WILMINGTON – The Class of 2023 for the Delaware Business Hall of Fame features longtime and newer local advocates who have made significant contributions in the First State.
Selected for induction this year are brothers Bill and Don Budinger, who founded and led the advanced materials company Rodel; Ayanna Khan, the founder, president and CEO of the Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce; and Robert Martinelli, the group publisher, president and CEO of Today Media, which publishes Delaware Today magazine and Delaware Business Times.
The trio will be celebrated at an Oct. 26 ceremony held at the DuPont Experimental Station. They will join more than 75 other leaders who have been honored since the hall was formed in 1990. Honorees are selected based on their business, industry or community accomplishments that have positively influenced economic and workforce development in the region.
Sensing a need amid the COVID pandemic in 2002, Khan founded the DEBCC with an aim to provide a platform for Black entrepreneurs and professionals to connect, collaborate, and thrive. Under her leadership, the chamber has grown exponentially in a short amount of time, becoming a powerful advocate for minority businesses in the state.
She understood the need because she too is an entrepreneur, launching small business consulting firm Khan Consulting LLC in 2015 following a decade-long finance career with a major communication and technology company.
“Being inducted into the Delaware Business Hall of Fame is one of the highest recognitions of achievement and dedication to the Delaware business community. It signifies a lifelong commitment to innovation, leadership, and making a lasting impact. It’s an honor that celebrates not just personal success but also the contributions made to the growth and prosperity of Delaware’s business landscape. I am truly humbled and honored to receive this recognition,” Khan said in a statement.