The Board of Directors and Trustees of Christiana Care Health System have announced new leaders, all long-time advocates for Christiana Care and active in health system governance.
Doneene Keemer Damon, Esq., executive vice president of Richards, Layton & Finger, a prominent Delaware law firm, is the new chair of the Board of Directors of Christiana Care.
Penelope T. Saridakis, a prominent community leader in health care, education and the arts, was elected chair of Trustees.
Financial business leader Philip S. Reese, who helped establish both Conectiv and Manufacturers Hanover Bank, was elected vice chair of Trustees.
Damon, a leading secured finance lawyer who is nationally recognized for her expertise in the use of statutory and common law trusts, has served Christiana Care as a trustee, board member and past chair of the Executive Compensation and Succession Planning committee. In 2014, she chaired Christiana Care’s CEO search committee appointing Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, as president and chief executive officer.
A leader in the legal profession as well as in the community, Damon currently serves as vice chair and director of diversity of the Securitization and Structured Finance Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section. She has served on the board of more than a dozen organizations, including her current positions on the Delaware Community Foundation Board of Directors and on the Board of Trustees of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Damon has been widely recognized for her leadership and commitment to excellence. In 2015, she received the ABA’s prestigious Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award in recognition of her exceptional contributions to her profession. She was named to the VIP Woman of the Year Circle for 2015 – 2016 by the National Association of Professional Women, and most recently she was honored with the Delaware Barrister Association’s 2016 Thurgood Marshall Award for her tireless commitment to justice.
“I am honored to serve as chair of the Board of Directors for Christiana Care,” said Damon. “I believe a true leader should have the ability to lift and inspire others while serving and leading. Christiana Care has one of the most engaged boards I have ever served on, and I embrace this leadership responsibility to help Christiana Care excel. My goal is to continue the leadership values of this organization in support of our mission to bring value in every aspect of service to our neighbors.”
Damon succeeds Gary M. Pfeiffer, retired senior vice president and chief financial officer of the DuPont Company and former secretary of finance for the state of Delaware, who chaired the board since 2011. Pfeiffer joined the Board of Directors in 2005, chairing the Finance Committee and serving on the Investment, Quality and Safety, Executive Compensation and Succession Planning, Nominating and Executive committees. He and his wife Lear co-chaired the donation campaign raising more than $35 million for the Wilmington Hospital Transformation in 2013.
“Gary Pfeiffer’s leadership — his extraordinary financial knowledge, his visionary approach to strategic community partnerships and his absolute determination that health care experiences be exceptional for every member of our community, regardless of circumstances of economics, geography or health — has well-positioned Christiana Care as a vitally strong, nationally recognized model of success,” said Dr. Nevin. “We are immeasurably grateful for his partnership, his ability to bring people together in support of vital transformation projects and his unwavering commitment to optimizing the health of our community.”
Dr. Nevin also applauded the guidance and support of directors completing terms on the Christiana Care Board: Carroll M. Carpenter, John R. Cochran III, W. Donald Johnson, Fred C. Sears, Wilfred B. Sherk and Janice Tildon-Burton, M.D.
“It has been a privilege to partner with each of them, many who have served on the board for nearly a decade, in finding innovative, strategic ways to deliver value to our neighbors in The Christiana Care Way,” she said.
Newly appointed to the Board of Directors of Christiana Care are Lolita A. Lopez, FACHE, president and CEO of Westside Family Healthcare; Andrew M. Lubin, president and founder of Delaware Financial Group; and Nicholas M. Marsini Jr., retired regional president for PNC Bank of Delaware.
Christiana Care Trustee Penny Saridakis serves on the Nominating Committee, the External Affairs Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Trustee Governance, and most recently as vice-chair of Trustees. She was lead co-chair of The Friends of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, which raised nearly $700,000 under her leadership from 2009 to 2013, and in 2015, and with two fellow trustees launched the Young Friends of Christiana Care, a program for high school students that focuses on leadership, learning and philanthropy. As chair of Trustees, she has an ex-officio seat on the Board of Directors.
Former vice president of the global debit business at MasterCard International and of global debit products for Citibank, both in New York, Saridakis returned to Delaware in 2002, devoting her time to enhancing the quality of life in Delaware through health care, education and the arts. She is a board member of the Delaware Theatre Company and currently chairs its capital campaign. She is a past member of the board of directors of the Grand Opera House and has served on committees at Tower Hill School and The Christmas Shop Foundation. She co-chaired the 2016 Delaware Art Museum Holiday House Tour.
Saridakis succeeds philanthropist and highly regarded civic leader Carroll M. Carpenter as Trustee chair.
“As trustees, we have the responsibility — and the privilege — of serving as ambassadors for Christiana Care within our community,” Saridakis said. “Echoing the legacy set for us by our visionary predecessor, Carroll Carpenter, Phil Reese and I are honored and energized to partner with the trustees to elevate awareness, encourage engagement and solidify support for this health system that has touched so many of our lives and stands ready to do so today, tomorrow and in the future.”
