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Board Members

Dr. Devona E. Williams, Interim Board Chair

Dr. Devona E. WilliamsSworn in on March 1, 2012

Innovation & Sustainability Committee, Vice Chair

Dr. Devona E. Williams has over 25 years of experience in the fields of public policy, planning and public affairs with corporate, government and non-profit sectors.

She is the founder of Goeins-Williams Associates (GWA), a successful performance management consulting business designed to help organizations achieve greater productivity in strategic work environments. The list of GWA clients includes AstraZeneca, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Christina Health Systems, the DuPont Corporation, the State of Delaware, and many others.

Dr. Williams’ professional experience spans the administration of public programs, the management of corporate public relations, policy issues, strategic planning, organizational and executive leadership. Her experience also includes executive appointments with the DuPont Corporation, as well as service as a U.S. Presidential Intern with the Office of Management and Budget, NASA and the EPA.

She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware, with specialization in social policy, program planning and analysis. Dr. Williams is a former assistant professor and instructor for the University of Delaware’s School of Urban Affairs.

She is a frequent keynote speaker on business, diversity, leadership, motivation and success. She is author of the new release, The Intentional Consultant: How to grow and sustain a consulting practice, and is a contributing author of the inspirational book Remarkable Women.

The Honorable Michael N. Castle

The Honorable Michael N. CastleFirst appointed by Gov. Jack Markell in mid-2012 to succeed Dr. Calvin T. Wilson whose six-year term expired.

Executive Committee

Mr. Castle is a former two-term Delaware governor (1985-1992) and a nine-term U.S. Congressman (1993-2011) representing the First State. He has also served as lieutenant governor (1981-1985), state senator (1968-1976) and state representative (1966-1967). During his state Senate years, he was the minority leader from 1975-1976. In total, Mr. Castle served as an elected public servant for 40 years.

As a Congressman, Mr. Castle served as the chair of the House Subcommittee on Education Reform, in which he played a major role in shaping the No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law by President George Bush. He also forged enacted legislation designed to improve the quality and relevance of education research through new standards of scientific rigor.

An attorney and member of the Delaware Bar and the Washington D.C. Bar, Mr. Castle is currently a partner of DLA Piper, a government affairs practice that maintains offices in Wilmington, New York City and Washington, D.C.  During his legal practice years, he was an associate attorney and later a partner of the Wilmington law firm of Connelly, Bove and Lodge from 1964-1975. He also served from 1965 to 1966 as a Delaware deputy attorney general.

Mr. Castle has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center of Washington, D.C.

He was born and raised in Wilmington, Del., where he currently lives with his wife Jane.

John J. Allen, Jr.

John J. Allen, Jr.First appointed by the board in 2012 to succeed Dr. Richard Barros who stepped down from the board in mid-2012 due to term limits. Sworn in January 10, 2013.

Academic & Student Success Committee, Vice Chair

Mr. Allen is Delmarva Power’s vice president responsible for Kent and Sussex counties in Delaware as well as the counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland since 2005.

An employee of Delmarva Power for 32 years, Mr. Allen’s background includes Customer Care Leadership, Organizational Training and Development, Training Instructional Design and Development, Human Performance Technology and Performance Improvement and holds industry certificates for Strategic Leadership. 

Mr. Allen attended Lincoln University and Southwest Bible College & Seminary and holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Theology.                                   

Mr. Allen is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society for Business, Management and Administration and is also a 2006 graduate of Leadership Maryland.

In civic and community service areas, Mr. Allen serves on the executive board of the Greater Salisbury (Md.) Committee, Salisbury Wicomico Economic Development, the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and the Maryland/D.C. Utilities Association. He also serves as a board member of Nanticoke Health Services, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Board of Visitors, the University System of Maryland Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lower Eastern Shore, as well as a member of the United Way of Delaware Kent & Sussex Advisory Council.

