February 24, 2024
People on the Move: Jan. 19


People on the Move is a rundown of recent hirings, promotions, appointments and other notable movements by professionals in the state. If you’re interested in submitting an entry, please contact [email protected].

Realta Wealth “Realta”, a wealth management firm formerly known as CoastalOne, named Mark Helliker as chief operating officer.

“As we begin our journey as Realta, we are focused on enhancing the overall advisor and client experience in an evolving industry by building on our strong foundation and distinguished history,” Keefe said. “I’ve known Mark for years and believe he has the experience, temperament and mindset to ensure we provide our sophisticated advisors with the hands-on, boutique support they expect. Mark knows that our advisors are more than just a rep code and he will help us refine our offering to provide the innovative tools, value-added resources and personalized service to help them thrive.”

Helliker will work with Realta’s executive team to lead major operations transformation initiatives at the firm while identifying and evaluating growth opportunities, product solutions and strategic partnerships. He will also drive the development and execution of initiatives to attract high-quality advisors and practices to Realta.

Mark Helliker | PHOTO COURTESY OF HAVEN TOWER GROUP

Helliker said, “I’m excited for the opportunity to join a wealth management firm that is truly committed to delivering an extremely personalized, high-touch service experience to their advisors. Kevin and his team are doing something refreshing here at Realta. While they have an ambitious growth strategy, it’s not growth at any cost. In an industry where the big keeps getting bigger and achieving greater scale seems to be the only goal, Realta’s priority is creating a platform and environment where advisors can succeed and serve their clients with distinction. I look forward to sharing my expertise and working to make Realta the destination of choice for discerning advisors who expect more from their firm.”

Before joining Realta, he provided executive consultant services to major players in the industry including Avantax, where he also served as interim COO. There he led brokerage operations, developed strategic plans and was a valued consultant to the CEO in his search for a permanent COO. Helliker has also been a managing director and management committee member at LPL Financial where he was responsible for an 1,800-person client service, operations, trading, transitions and risk management organization. During his tenure at LPL, he designed and launched a new service model that significantly increased client satisfaction, implemented the firm’s first productivity improvement program and oversaw LPL’s largest clearing platform conversion.

Helliker was also a senior vice president, Schwab Advisor Services, where he managed the 650-employee organization responsible for delivering operational excellence to 5,000+ RIA clients. He began his career in financial services at Wells Fargo Bank, where he rose to the rank of vice president, ATM Banking Group.

He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, U.K., an MBA from San Diego State University and attended Harvard University’s General Management and Technology Management for Executives Programs.

Barnaby Grzaslewicz | PHOTO COURTESY OF MORRIS JAMES

Morris James, a Delaware-based law firm, has elected Barnaby Grzaslewicz to partner, promoted Ryan Keating to counsel, and named Michelle Spitelli director of human resources.

 

Grzaslewicz is a member of the corporate and commercial litigation practice. He concentrates his practice in corporate governance, fiduciary, contract, and business-tort litigation. He represents directors, officers, stockholders, and employees in Delaware state and federal courts. He frequently litigates expedited corporate law matters in the Delaware Court of Chancery and business disputes in the Complex Commercial Litigation Division of the Delaware Superior Court.

“Barnaby is a talented attorney, his experience and understanding of Delaware corporate law is an asset to our clients,” Albert Manwaring, chair of the corporate and commercial litigation group, said. “Our firm and practice group are honored to have him as a colleague and celebrate his election to the partnership.”

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Ryan Keating | PHOTO COURTESY OF MORRIS JAMES

Keating is experienced in medical malpractice, focusing exclusively on complex cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. He represents injured individuals in the states of Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

“Ryan is an exceptional attorney within our Medical Malpractice group”, Joshua Meyeroff, chair of the firm’s medical malpractice group, said “His expertise in handling complex cases is truly remarkable. Ryan’s proven ability to navigate a diverse range of cases, spanning from birth injuries to nursing home neglect, underscores his dedication to achieving justice for our clients. Drawing from his background in defending medical providers, he brings a distinctive perspective that enriches our approach.”