Phil Reese is a business leader, civic activist and philanthropist. He was one of the architects of the strategy that created Conectiv, a Fortune 500 energy company, and served in various roles including president of Conectiv’s commercial and residential energy services subsidiary. He was part of the team that started Manufacturers Hanover Bank (Delaware) and now sits on the Delaware holding company of SunTrustBank. A decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Reese is immediate past chair of the Board of the Delaware Public Employees Retirement System. As a Christiana Care trustee, he co-chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on Trustee Governance, participated as a member of the Ad Hoc Strategy Group and sits on Christiana Care’s Investment Committee.
At the November 17 bi-annual meeting of the Christiana Care Trustees, Carpenter welcomed the new leadership team and, leading by example, encouraged Christiana Care trustees to honor their responsibility as philanthropists, volunteers and community representatives.
“Penny has set the gold standard for leadership councils throughout Christiana Care,” Carpenter said. “Her latest vision and dedication to organizing the Young Friends of Christiana Care is just another example of her skill in setting goals and accomplishing them. There is no doubt she and Phil Reese will take trustee engagement to another level.”
The following community leaders were affirmed as Trustees of Christiana Care: Lois S. Galinat, who chairs The Friends of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute; Donna M. Goodman, vice president and chief financial and operating officer at Westside Family Healthcare; Daryl A. Graham, vice president of Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co; Georgianna Riley, president of the Junior Board of Christiana Care Inc.; LaKresha S. Roberts, Esq., chief deputy attorney general at the State of Delaware Department of Justice; Thomas G. Speers III, interim pastor of Greenhill Presbyterian Church; and Aubree Kemble Wellons, owner of Adorn Goods — Artful Home & Epicure and Dilwyne Designs, both in Delaware.
Carroll M. Carpenter Award honors passionate advocate
To commemorate the distinguished service of Carroll M. Carpenter as chair of Trustees, Christiana Care has established the Carroll M. Carpenter Award, to be bestowed annually to a trustee who closely emulates her vision, leadership and commitment to Christiana Care.
Announcing the award, outgoing Board Chair Gary Pfeiffer said that it represents extraordinary leadership.
“Carroll has created opportunities to engage our full community in advancing The Christiana Care Way,” Pfeiffer said.
In addition to her leadership of the Trustees since 2010 and service as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors since 2014, Mrs. Carpenter co-chaired The Campaign for the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and, along with her late-husband, Edmund “Ned” Carpenter II, served as honorary co-chair of The Campaign for Christiana Care, cultivating a giving community that raised millions for the Bank of America Pavilion and the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center on the Christiana Hospital campus. As a member of The Campaign for Wilmington Hospital Transformation’s Executive Committee, she helped lead the metamorphosis of a community cornerstone that the Carpenter family contributed to for more than half a century.
“In all she does, Carroll Carpenter exemplifies The Christiana Care Way,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Janice E. Nevin, M.D, MPH. “She has passionately advocated for and worked to implement changes that have made us better able to serve. Her vision, time and resources have helped shape us into a beacon health care system and leading provider of world-class cancer care, research and outreach.”
Carpenter founded The Friends of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute in 2002, a volunteer organization funding programs that enhance the patient experience, support cancer research and provide public education on prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer. In its 15 years, more than 60 volunteers have raised more than $2 million.
“I am a lucky and blessed woman,” said Carpenter in learning of the award created in her honor. “From my childhood when my grandmother and mother hosted doctors in our home for lunch, my passion has always been medicine, and it has been such an honor to work in this field and see you engage and to learn from all of you. Keep doing what you are doing, and I will proudly continue to be a trustee with you.”
Trustees’ Harrington Award goes to John Cochran for outstanding commitment and generosity
In one of Carroll Carpenter’s final official duties and honors as chair of Trustees, she presented the 2016 Charles J. Harrington Award for outstanding commitment and generosity to Christiana Care Health System to fellow trustee and Christiana Care director John R. Cochran III.
Mr. Cochran led MBNA’s masterful embrace of the mantra “Think of Yourself as a Customer.” As a member of the Christiana Care Board of Directors, his leadership inspired Christiana Care to translate it to “Think of Yourself as a Patient,” the precursor to the Exceptional Experience facet of the Christiana Care Diamond and a systemwide commitment to patient- and family-centered care that has helped elevate Christiana Care to national recognition.
Former executive vice chairman of MBNA America Bank, NA, and member of the management team that established MBNA in 1982, Mr. Cochran’s long-held passion for focusing on the customer was ignited in a tiny A & P produce department, where a work ethic instilled at a very young age as he worked his way through school led him to make sure the customer was always treated well. Handpicked by MBNA founder Charles Cawley to join the company full-time, he went on to develop the concept that led to MBNA becoming one of the country’s largest direct marketers, with more than 40 million customers worldwide. A humble, family-focused man, Mr. Cochran is known by colleagues and friends for his sincerity, thoughtfulness and passion for success.
“John has always led from the top with an instinct for quality and character in others,” said Carpenter, a past Harrington Award recipient herself, along with her late husband, Edmund “Ned” Carpenter II, in 2003. “He has given — and continues to give — endless hours of his days to benefit institutions in our state. We are blessed by his wisdom.”
The Harrington Award was first presented in 1996 to its namesake, the late director emeritus of the Christiana Care Board of Directors and former Christiana Care trustee who was a strong proponent of service and the importance of philanthropy. Recent honorees include Patricia M. Curtin, M.D., FACP, CMD, chief of Geriatric Medicine; the Junior Board of Christiana Care Inc.; and Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute.