF, refugee assistance, emergency assistance and general assistance programs. He was promoted to Social Services Chief Administrator in March 2014 and became Deputy Director in 2015. Before coming to DHSS, Hall spent 18 years in a variety of roles in the health care field in Delaware, serving as a counselor, social worker, clinical manager, director of outpatient operations and assistant executive director. As Acting Director and formerly as Deputy Director, Hall led the efforts – in concert with child care providers, other stakeholders and DHSS’ budget team – to complete a Child Care Market Rate Survey for the Division’s Purchase of Care subsidized child care program, which supports about 14,000 children and their families statewide. Based on that survey, which was completed in February 2021 – and with the support of the General Assembly and Governor Carney – those rates were raised as of July 1, 2021.

Marcella Spady, who has served as Acting Deputy Director since May 2021, has been named Deputy Division Director. She began her career with the Division of Social Services in 1994 as a Seasonal Social Worker Case Manager before promotions to a Merit Senior Social Worker Case Manager and then to a Social Services Social Worker Case Manager Supervisor.

In 2007, Spady was promoted to Social Service Administrator over the Customer Relations Unit and three months later became Senior Social Administrator for the Division of Social Services, Area 2. In 2014, she joined the Modernization Project as a subject matter expert and tester for the ASSIST Worker Web system and was part of the team that implemented the system in 2015. In January 2016, Spady was assigned to the DSS Program and Policy Unit as the SNAP Policy Administrator. Through that experience, Spady helped DHSS file a series of successful applications and waivers with the federal government for expanded food benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic that supported tens of thousands of Delaware families, including maximum emergency food benefits, the Pandemic-EBT program and, most recently, the summer Pandemic-EBT program.

Magarik said the experiences of Hall and Spady make them both well-positioned to advance the community-based work of Governor John Carney’s Family Services Cabinet Council.

Steven Costantino, who serves as DHSS’ Director of Health Care Reform in the Secretary’s Office, will serve as Acting Director for the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health beginning July 13 through the end of the month. Steven came to DHSS in May 2017 after serving as Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access and Medicaid Director. He previously served as Cabinet Secretary for Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services. In addition, he served as Executive Director of the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association of Rhode Island for eight years.

Joanna Champney, who serves as Chief of Planning, Research & Reentry at the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC), will join the Department of Health and Social Services on Aug. 2 as Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. During her tenure at DOC, Champney established and led the Department’s new Office of Reentry following Governor Carney’s issuance of Executive Order 27 to improve prisoner reentry. As part of the Governor’s Executive Order, she served as a Commission member of the Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission (DCRC) and is currently Chairing the Commission’s Transition Team. Champney’s team expanded DOC’s use of evidence-based practices, including implementation of cognitive behavioral therapy programming for incarcerated people, improving probationer and inmate assessment strategies, and creating an evidence-based release planning system for staff to utilize with individuals preparing to leave prison custody. The Planning Unit also managed all research and data projects for the DOC as well as accreditation and compliance activities for DOC’s facilities.

Most recently, Champney oversaw implementation of several large federal grants that supported system improvement, program evaluation, and cognitive behavioral therapy and vocational training for incarcerated people. In partnership with the Bureau of Prisons, Champney also implemented compliance tracking processes for provision of clinical care to incarcerated people who have mental illness. She also was instrumental in the recent redesign of the DOC’s prison-based substance use disorder treatment program, Road to Recovery (R2R), which has now implemented modern, evidence-based set of curricula and has adopted a treatment track system to differentiate between levels of care.

Prior to joining state government, Joanna served as the Executive Director of the Delaware Center for Justice (DCJ), which serves a variety of justice-involved populations through direct services, advocacy and policy reform work. While at DCJ, she oversaw a combination of direct service programs and policy reform initiatives. Previously, she worked with a criminal defense law firm in Maryland and with a finance company in Delaware. She earned a Master’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Delaware.

Finally, in the Division of Management Services (DMS)/Office of the Secretary (OSEC), Secretary Magarik announced these changes:

Michele Stant, formerly Deputy Director of the Division of Management Services (DMS), was named Chief of Staff for the Secretary’s Office. Her first day was July 5. She will oversee communications, constituent relations, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and special projects. Stant replaces Gabriela Kejner, who left to work for the Health Unit in the Department of Justice’s Civil Law Division. She will continue to work closely with some of DHSS’ divisions.

Alexis Bryan-Dorsey, who previously served as Chief of Administration for the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance (DMMA) since 2017, has been named Deputy Director for the Division of Management Service in the Office of the Secretary. She began her new role on July 5. Bryan-Dorsey will oversee the Financial Management, Contracts Management and Procurement and Quality Control units in DMS/OSEC. She reports to Dava Newnam, Associate Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer for DHSS.

Rebecca Reichardt, who has been Chief of Administration in the Office of Management and Budget since 2018, will join DHSS on July 18 as Deputy Director for the Division of Management Services. She has previously supported DHSS in a variety of roles with the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD), the Division of Public Health (DPH) and the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS). Reichardt will oversee the Budget & Revenue Management, Grants Management and Audit & Recovery Management units in DMS/OSEC. She will report to Dava Newnam, Associate Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer for DHSS.

“I am grateful to have all of these individuals in these critical positions,” Magarik said. “They each bring important experiences to these roles, they have helped DHSS and other state agencies respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, they know how to reach out to employees, clients, providers, and other community partners, and they are committed to innovating and doing the hard work of strategic planning.”

The Department of Health and Social Services, with about 3,500 employees, is responsible for meeting the health and social service needs of Delawareans by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency and protecting vulnerable populations.


