We’re Wilmington Renaissance Corporation: the Big Ideas people

Our mission is to breathe life into Wilmington.

WRC was founded in 1993 as Wilmington 2000, a public-private partnership between The Office of the Mayor and the corporate community.

We’re privately funded, nonprofit and nonpartisan. We breathe life into downtown Wilmington, cutting through red tape and loosening logjams to bring Big Ideas to Life.

We direct our energies toward stimulating the city’s economy, attracting new residents and fostering ideas that enrich our culture.

We enthusiastically support the city’s diverse attractions and history, as well as its entertainment, lifestyle and development offerings.

Mission and Vision

We are WRC.

Our job is to create, initiate and partner with others to help revitalize Wilmington. We’re visionaries. We’re doers.

The mission of Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (WRC) is to develop and implement strategies that will increase the economic vitality of Downtown Wilmington, strengthen its role as a center of educational, cultural and social activity, and enhance its reputation as an exciting place to live and visit by marketing Wilmington’s unique history and character.

Creating. Initiating. Establishing.

Our two decades of successes have been made possible by partnering with public and private entities, community and business organizations and other nonprofits.

Vision for the Future

Throughout 2017 and beyond, we will continue to work with our partners to develop and implement big ideas that will help Wilmington reach its greatest potential.

Focused as always on our four core areas Education, Infrastructure, Culture and Quality of Life and infrastructure—and guided by the organization’s mission and goals as outlined in the strategic plan, the WRC staff and board are excited by the prospect of new initiatives for continued progress.

We draw constant inspiration from the dedication, enthusiasm and cooperation of individuals and organizations that collaborate with us to achieve these far-reaching goals. The future holds great promise for the City of Wilmington. We will continue to work together, combining our strengths, talents and resources, to accomplish great things.

We focus on four strategic areas:


Education BIG IDEAs are not duplicative of any K-12 educational initiatives already underway in Delaware (Vision 2015, etc.) and will expand or improve educational offerings and experiences in Wilmington.

Quality of life

Social BIG IDEAs focus on developing and expanding activities and assets around livability and events to increase the number of people who live in Wilmington and support the economic growth of the city.


Culture BIG IDEAS focus on developing and expanding cultural activities and assets to increase the number of people who visit Wilmington and support the economic growth of the


Infrastructure BIG IDEAS focus on developing or expanding ideas that simplify a problem, streamline a process or address housing issues and/or commercial real estate concerns.


Through the effectiveness of its partnerships and strategic planning, WRC has facilitated integral improvements in Downtown Wilmington.

WRC’s many successes have only been possible through strong partnerships and collaborations with public and private entities, community and business organizations and other nonprofits.

Current Projects

Creative District

Goal: Wilmington’s Creative District is the city’s Creative Center focused on both Creative Production and Consumption, where local creative entrepreneurs (artists, musicians, designers, makers, manufacturers) and residents thrive and locally designed goods and original works are made and sold.

Wilmington’s Creative District is a part of a national wave of creative placemaking initiatives that seek to transform urban areas. Our project encompasses the area bounded by Fourth, Ninth, Market and Washington Streets and, with the active engagement of a variety of partners from the private and public sectors, will continue the momentum of LOMA and Market Street.

The Creative District will be focused on creative production and consumption, a place where creative entrepreneurs — artists, musicians, designers, tech innovators, makers and manufacturers — and neighborhood residents thrive and where locally designed goods and original works are made and consumed.

Learn more @ CreativeDistrictWilm.com

A vision for Wilmington's Creative District'

Big Ideas Strategy

Results: In March 2012, our board of directors reaffirmed WRC’s most important role—to create and implement Big Ideas for Wilmington.

The board started a process to bring together thought partners throughout the city, which resulted in four meetings in February 2013 centered on WRC’s four core focus areas: Education, Infrastructure, Culture and Quality of Life.

In each meeting, groups shared Big Ideas with one another and voted on the top five ideas. WRC staff then researched these ideas and presented them to the WRC Board Executive Committee in early April. At the Annual Meeting in April, we held a Big Ideas brainstorming session with all attendees

The next month, we held follow-up sessions with the Big Ideas groups to consider these additional ideas, plus the staff research. We determined which proposals we would pass onto the entire WRC board for consideration at the June 7 board retreat. These proposals also included ideas that people submitted online via our new website.

It was then determined that the final ideas that WRC would focus on would be:

1) Education Think Tank: expand or improve educational offerings and experiences in Wilmington that are not duplicative of any K-12 educational initiatives already underway in Delaware.

2) Experience Wilmington: focus on livability and expanding activities and assets that increase the number of people who live in Wilmington and support the economic growth of the city.

3) Economic Plan for the Arts: focus on developing and expanding cultural activities and assets to increase the number of people who visit Wilmington and support the economic growth of the city.

got big ideas

Staff & Board

Mailing Address:

Wilmington Renaissance Corporation
Community Service Building
100 W. 10th Street, Suite 206
Wilmington, DE 19801


(O) 302-425-5500
(F) 302-425-2485

Become a member!

Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (WRC) seeks board members representing companies located or doing business in or adjacent to the City of Wilmington.

Download Member Benefits Overview

Join our team!