José F. Echeverri, MBA

José F. Echeverri, MBAFirst appointed February 2005

Innovation & Sustainability Committee

Mr. Echeverri has worked as a financial advisor for more than two decades for some of the best financial firms in the country, including Dean Witter, Merrill Lynch, and Legg Mason. He is currently president and founder of his own investment management firm, Echeverri Financial Services, which he has operated in Middletown and Dover, DE for over eight years.  

His team manages over $20 million in assets for over 250 clients. He also is Chairman of the Delaware College Investment Plan where he administers to 24,000 clients with over $340 million in assets. Mr. Echeverri specializes in retirement planning for individuals as well as small business owners. He is licensed as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and also has licenses in life and health insurance.

A 23-year retiree of the U.S. Air Force and the Delaware Air National Guard, Mr. Echeverri served as Chief of Operations for the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (AES) during his last 10 years of military service. He served as project officer to several Central and South American countries, and deployed for eight months to the desert during Operation Desert Shield/Storm where he served as duty control officer for the Aeromedical Evacuation Control Center. He was selected to the rank of Major in August 1999, but retired as a Captain.           

He has an MBA from Delaware State University, as well as a B.A. in Biology from the State University of New York in Plattsburg, N.Y. A native of Cali, Colombia, Mr. Echeverri moved permanently to the United States as a child in 1965.         

Mr. Echeverri is a past Assistant District Governor for the Camden-Wyoming Rotary, past member of the State of Delaware Governor’s Council on Hispanic Affairs, past president of the Delaware Latino Political Action Committee and the Reserve Officers Association. He currently serves as the V.P. and Board member of the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute, and is on the State of Delaware Judiciary Nominating Committee.         

In 2008, Mr. Echeverri was the first known board member to earn a MBA Degree from DSU while serving as an active member of the board.

He is a resident of Dover, DE.

Dr. Debbie Harrington

Dr. Debbie HarringtonSworn in on September 22, 2016

Executive Committee
Academic & Student Success Committee

Dr. Harrington – a native of Portsmouth, Va., and currently a resident of Middletown, Del. – has been appointed to a six-year term by the board to succeed former board member James Stewart, whose term expired Aug. 31.  

In her Army career, Dr. Harrington was an expert logistician with 25 years of experience in international multi-modal transportation systems and infrastructure, procurement, contracts, facility management and supply distribution.

After her retirement from the U.S. Army in 2005, Dr. Harrington worked in the areas of nonprofit organizational management, community development and social justice.

She has served the State of Delaware in several capacities. She served on a task force established by the state General Assembly to study education for students with visual impairments. She also works with the Delaware Department of Visual Impairment on education and employment initiatives and serves on its Rehabilitation Advisory Council.

Most recently, Dr. Harrington has worked with the Delaware Department of Education to strategically plan for the education of students with low-incidence disabilities. She also is an appointed commissioner and chairs the commission that administers the State Use Law.

She has managed the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square, a mega Baptist Church in Landover, Md., and the Resurrection Center churches in Wilmington and Middletown. At those churches, she has conducted capital planning and extensive outreach opportunities in education and economic empowerment.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Norfolk State University in Virginia, a Master of Science in  National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C., and a Doctor of Education in Innovation and Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University.

Lois M. Hobbs

Lois M. HobbsFirst appointed by Gov. Jack Markell on June 11, 2010. Reappointed in January 2017 for a six-year term.

Academic & Student Success Committee

Lois M. Hobbs has worked the last four years as an independent educational consultant. Prior to that from 1996-2006 she served as the superintendent of the Indian River School District, which serves 7,600 students in Sussex County. During her career, she has also been a regional administrator for the Charles County Public Schools and a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent for the Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Ms. Hobbs has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Elementary School Administration. She has served on the Governor’s Task Force on School Libraries and on the Lt. Governor’s Models of Excellence in Education Steering Committee. The former district superintendent is a resident of Fenwick Island, DE.

Charles McDowell, Esq.