Secretary Magarik Announces Leadership Changes at Department of Health and Social Services

NEW CASTLE (Jan. 8, 2021) – Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Molly Magarik today announced five leadership changes for the organization involving four divisions and one of the Department’s Deputy Secretary positions.

The changes:

Sarah Noonan Davis, who has served in leadership roles at the University of Delaware and Westside Family Healthcare, has been named Deputy Secretary for Special Populations, Strategic Planning and Innovation. In her new role, Noonan Davis will focus on special populations, as well as strategic planning and innovative practices that are needed to move the department into the 21st century. She will oversee the Divisions of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities Services, Visually Impaired, and Management Services. Noonan Davis previously served as Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations at the University of Delaware and as Deputy Director and Associate Deputy Director at Westside Family Healthcare, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), with health centers in New Castle and Kent counties.

Noonan Davis graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 2004 and a Master of Public Administration in 2006, and is working on her Doctor of Urban Affairs and Public Policy in Health Policy from UD.

She replaces Lisa Bond, who left DHSS for a position in the private sector. Noonan Davis, who lives in Wilmington, will begin in her role on March 1, and will join Tanisha Merced, who serves as Deputy Secretary of Policy and Social Services for DHSS. Together with Secretary Magarik, they will ensure that the service delivery and support for DHSS leadership, staff, community partners and clients remain strong during the COVID-19 pandemic, while beginning to advance the goals and initiatives outlined in the DHSS strategic plan.

“In her role as Deputy Secretary, Sarah Noonan Davis will bring her experience serving Delawareans in various roles and also her countless community relationships to help lead our agency during these critical times,” Secretary Magarik said. “Until the pandemic is over and all Delawareans who want the vaccine have received it, our highest priority is continuing to coordinate with our providers on service delivery, along with the services that DHSS provides directly to people in need. In addition, Sarah’s talents and skills will be critical as our agency, staff, providers and clients make the transition to a post-COVID world, and we refocus on meeting the needs of the communities we serve.”

In addition to the Deputy Secretary announcement, Secretary Magarik also announced these leadership changes:

Dava Newnam, who has been Director of the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) and has served in various roles at DHSS for 20 years, has been named Director of the Division of Management Services (DMS). Newnam will serve as the Chief Operating Officer for the department, with responsibilities of managing a $3 billion budget and 3,500 employees. As Director of DSAAPD since August 2017, Newnam led more than 700 employees and was responsible for directing the state-run Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna; community-facing units serving about 20,000 vulnerable Delawareans older than 60; and the Adult Protective Services unit, which protects vulnerable adults who are at risk of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. She has earned degrees in Psychology from St. Petersburg Junior College and Delaware Technical and Community College. Newnam, who lives in Wilmington with her family, will begin her new role on Jan. 11.

Melissa Smith, who has been Deputy Director of the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) since November 2018, has been named its Director. Smith has served in various roles at DHSS for the past 16 years, including as planning supervisor and long-term care planner in DSAAPD and deputy director and director of planning at the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). Before joining DHSS, she served as analyst with the Government Accountability Office and as an analyst with the Office of Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Justice. Smith earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Delaware and also a Master’s Degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy. Smith, who lives in Newark with her family, will begin her new role on Jan. 11.

Thomas Killian Jr., who has been serving as Regional Director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, has been named Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). He will begin his new role on Jan. 19. Alexis Teitelbaum, who has been serving as Acting Director, will return to her previous role as Deputy Director for DSAMH.

Killian, who is a licensed Behavior Specialist, has more than 14 years of experience in behavioral health services, including the past eight in leadership positions at nonprofits and university-affiliated psychiatric institutes and clinics. Since April 2020, he has served as Regional Director at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, where he led efforts to provide stability and standardization of the Behavioral Health Service Line over three hospitals in Altoona and Somerset, Pa., and Cumberland, Md., and provided oversight for both inpatient and ambulatory services within these hospitals and communities. He supervised department heads, presided over training, and was responsible for fiscal management, hiring, building relationships with partners, clients and community, and strategic planning. He previously served as Executive Director at Garrett County Lighthouse, Inc., in Oakland, Md., Associated Clinical Director at Keystone Human Services in Harrisburg, Pa., Primary Inpatient Therapist at Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute in Harrisburg, Pa.; and Program Manager at Pennsylvania Treatment and Healing in Pottsville, Pa.

Killian earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, both from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa.; a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix; and is working on Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from Northcentral University in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Faith Mwaura, who has been a Senior Social Services Administrator in the Division of State Services Service Centers (DSSC), has been appointed as its Deputy Director. Mwaura, who has been with the division since 2010, previously served as Social Services Administrator, where her duties included administering federal grants and state-funded Community Food Programs, and developing the Community Services Block Grant State Plan. Her current duties as a member of the division’s leadership team include monitoring, directing and overseeing federal, state and private funding that benefits low-income and vulnerable Delawareans. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a Master’s Degree in Urban Development and Public Policy from the University of Delaware. Mwaura replaces Cynthia Manlove, who retired after almost 40 years of service to the people of Delaware at DHSS. Mwaura, who lives in New Castle with her family, will begin her new role Jan. 17.

“I am excited to have these five individuals in these critical positions,” Magarik said. “They all have important experience in reaching out to employees, clients, providers, and other community partners; innovating even during challenging circumstances; and doing the hard work of strategic planning. I want to offer a special thanks to Alexis Teitelbaum for her leadership of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the past four months, and I know she will help provide important support to Thomas Killian as he transitions into his role.”

The Department of Health and Social Services, with about 3,500 employees, is responsible for meeting the health and social service needs of Delawareans by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency and protecting vulnerable populations.