View Available Job Openings


Dr. Carrie W. Gray
Managing Director
302-425-5500, ext. 101
E-mail Carrie
Contact Us
Jennifer Lawson
Marketing & Creative Services Manager
302-425-5500 ext. 105
E-mail Jennifer
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Nivea Mercado
Operations Coordinator
302-425-5500, ext. 102
E-mail Nivea
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Laura Semmelroth
Creative District Strategist
302-425-5500, ext 108
E-mail Laura
Contact Us



Mr. Glenn Moore
Vice President
Delmarva Power

Vice Chairs

Mr. Jed Hatfield
Colonial Parking, Inc
Dr. Edmondo J. Robinson, M.D., MBA, FACP
Chief Transformation Officer
Christiana Care Health System


Mr. Trevor Koenig
Senior Vice President
Bank of America

Managing Director & Secretary

Dr. Carrie W. Gray
Managing Director
Wilmington Renaissance Corporation


Dr. Peter Bailey
Vice President, External & International Affairs
Wilmington University
Mr. Ryan Ball
Director, National Expansion
Capital One
Ms. Tracey A. Beberman
Operations Executive
JPMorgan Chase
Mr. Paul L. Bechly, CFA, CFP
First Vice President
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Mr. Richard B. Carroll, Esquire
Saul Ewing LLP
Mr. Bruce H. Colbourn
SVP, Corporate Banking Market Manager
PNC Bank
Ms. Jamie Cruz
Co-Founder / Sr. VP of Business Development
Alpha Technologies USA, Inc.
Mr. Neal F. Dangello, MCR
Senior Managing Director
Newmark Knight Frank
Mr. Eugene A. Delle Donne
Director of Development
Delle Donne & Associates, Inc.
Mr. Jerry DuPhily
TSN Media, Inc.
Ms. Margaret Eitl
Vice President, Sales & Client Management
Highmark Delaware
Mr. Michael Gallagher
Managing Partner (Retired)
Aloysius Butler & Clark
Ms. Shona Grace
Chief Operating Officer
McConnell Johnson Real Estate / 1313 Innovation
Mr. Doug Hertsenberg
Mr. Glenn Kocher
Senior Vice President & Director of Small Business Banking
Mr. Andrew Levin
Relationship Manager
M&T Bank
Ms. Kerry Meluskey
Relationship Manager
Fulton Bank
Ms. Amelia Messa
Of Counsel
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Ms. Julie Topkis Nason
Vice President of Administration & Development
Nason Construction, Inc.
Mr. Andrew Remming
Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnel LLP
Ms. Reneé Roberts
Vice President
TD Bank USA, N.A.
Mr. Don Robitzer
Chief Operating Officer/Senior Vice President
The Commonwealth Group
Mr. Baron Schlachter
Managing Director US Card AML
Ms. Amy Silvestri
Director, Risk Management & Business Control
Mr. Robert Snowberger
Vice President of Development
The Buccini/Pollin Group
Ms. Paula J. Swain
Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Incyte Corporation
Mr. Duane D. Werb, Esquire
Managing Partner
Werb & Sullivan
Ms. Allison Wier
Director of Private Events
The Queen


The Honorable Jeffrey W. Bullock
Secretary, Department of State
State of Delaware
Mr. Jeff Flynn
Director, Office of Economic Development
City of Wilmington
Ms. Kathleen Jennings
Chief Administrative Officer
New Castle County Government
Mr. Mark Kleinschmidt
New Castle County Chamber of Commerce
The Honorable Matthew Meyer
County Executive
New Castle County Government
The Honorable Michael Purzycki
City of Wilmington
The Honorable Hanifa Shabazz
President, City Council
City of Wilmington
Ms. Tanya Washington
Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office
City of Wilmington
Ms. Kelly Wetzel
Events Manager, Program & Communications Specialist
Delaware State Chamber of Commerce

Community Partners

Focus: Partnering with city departments and other organizations focused on the success of the City of Wilmington

City of Wilmington

Visit the official City of Wilmington website for information about city departments, press releases, business information, City Council and more.

Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau

Wilmington and the surrounding area is home to Winterthur Museum & Country Estate, Hagley Museum, Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum, Delaware Art Museum, Nemours Mansion and Gardens and other world-class attractions.

Delaware Arts Alliance

Delaware Arts Alliance (DAA) serves as a dynamic advocate for arts and culture throughout the state, asserting the importance of the arts in the development of the livable communities, vibrant economies, and creative citizens.

Riverfront Development Corporation

The Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) is focused on creating economic vitality along the Brandywine and Christiana rivers, while enhancing the environment, encouraging historic preservation, and promoting public access.

Downtown Visions

Downtown Visions is the clean and safe management company for the Wilmington Downtown Business Improvement District (WDBID).

IN Wilmington

Check out the “in” site for all the details on arts and cultural happenings, dining, and parking in Wilmington.

United Way of Delaware

United Way of Delaware’s mission is to maximize the community’s resources to improve the quality of life for all Delawareans.

Out & About Magazine

Your monthly go-to source for those who enjoy a little variety. Music, dining, movies, arts, style and more. If you’re looking to get out, get Out & About!

Interfaith Community Housing

Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware builds, rehabilitates, and owns or manages 380 housing units plus land and is the largest statewide nonprofit community housing organization in Delaware.

Christina Cultural Arts Center

CCAC is a premier community school of the arts with a mission to make affordable arts education and multicultural programs accessible to children, teens and adults in a family environment.