Chipman L. Flowers, Jr.
||This article needs copy editing in order to create readable prose, proper spacing, and/or standard section length. (March 2013)|
|Chipman L. Flowers Jr.|
|Treasurer of Delaware|
January 2, 2011
|Preceded by||Velda Jones-Potter|
|Born||27 December 1974 (age 38)
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania,
Georgetown University Law Center,
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Chipman "Chip" L. Flowers, Jr. (born December 27, 1974 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is treasurer of the state of Delaware and an attorney. A member of the Democratic party, Flowers became the first African American to win a statewide election in Delaware when he was elected treasurer in November 2010. He took office on Jan. 2, 2011 at the age of 36. He is also president and managing member of the Flowers Counsel Group, LLC, a law firm he founded in 2006.
Early life, education and career
Flowers was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the son of Ltc. (R) Chipman L. Flowers, a career Army officer, and Carrie J. Flowers, a teacher and guidance counselor at schools operated by the U.S. Department of Defense. He has one sibling, a sister, Robbi C. Flowers. As a “military brat,” Flowers traveled extensively in his youth, attending public schools in Dallas, Texas, Lawton, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended middle and high school in Italy while his father was stationed overseas. He is a graduate of Vicenza American High School in Vicenza, Italy. As he traveled between the United States and his father’s overseas duty stations, Flowers often passed through Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. During these trips, he developed a fondness for Delaware and decided he would like to settle there after completing his education. Flowers graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics with dual minors in international relations and psychology. He then attended Georgetown University, where he earned both a Juris Doctor degree and a Master’s in Business Administration in 2000. While attending Georgetown, Flowers worked at the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, USX, Inc., Weil, Gotshal and Manges, LLP and in the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Clinton administration. He began his legal career in Delaware in 2000 in the Wilmington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, where he worked as a mergers and acquisition attorney. He became active in the Delaware State Bar Association, serving as a member and chairman of the association’s Multicultural Judges & Lawyers Section. He also became an active member of the Democratic Party in Delaware and was chosen as one of the state’s delegates to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He also became a television commentator, serving as chief Democratic political analyst on Delaware Tonight, a newscast on WHYY-TV, a public television station serving the Philadelphia area and Delaware. Flowers left Skadden Arps to attend the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he earned a master’s degree in public administration in 2004. While at Harvard, Flowers received the Don K. Price Award, the highest honor awarded in the public administration program. Returning to Delaware, he founded the Flowers Counsel Group, LLC, in 2006. The firm specializes in mergers and acquisitions and procurement law, advising businesses on contractual agreements for major purchases. Flowers served as the leader of the firm until his election in 2010. Flowers is a resident of Middletown, Delaware.
Treasurer of Delaware
In his first bid for elected office, Flowers entered the 2010 race for Delaware State Treasurer. He ran on a platform called “The Flowers Framework,” which proposed extensive changes in the operations of the treasurer’s office, including recommendations that sought to make the office meet the challenges of the 21st century global economy. In the Democratic primary, Flowers faced Velda Jones-Potter, the incumbent who had been appointed in 2009 by newly elected Gov. Jack Markell to complete the remainder of Markell’s term as treasurer. Although Potter had the endorsement of the state’s Democratic Party, Flowers won the primary on Sept. 14, 2010, securing 54.3 percent of the vote as he outpolled Potter, 18,841 to 15,880. (http://elections.delaware.gov/archive/elect10/elect10_Primary/html/election.shtml) In the general election on Nov. 2, 2010, Flowers defeated Colin R. Bonini, a three- term Republican state senator from the Dover area, 153,203 to 147,031. During 2011, his first year in office, Flowers made a number of accomplishments, including reorganizing the Delaware State Treasury into four distinct offices, the Executive Office, Finance and Treasury Services, Disbursements and Reconciliations, and Economic Policy. Through the Office of Economic Policy, he began publishing the Delaware Economic Index, a bimonthly summary of economic data and reports associated with the state’s economy. Furthermore, he implemented the Delaware Early Warning System, a financial warning system that rates the health of the state’s economy. Also, during his first year in office, Flowers was elected to serve as on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Treasurers, representing the treasurers of the Eastern states. He also donated his entire first year salary to fund two fellowships at the Treasury in partnership with United Way of Delaware. During 2012, Flowers and Gov. Markell debated over the role of the state’s Cash Management Policy Board and the need for “open and competitive” contracts in securing the state’s investment managers. Flowers contended that the board’s investment decisions had led to lower than average returns on the state’s investment portfolio and the state needed to engage new investment managers on an open and competitive basis to increase returns and reduce the fees charged to the state. Markell and his aides, in supporting the board (the Governor appoints most of the members of the Policy Board), claimed that Flowers was attempting to usurp the board’s traditional responsibilities to