In Business

The city goes out of its way to make companies feel at home.

Page 2: Patria Services Group
Page 3: The Goddard School
Page 4: Phillips & Cohen Associates
Page 5: Regulatory Data Corporation
Page 6: Top Quality Industrial Finishers
Page 7: The Archer Group
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Page 9: IMDA Italia

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware consolidated five locations into this modern building along Delaware Avenue. Employees enjoy free parking, an on-site cafeteria and a fitness center.

In its continuing quest to be truly in the middle of it all, Wilmington has proved it can accommodate all sorts of enterprises—and help them thrive. Whether it’s an industrial spray painting service or a company that specializes in the latest online marketing technology, the city, led by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, has been an enthusiastic and nurturing host. A quick look at recent additions demonstrates the diversity of local businesses.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield

Consolidating five New Castle County locations into one downtown building has proved beneficial for both the employees and the corporate entity that is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware.

Efficiency was the primary reason for the move, says William E. Kirk III, BCBS vice president. “We were spending a fair amount of time traveling from site to site.”

With help from the city, the healthcare provider moved to 800 Delaware Ave. in September 2007. Kirk says Mayor Jim Baker and his staff provided “spectacular cooperation.” The mayor met with BCBS officers to talk about Wilmington’s advantages, and the city sent representatives to help during the 25 orientation meetings held for the 650 employees who were moving. Other city organizations, including Downtown Visions and Wilmington Renaissance, also participated.

The move has enabled BCBS to offer employee perks such as free parking in the building, as well as an on-site cafeteria and a fitness center, for a nominal charge.

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Page 2: Patria Services Corp.


Patria Services Corp.

Jim Roszkowski, president and CEO of Patria Services Corp., had worked for MBNA and lived in Wilmington for nearly 20 years, so he knew the city and its attributes well when Patria moved its headquarters to 1300 N. Market St. in 2007. It is, he says, “the perfect place” for several reasons.

“One, the work force. Having worked here for some time, I knew the caliber of people—the labor pool—I would be looking for were here. And we would be close to I-95 and Amtrak, which is important because we do a lot of business in the Washington-to-New York corridor. I also like what the city has to offer. I see a lot of changes going on.”

Patria is a marketing solutions technology innovator that enables clients to present products or services to the right customers at the right time. The technology is based on life-changing events, such as a household move, a college graduation or a retirement.

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Page 3: The Goddard School


The Goddard School is located on the Riverfront.The Goddard School

How many preschools offer parents the opportunity to drop in on their kids during the workday without jumping into their cars and driving to the school? Not many.

But The Goddard School’s location on the Riverfront in the Barclays Building affords moms and dads who work in nearby offices and restaurants just that advantage. Such accessibility helped swell enrollment from 15 in November to 50 in January.

Owner Beth Hutchinson says the location was ideal for Goddard, a national organization with more than 300 franchises. “We really liked the area,” Hutchinson says. “It’s really growing and really beautiful. And we thought we could provide a need for child care where people work.”

The 10,000-square-foot building includes classrooms and a gymnasium complete with a rock wall. The staff, which numbered five in November, doubled in three months.

Page 4: Phillips & Cohen Associates


Phillips & Cohen Associates

As the end of its lease approached in mid-2008, Phillips & Cohen Associates began looking for a larger space. The Newark offices of the international full-service financial recovery agency had expanded several times from its original 20 employees. Then, with nearly 250 workers, it needed significantly more square footage.

Wilmington city officials helped P&H find it—in the Shipyard Shops on the Riverfront. Says Matthew Saperstein, senior vice president for Global Human Resources, “The city worked with us and the contractor in getting permits. It’s a tough process to take a 35,000-square-foot space from store into office space for over 200 people.”

What’s more, he says, “The central location on the waterfront makes us convenient not only for our current staff, but opens us to a great new labor market.”

Page 5: Regulatory Data Corporation


About 70 employees of Regulatory Data Corporation work in the Nemours Building. Photograph by Joel PlotkinRegulatory Data Corporation

In summer 2007, word that Regulatory Data Corporation was considering Wilmington as its headquarters spread like a galvanizing wildfire through Delaware’s small, tight-knit business community. In less than five days, local, county and state officials, as well as business executives, organized a red-carpet day for RDC partners. It included a tour of possible sites and culminated in dinner at a local restaurant. Thirty movers and shakers attended, and speakers included Mayor Jim Baker, County Executive Chris Coons, and then-state treasurer Jack Markell, who is now governor.

The main guests, the partners of Bain Capital, majority investor in the company, were dazzled, according to Mark Parsells, chairman and CEO of RDC. “At the end of that dinner, they were just so impressed,” Parsells says, “that the decision to locate in Wilmington was a no-brainer.”

RDC moved two employees into the fourth floor of the Nemours Building in July 2007. Today 70 people work there. The company operates the world’s largest open source database, utilized by major financial institutions to protect against fraud and money laundering.

Page 6: Top Quality Industrial Finishers


Top Quality Industrial Finishers

Eddie Camacho is a Jersey boy who is glad to be working in Wilmington. Eddie, his brother Oscar and Kevin Walto, two other Garden Staters, commute every workday to their thriving industrial spray paint business at 1204 E. 12th St.

Top Quality Industrial Finishers moved to the city two years ago after outgrowing its 4,000-square-foot New Castle site. Working with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, it found the 30,000-square-foot site in just a couple of weeks.

“They worked with us to make sure everything was up and running—the electrical, the spray booth,” says Eddie Camacho.

Page 7: The Archer Group


The Archer Group

Patrick Callahan says The Archer Group is ideally located, both geographically and fiscally. Callahan is a partner with Lee Mikles in the Internet-interactive marketing company at 233 N. King St., site of the old YWCA.

Wilmington gives Archer a cost advantage over competing big-city firms. “Being right in the middle of the Washington-Baltimore-Philadelphia-New York area is huge for us,” says Callahan. “Our prices and wages, the low wage tax, everything like that is Delaware-based in a region that’s very expensive. We get a lot of clients out of New York because we don’t have the same cost basis.”

He also finds that Wilmington’s Preservation Initiative adds an air of excitement to the Lower Market Design District, now known as LOMA, where Archer made its home. “It’s starting to grow,” he says.

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A residential feel in a downtown setting is one of the factors that attracted to move from its suburban offices to 201 W. 14th St.—the old Hercules Building—last May.

“We’re on a tree-lined street, next to a park and near the water,” says Karen Gilliland, chief marketing officer for the nine-year-old firm. “Yet we have all the advantages of being downtown, with a lot of amenities.”

Wilmington welcomed its new tenant with an orientation meeting about available transportation, including car pooling possibilities, and another about businesses in the area. It also assembled a package of incentives containing rewards for increased payroll. The online stationery retailer has expanded to nearly 100 employees while experiencing double-digit growth.

Page 9: IMDA Italia


IMDA Italia

A strong local Italian heritage, a central location on I-95 and the persuasive powers of local officials have combined to create the Italian Mountain Development Agency, in the Shipyard Shops on the Riverfront.

The office, which opened in October, is a cultural and commercial bridge between Italian mountain areas, where most Italian-Americans come from, and the United States, using Wilmington as a portal. It is a cultural center, trade office and importer of Italian goods that provides a direct Italian experience through exhibits, meetings, classes, video conferences and food tastings.

CEO Paolo Russo says the state and city offered full cooperation, especially Wilmington Director of Economic Development Joe DiPinto. “He helped to set up the center, introducing us to the right people, helping us to work with Pettinaro Company for our office space,” says Russo.

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