Michelle Spitelli | PHOTO COURTESY OF MORRIS JAMES

Spitelli will support human resources strategies, recruiting, training and development, and enforce the firm’s employment policies. She will build an employee-centric culture, enhance employee morale and well-being, increase engagement, and optimize productivity. She joins Morris James with over five years of experience in human resources operations at a well-respected Delaware law firm.

“We are excited for Michelle to join the Morris James team. She joins us with substantial experience, and we look forward to seeing her excel in this role,” Chief Operating Officer Sherry Leary said. “We also thank our previous HR Director, Carol Folt, for the over 30 years of steadfast dedication and excellence she provided to the firm and its employees.”

LINKBANK announced Joe Keefer as senior banking officer in the Delaware Valley, PA Region.

Keefer brings over 40 years of senior leadership expertise in the banking and real estate industries.

“We are delighted to welcome Joe to our team,” Delaware Valley Regional President Drew Smith said. “Joe’s knowledge and experience providing financing solutions for a diverse portfolio of clients and projects will help us continue to drive growth and profitability.”

Keefer said he “is excited to bring a passion to foster a culture of exceptional service, distinctive leadership, and value for customers and shareholders across the organization, as well as work on special projects.”

Keefer resides in Malvern, PA, with his wife, and they have three grown children. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Brown University and an MBA in Finance from Drexel University. He serves as a Board Member for Hope Partnership for Education in Philadelphia, PA, Friends Association for the Care and Feeding of Children in West Chester, PA, & Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, PA. He also serves on Saint Patrick’s Parish Finance Committee.

Whisman Giordano & Associates, LLC (WGA) announced Edward Devenny, CPA, and Alex Lalani, CPA, have both been promoted to director for the firm.

Devenny has nearly two decades of experience providing accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting services to businesses and individuals. He said, “This is what you work for your whole career. I’m truly grateful and very optimistic about the future of the firm.”

Lalani has been with Whisman Giordano for over a decade, delivering tax and consulting services to businesses and individuals. He has over 15 years of experience and specializes in closely-held businesses, construction, estates and trusts, high-wealth individuals, and real estate. Lalani said, “From my first day at Whisman Giordano, I was given the opportunity to serve clients and help grow the practice. There’s so much potential for the firm going forward. I credit my success to all the supportive people around me who have made me a better professional.”

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Managing Director Lisa DeRose, CPA, CGMA, said, “Alex and Ed are incredible assets to the Whisman Giordano team. They have a client-first mentality that leads them to always look for new ways to serve. They are both true leaders who help the rest of the team grow. Their appointment to directors was an easy decision. We are very happy that they have stepped into these new roles that will continue to help the firm excel.”

The News Journal named Regan Apo general manager in the Wilmington market. In this role, Apo will work closely with the executive editor to strengthen local connections with businesses and brands to drive community-based strategies and engagement. 

 Apo began her career with the Asbury Park Press in July 2007 as a recruitment advertising account executive. During the last 16 years she has assumed a variety of roles, including recruitment advertising director, local advertising director, sales director and vice president of sales overseeing North Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. Most recently, she was named general manager in the Bergen market. A graduate of Temple University, Apo was named a member of the New Jersey Ad Club’s Inaugural 40 under 40 Club and is a four-time president club winner.  

“Regan is very familiar with Delaware, and we excited to work closely with her to ensure the continued strength and success of Delaware Online and The News Journal,” Mike Feeley, executive editor, said. “Empowering our community to thrive is critical to our success and Regan will be a key partner as we implement strategic plans to benefit consumers, partners and our communities throughout the First State.” 

NAI Emory Hill named John Nocket the director of construction.

Nocket brings over 25 years of experience in the commercial and residential building market, as well as the security industry. His scope of work includes project management, trade partner relations, client relations, vendor management, construction management, estimating, quality control, and leasing.

John Nocket | PHOTO COURTESY OF NAI

Nocket provides a unique operations perspective and years of problem-solving skills developed and cultivated throughout his career. He brings a background of privately-held ownership and hands-on experience in real estate as an investor, general contractor, and landlord. His construction background includes reviewing schedules and cost projections with superintendents and project managers, as well as scheduling field personnel and acting as liaison between office and field staff.