hire fund managers and make decisions about investment policies. Flowers commissioned a report by Credit Suisse Securities USA, LLC, which determined that the rate of return on the state’s portfolio lagged behind the returns realized by other states with similarly sized portfolios. He authored an article, a “The Case for Reforming Our State Portfolio,” that summarized his position. That same year, Flowers increased the returns of the portfolio by $4 million through reforms. Following publication of the Credit Suisse report, the state Treasury began reallocating assets in order to increase returns without increasing risk, In October 2012, the Treasury and the board reached agreement to diversify the state’s assets, increase the number of state investment managers and require the state’s investment managers to meet certain financial performance benchmarks. The Treasury also negotiated a lower fee structure for the state’s investment managers, thus increasing the state’s net return. In May 2012, the White House commended the Delaware State Treasury, and two other state treasuries, for their efforts to promote financial literacy. The White House praised both the Delaware Economic Index and the Prosperity Portal, a web-based repository of helpful information on financial topics. In addition, during 2012, the state Treasury's accomplishments under Flowers included launching a prepaid debit card system to reduce the number of checks issued by the office, expanding and strengthening relationships with federal institutions and agencies, and expanding programs to promote financial literacy among Delaware residents. In early 2013, all three major rating agencies (Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch) awarded a AAA rating to Delaware's bonds. Differences with members of the Cash Management Policy Board resumed in 2013 after a former employee of the treasurer’s office, who left his position before Flowers took office, intervened with a board member in an attempt to secure for his current employer, a Delaware bank, management of a larger portion of the state’s investment portfolio. When Flowers declined to adjust allocations as sought by the bank, Gov. Markell, who appoints most members of the Cash Management Policy Board, asked leaders of the General Assembly to pass legislation that would have limited the treasurer’s powers and increased those of the board. The bill was introduced in the Senate but did not come to a vote in the closing days of the 2013 legislative session. Strong opposition among the public and members of the state's legislature against limiting the powers of the treasurer under such a scenario has made passage of the measure highly unlikely and public support to reform the board has increased. Flowers has called for those board members involved in the controversy to resign and for the legislature to adopt term limits and restrict political contributions from board members and increase the number of elected officials serving on the board.
Boards and Associations
Flowers served or has served on the following boards and associations: Chair, Alexis de Tocqueville Society, United Way of Delaware Board of Trustees and Board of Directors, Delaware Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, OperaDelaware Board of Directors, Nehemiah Gateway Community Development Corporation Board of Directors, American Red Cross of Delmarva Chair, Multicultural Judges & Lawyers Section, Delaware State Bar Association Member, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Board of Advisors, Trustees of Color Board of Directors, Kuumba Academy Charter School Board of Directors, Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Delegate, Democratic National Convention 2004, 2012 Member-At-Large (Appointed), Executive Committee, Delaware State Bar Association Member, Warren Bennis Leadership Circle, Harvard University Center for Public Leadership Member, Union League Belknap Society Member, Massachusetts Historical Society Fellow, Museum Council, Museum of Fine Arts Member, NAACP
- Flowers, Chip. "The Flowers Framework for Restoring Prosperity". Delaware State Treasury. Retrieved Feb. 20, 2013.
- "State of Delaware Primary Election 2010 Official Results". Delaware Department of Elections. Retrieved Feb.20, 2013.
- Starkey, Jonathan (Sept. 15, 2010). "Flowers' victory shows 'appetite for change'". Wilmington (Del.) News Journal.
- "State of Delaware General Election 2010 Official Results". Delaware Department of Elections. Retrieved Feb. 20, 2013.
- Taylor, Adam (Nov. 3,2010). "Flowers edges Bonini in 'hard-fought' race". Wilmington (Del.) News Journal.
- Flowers, Chip. "The Second Report on the Delaware State Treasury". Delaware State Treasury. Retrieved Feb. 20, 2013.
- Starkey, Jonathan (June 12, 2012). "Outcast of Markell's inner circle,". Wilmington (Del.) News Journal.
- Flowers, Chip. "The Third Report on the Delaware State Treasury". Delaware State Treasury. Retrieved Feb. 20, 2013.
- "Bond agencies rate Delaware AAA". Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Starkey, Jonathan (July 7,2013). "Treasurer Flowers says Markell appointees should go,". Wilmington (Del.) News Journal.
- Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, June 12, 2012, “Outcast of Markell’s inner circle,” by Jonathan Starkey
- State of Delaware Primary Election (2010)Official Results
- State of Delaware General Election (2010)Official Results
- "The Third Report on the Delaware State Treasury," February 11, 2013, by State Treasurer Chip Flowers
- "The Flowers Framework for Restoring Prosperity," (reissued) January 2011, by State Treasurer Chip Flowers
- "The Second Report on the Delaware State Treasury," February 6, 2013, by State Treasurer Chip Flowers
- Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, Nov. 3, 2010, "Flowers edges Bonini in 'hard-fought' race," by Adam Taylor
- Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, Sept. 15, 2010, "Flowers' victory shows 'appetite for change,'" by Jonathan Starkey
- Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, July 7, 2013, "Treasurer Flowers says Markell appointees should go," by Jonathan Starkey
|Treasurer of Delaware