In a surprise announcement at the 25th Annual Marvin S. Gilman Superstars in Business awards luncheon, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce awarded the esteemed Marvin S. Gilman Bowl to Pamela W. Cornforth, president and chief executive officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Delaware.
“This is a well-deserved award,” said Martha S. Gilman. “Pam’s community leadership and involvement certainly embodies my father’s legacy.”
Named in memory of Marvin S. Gilman—who served as an exemplary leader and a paragon of small business in Delaware—the Gilman Bowl was established as a tribute to small business leadership. The identity of the recipient of the Gilman Bowl was held confidential until its presentation at the awards ceremony.
“I was excited to learn that Pam would be the recipient of the Gilman Bowl for the 25th anniversary of the event,” said Brett Gilman Smith, Marvin S. Gilman’s grandson.
Cornforth has been the president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Delaware since 1999. During Pam’s leadership, the House has undergone two expansions to accommodate the organization’s growth and better serve the needs of the families who stay there. Pam also oversaw the creation of the Ronald McDonald Family Room located at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware and the renovation of the Family Room located at the Center for Women’s and Children’s Health at ChristianaCare’s Newark Campus. She recently completed a two-year term as a member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Global Advisory board acting in the capacity as a liaison between the local RMHC chapters and the global office.
In 2023, Pam led the successful rebranding and chapter status change of the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Delaware, laying the groundwork to further expand the organization’s mission and reach. This new name and status reflect the organization’s promise to provide a wider range of programs and support services to families with seriously ill children across Delaware and the surrounding communities.
With a strong commitment to her local community, Cornforth is an active volunteer with multiple nonprofits in the state. She is a Fund for Women founder, having served as secretary and currently as board chair of the Board of Trustees for the Fund for Women. She is also past president of the Rotary Club of Wilmington; past chair of Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement; and past president of the Junior League of Wilmington, to name a few.
She has also served on the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Governors since 2019, as well as the organization’s Small Business Alliance Board of Managers and Superstars in Business committee—having chaired both groups.
“Pam has been a dedicated volunteer and supporter of our mission for many years,” said Michael Quaranta, president of the State Chamber. “She has also been instrumental to the growth and success of our Superstars in Business awards program. We are thankful for the time and energy she has given to our organization over the years, and this award is one way to show our gratitude.”
The awards event also honored eight outstanding companies as Superstars in Business and Award of Excellence winners. Winner videos and event information can be found at www.DSCC.com/SuperstarsinBusiness. The program included remarks from Brian DiSabatino, president and chief executive officer of EDiS Company.
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