Deborah Hampton is a Senior Trademark and Copyright Program Manager at Chemours, as well as this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE! Read her story below:
“I moved to Wilmington in 2015 to work for the Chemours Company FC, LLC. Prior to that, Delaware was always the state you passed through on I-95 heading south. I was born in Jersey City, NJ and my parents moved to Staten Island, New York when I was in the 6th grade. So, I consider myself as being both from NY and New Jersey. For most of my adult life, I lived in the Central Jersey area; however, my husband and I moved to Manhattan in 2011 until our move here in 2015. I went to the University of Cincinnati where I received my bachelor’s and Adelphi
University in Long Island where I received my ABA-approved Paralegal certificate. After I graduated from Adelphi University in 1983, I began working for a small intellectual property firm in NYC for a trademark attorney. When recounting my career, I tell everyone that I didn’t find trademarks, it found me! This was my first interview and after an hour, the attorney offered me a job. I’ve been in intellectual property ever since and I absolutely love it! I believe it is one of the few areas where one has an opportunity to experience an idea come to fruition and experience consumers’ reactions to it. I currently live in Bear and work in Downtown Wilmington across from Rodney Square.
I absolutely love Wilmington! The restaurants, culture, shopping, and the people are just wonderful. Not to mention the low cost of living here. I’m close to my home and family in NY/NJ as well as being close to DC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. There is always something to do and I enjoy the outdoor concerts held at Rodney Square in the summer. Chemours is also a great company to work for. My manager and senior management care about the employees, both personally and professionally. Management has been extremely supportive of my professional development, especially activities I participate in externally such as trade associations and my sorority. Most importantly, leadership makes sure that every employee has ample time to focus on the family and the community.
Being in Wilmington helped me and my husband recognize that we could be close to home, have the same amenities, culture, and activities and not be deprived or feel short changed because Wilmington is a smaller city than NYC. For me it is the best of both worlds: city-like vibes with a small-town feel. And it is the perfect place to retire! In the past, we constantly thought about moving south or staying east in New York or New Jersey. But with all that Wilmington has to offer, we’ve decided to remain in Delaware when we retire. We are living our best life here.
I’m a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and am very active with the Wilmington(DE) Alumnae chapter. We are an organization focused on sisterhood and public service. Through the organization, I’ve worked on several community service projects. I had the opportunity in February 2019 to work with my Sorors to plan a statewide Founders Day lunch. Over 700 people attended and it was the last major gathering I attended before the pandemic. The day was magic and we had a wonderful time.
I’ve also volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House, the Sunday Breakfast Mission, and a food bank. I’m currently the Co-Chair for our 2021 United Way campaign and I’m honored and excited to participate in this worthy cause.
I’m also a foodie and I love the restaurants and different options available. Again, I also love all the outdoor options. Since I started walking, there are little things I notice about the city. The underground railroad signs, the architecture of the buildings Downtown. I’m fascinated by it all.
My number one concern about getting back into the community is safety for myself and others. I want to see friends and family, particularly my only son Tristan and his beautiful wife Jun and darling granddaughter Calista. They live in Japan and are not able to be here and we can’t really go there right now. The last time I saw and held Calista, she was 7 months old. Now she is two and half. When the pandemic began, I thought several weeks, and it would be over. To be in the 4th quarter and still have major concerns is scary. So many lost souls is heartbreaking. It has to get better.
I am hopeful on the other hand, about everything moving forward in Wilmington! No matter what is going on in the world, I try to stay positive. I laugh at least once a day, read voraciously and dance like no one is watching. My husband William and I just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. I look forward to continuing to explore and experience all that Wilmington has to offer.
My favorite Wilmington attraction is the Riverfront and the Jack Markel Trail. I love to walk and belong to a group, GirlTrek and specifically, The Delaware Sole Sisters. The Riverfront and trail are beautiful and peaceful. I’ve walked the trail starting from RTE 273 all the way to the Riverfront, near the blue crane.
Not to be political but the pure joy and camaraderie when the results of the 2019 November election were announced was one of my proudest moments of being a Wilmingtonian. People of all colors and race came together in celebration. I spent some time that day at the Riverfront and everywhere I turned there were family and friends celebrating outside.
A memory I will never forget was Diner en Blanc in 2019 was magical! As many times as I have been at the Riverfront and Harriet Tubman Park, I’ve never seen it so beautiful. The clothes, table settings and the atmosphere were electric.
My advice to people living or working in Wilmington is to take all of it in. Wilmington, including Downtown, has so much to offer in the way of entertainment, nature, culture, and the ease of getting around. Where I come from, it’s always so tight and cramped. I don’t think people realize just how much space we have and how beautiful the city is.”