Charles McDowell, Esq.First appointed by the Board in August 2006. Current Expiration Date – Aug. 31, 2018

Executive Committee
Operations Committee, chair

Mr. McDowell is a former partner and currently is of-counsel with Potter Anderson & Corroon, LLP. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of East Side Charter School and Charter School of New Castle and is a director of the Early College High School at Delaware State University and Zip Code Wilmington, Inc.

Mr. McDowell earned a BA in History from Princeton University in 1967 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Law School of the University of Virginia in 1974. 

Kathy McGuiness, RPh

Appointed by Gov. Jack Markell and sworn in on January 19, 2017

CommitteesKathy McGuiness
Innovation & Sustainability Committee
Operations Committee

Kathy McGuiness is a native Delawarean, born in Kent County and raised in Sussex County. Kathy earned a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Pharmacy. After earning her Pharmacy Degree, she returned home to Rehoboth Beach. In 2002, Kathy owned and operated Rehoboth Pharmacy. In 2003, she launched a retail store in Rehoboth.

Early on, Kathy learned the importance of public service and working with others to find new and innovative ways to make the entire community better. Kathy has volunteered thousands of hours for nonprofit boards and committees. While still owning and operating her pharmacy, Kathy was founding president of the national award-winning nonprofit, Rehoboth Beach Main Street. In 2001, her efforts were recognized by Governor Carper as Delaware’s “Tourism Person of the Year.” Thanks to her and her colleagues’ work, Rehoboth Beach and the surrounding communities have grown to be a year-round tourist destination.

Kathy McGuiness has served as a Rehoboth Beach Commissioner for 15 years. During her tenure, she pushed for the state to help fund a multi-million dollar streetscape aesthetics and infrastructure upgrade, which propelled Rehoboth Beach to a year-round economy and created retail, restaurant and construction jobs, helping to sustain the regional economy.

She is currently a board member for:

  • Meals on Wheels LR
  • CAMP Rehoboth
  • Delaware Motion Picture and Television Development Commission


  • Recipient of the 1997 Delaware Pharmacist’s Bowl of Hygeia award for outstanding community service
  • Recipient of the 1999 DE Business and Professional Women’s “Businesswoman of the Year”
  • Recipient of the 2001 “Delaware’s Tourism Person of the Year” under then-Governor Carper

John Ridgeway, Second Vice Chair

John RidgewaySworn in on June 16, 2016

Operations Committee, Vice Chair

Mr. Ridgeway is currently the corporate manager of Toyota’s Eastern Territory Service Center, which is based in Owings Mills, Md. Prior to arriving at Toyota in 2006, Mr. Ridgeway spent two years as a senior vice president of Customer Service and Support for Bank of America. He also previously held director posts for Sears, Roebuck and Co. All told, the DSU alumnus brings 24 years of corporate experience to the DSU board.

During his undergraduate years at then-Delaware State College, Mr. Ridgeway earned a B.A. in Business Administration.

Leroy A. Tice, Esq.

Leroy A. Tice, Esq.Appointed by Gov. Jack Markell in January 2010 to complete the term of Dr. Lillian Lowery, who resigned. Sworn in that same month.

Audit & ERM Committee, Vice Chair

Leroy A. Tice, is an attorney with his Wilmington firm of Leroy A. Tice, Esquire, P.A., a general litigation firm that focuses on personal injury, criminal defense, worker’s compensation and civil rights matters. Mr. Tice is a member of both the Delaware State Bar Association and the New Jersey State Bar Association.

He is a member of the Delaware Bar Association’s Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section, the Delaware Trial Lawyers, as well as the National Employment Lawyers Association. He also serves as an outside counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and as a special hearing officer for the Prestige Academy, a Wilmington charter school.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Delaware State University and later earned a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law.

He is a native of Milford, DE, a 1987 graduate of Milford High School and also a 2002 alumnus of DSU.

Mr. Tice was appointed to finish the six-year term of Dr. Lillian A. Lowery, who resigned from the board in January 2010. In completing Dr. Lowery’s term, Mr. Tice’s current appointment lasts until Oct. 17, 2020.