In recent months, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has welcomed six new employees to its staff. Following are profiles of these newest members of the division family.
Curator of Education Vertie Lee is a native Delawarean who has worked full-time for the division since 2004. Over the past year, she served as acting site manager for the Buena Vista conference/event center near New Castle. Prior to that, she spent 14 years at the John Dickinson Plantation outside Dover where she served as lead historic-site interpreter. A holder of a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Delaware, the Clayton, Del. resident is looking forward to her new role where she will provide direction, support and management of educational services at the division’s five museums. As part of her responsibilities, she will play an important role in the development of the division’s interpretive plan, and ensure that program research, development and evaluation are conducted according to nationally accepted best practices and standards.
Physical Plant Maintenance Mechanic II Christian Rieth has served for the past three years as a physical-plant maintenance-mechanic helper with the division’s Preservation Maintenance Team which maintains, repairs and preserves the nearly 90 structures administered by the agency. A native of Smyrna and graduate of Smyrna High School, he has apprenticed and worked in a wide variety of trades. Prior to joining the division in 2016, he worked as an automotive-repair machinist, and holds a commercial driver license from the American Driver Training Academy. An avid avocational musician, he plays several instruments most notably drums and trombone, and has performed as a World War II historical-re-enactor.
Executive housekeeper Deb Granda is involved in every aspect of the Buena Vista conference/event center’s operations including maintenance and upkeep of the house and grounds, set-up and break-down of events, food service, hospitality, customer relations and inventory management. A Wilmington resident, Granda grew up in Freehold, N.J. and later earned a bachelor’s degree in merchandising and marketing from Marymount College. After working for many years for Brooks Brothers in New York, she and her family relocated to Delaware where she worked as an infant-room instructor for local day-care centers. She still works part-time for the Celebree School in Middletown, Del.
Patti Remedio, property manager for the Cooch’s Bridge campus, began her long association with the Cooch family in 1992 when she approached family patriarch Ned Cooch about boarding her horses on the Cooch property. Thereafter, she moved into a house on the site and worked for over 25 years doing all manner of jobs for the family including property management, caregiving, event planning and maintenance. A Renaissance woman, Remedio has raised and raced thoroughbred horses, is a licensed cosmetologist and was the first woman to earn an associate degree in fire technology from Delaware Technical and Community College in Stanton—all while raising five children.
Construction project-managers Paul Friday and Jason Williams have been working on a wide variety of capital-improvement undertakings at agency-managed sites across the state. Their work will help ensure a smooth workflow of projects from the initial planning and design stages, through construction and maintenance phases of the projects. Friday is handling projects in Kent and Sussex counties while Williams is handling projects in New Castle County.
A resident of Dover, Del., Friday is a veteran of more than twenty years in the construction industry including supervising and managing projects in both Delaware and Florida. He is currently the owner of Paul Friday Construction Services. In addition to his knowledge of the construction trades, he studied business administration at Delaware State University and served in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 1987.
A resident of Bear Del., Williams graduated from Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington, studied at Salem Community College and received a certification in project management from Penn Foster College. Prior to his work at the division, he worked as a project manager for ResiPro, and as an information-technology specialist in the financial-services industry.