Charles M. Cawley, cofounder, former CEO of MBNA Corp.
Trying to summarize Charlie and, as he would say, the people of MBNA in 150 words is like trying to describe Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel with a short pencil. If the Harvard Business School has not done a case study on MBNA’s success and how to be a positive, disruptive influence on an industry, then it should. The success of MBNA was a precursor to incredible success stories that came just a few years later in the dot com explosion. The impact of that success on Delaware cannot be overstated. Starting with over 10,000 people employed at MBNA to the impact on merchants and service providers to the real estate market—both commercial and residential—to leadership in the community, MBNA changed the landscape of Delaware for the better, significantly. The impact of Charlie and the company on the nonprofit community was nothing short of amazing. The less fortunate in our community and the arts continue to this day to benefit from his leadership. Delaware just would not be what it is today if Charlie had not come to the First State.