Over the course of his career in the construction industry, Nocket has held roles in trade partner management including People Ready, a TrueBlue Company, trade partner manager for a premier home builder in Delaware, Virginia, and Tennessee, and served as the quality director for an industry leader in commercial life safety and security systems.

“We are pleased to welcome John to the Emory Hill family and feel confident that he will be an asset to our construction team,” Carmen Facciolo, Jr., president, said. “John’s diverse background and leadership qualities should prove to fit right in stride with the Emory Hill mission to foster growth in the commercial real estate industry.”

Nocket earned a degree in business administration from the University of Maine.

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announced the 2024 Board of Directors for the organization’s 26th Season.

Barbara Byrd Keenan, president, (retired) is a certified association executive with 40 years of nonprofit leadership and volunteer experience. She was CEO of four national and international organizations, and has held numerous volunteer leadership roles with the American Society of Association Executives. She is a Charter ASAE Fellow and the recipient of the Key Award, ASAE’s highest recognition. Barbara has BS and MS degrees from Old Dominion University, where she was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award. She lives in Ocean View.

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Marty Rosensweig, vice president – (retired) has a career span that focused on IT Consulting. Since retirement, he has been an active volunteer with RBFS, Lewes Historical Society, Historic Lewes Farmers’ Market, Friends of Lewes Canal Front Park, and the Pilottown Village HOA. She is active in the University of Delaware’s Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) as a participant, instructor, and volunteer classroom assistant. Marty still enjoys technical challenges. He resides in Lewes.

George Farrah, treasurer – (retired) served as a tax law editor at Bloomberg LLP and was voted “100 Most Influential Accountants” from 2011-2018. He knows numbers, can lead teams, solve problems and curate content. He’s also a painter and a member artist at Cape Gallery. He joined the RBFS Board in 2023 and soon became chair of the finance committee and then treasurer. He lives in Lewes.

Rosemarie Schmidt, secretary – (retired) an attorney who practiced law in Washington, DC representing high-profile companies that included Marriott International, and two law firms, Zuckerman, Spaeder LP and Venable, Baetjer, Howard & Civiletti. Rosemarie has volunteer leadership experience serving on Beebe Board of Directors’ Family & Patient Advisory Council and as a trustee of the Epworth United Methodist Church. She has a JD with honors from Georgetown University Law Center (DC) and an MA, from the University of Notre Dame (IN). She is a longtime resident of Rehoboth Beach.

Lisa Black,  board of directors – founded Garnet Girl, in 2007 to produce, finance and release multiple award-winning international independent feature films. She is the Co-Chair of the Producers Guild of America Capital Region, Board Member of the Garden State Film Festival, and a member of Women in Media and the Immediate-Past Co-Chair of the Delaware Film & Television Board. From 2011-2014, she served as the North American Advisor to The European Union Film Commission Network (EUFCN) where she developed multilateral and transnational arts and film partnerships. She resides in Newark, DE.

Sarah Dickinson, board of director – currently holds a position on the legal team with Mirum Pharmaceuticals managing clinical and commercial contracts. Other previous experience includes managing clinical trials with IQVIA and PAREXEL. Other roles include the director of events at the Clubhouse at Baywood and marketing and event director at 16 Mile Brewing Company in Georgetown, DE. She resides in Lewes.

Cathy Martinson, board of director – (retired) comes from the environmental management arena with a focus on clean water enforcement. Her specific expertise was as a liaison with commercial clients, coordinating technical compliance and negotiating legal settlements. Cathy is currently our longest-serving board member and resides in Milton.

James Schmidt, board of director – is a nonprofit development professional, with twenty years of fundraising and administrative experience, primarily in elementary and secondary education. Before relocating to Delaware, he was the director of development at Cathedral School for Boys for 15 years. During his time there, he also served on the boards of The Lab and City Hope. He currently works at the Brandywine Valley SPCA managing their development efforts in Sussex County. He is also an active volunteer with CAMP Rehoboth and resides in Rehoboth Beach.

John Worthington, board of director – (retired) was the president and CEO of New York & Company (2014-2019) and has amassed nearly 30 years of experience in the retail industry and was responsible for corporate planning and allocation, legal, finance, real estate, logistics, product development and IT. He lives in Bethany Beach.