North Brunswick Magazine - Winter 2019/20 Edition

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Winter 2019-20







Linda Adams

Leland, NC | November 8, 2019




Care for every woman you are Novant Health offers unrivaled care for every woman you are – at every age, stage and walk of life. We know that the care you need today might not be the same care you need tomorrow, and we’re proud to offer expert care that’s as diverse and multifaceted as you are. So whether you’re scheduling your first gynecological exam or what seems like your millionth Pap smear, trying to have a baby or working through menopause, you can count on Novant Health to get you back to the things you love faster.

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Your Hometown Favorite for 43 Years Five stars is not enough! Our Intracoastal Realty agent is phenomenal at understanding what her buyers are looking for and helping them find just the right property. We moved to Wilmington from NY - she was a great help getting the list of properties to see to a manageable level, walking us through the differences in the process between NY and NC, and being our feet on the ground from offer to closing with everything that needed to be done at our new home. Even after closing, she’s been a great resource, helping us find all of those businesses that are part of daily life.� ~ S. Chernoff

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North Brunswick Magazine

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Winter 2019-20














North Brunswick Magazine




Buster, a black-capped capuchin monkey belonging to Donald and LuCinda Smith, has to be Brunswick County’s most unusual family member. by Melissa Slaven Warren

Check out five of the new businesses that have set up shop in Leland this year.

At his Winnabow warehouse, Medhat Bary keeps the dream alive for Saab owners. By Annesophia Richards


From baseball player to biology professor to the Brunswick Community College presidency, Gene Smith gives everything he’s got. By Dennis Hetzel

Model Homes Open Daily


egret cove At Brunswick Forest

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Winter 2019-20


Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of these properties. The features and amenities described and depicted herein are based upon current development plans, which are subject to change without notice. This is not an offer to sell or solicitation of offers to buy real estate in any jurisdiction where registration or advance qualification is required but not completed. © Brunswick Forest Realty, LLC Licensed NC Real Estate Brokerage Firm




Meet some of the contributors to North Brunswick Magazine


Upcoming events you won’t want to miss


Keeping up with the local business scene


Extras you’ll only find online


Franklin Rouse Jr. State Farm Insurance and Bloomin’ Crazy Nursery & More By Sandi Grigg and Melissa Slaven Warren



North Brunswick Magazine


What’s been going on around town


Our directory of advertisers


A contest for NBM readers. Photo by Gary Zulauf


What you’ll find in the Winter 2019-20 edition of our sister publication, South Brunswick Magazine.


Mulled Cranberry-Apple Cider with a Kick by Sandi Grigg


Band Director Christopher Cook has built the North Brunswick High School Marching Band into a nationally recognized program in which the students have fun learning. By Annesophia Richards


Leland locals were sad to see Lisa Milligan retire from her 35-year career at Leland Library, but she’s still going strong. By Jo Ann Mathews


With classes in financial literacy and job skills, Brunswick Family Assistance helps Brunswick County residents overcome the tough lowincome cycle. by Ed Beckley


Happenings on the local scene


Prosciutto, Arugula, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Quiche By Sandi Grigg


Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerry Oates marks one year in his dream job. By Denice Patterson


Leland Area Rotary Club’s Beer & Wine Tasting Soiree, Coastal Integrative Health Leland Grand Opening, Grand Opening of Comet Westgate in Leland





Winter 2019-20



North Brunswick Magazine – Winter 2019-20 Volume 14, Issue 2 CEO/PUBLISHER: Justin Williams

 9820 Blackwell Rd. SE Leland, NC 28451


 910.371.2331

COPY EDITOR: Molly Harrison 30 Locations and Growing Including traditional non-climate control, climate controlled, and parking We sell boxes and moving supplies New climate control units now available

Locations in Wilmington

 7135 Market Street Wilmington, NC 28411  1113 South 17th Street Wilmington, NC 28401

CONTRIBUTING GRAPHICS: Paula Knorr Teresa Kramer Elizabeth Dale Niemann

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: George Jacob Brian Wilner

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Amber Bullock Megan Deitz Jason Frizzelle Laura Glantz Matt McGraw Bill Ritenour Mike Spencer James Stefiuk CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Ed Beckley Kathy Blake Christine Gonzalez Sandi Grigg Dennis Hetzel Jo Ann Mathews Denice Patterson Annesophia Richards Melissa Slaven Warren

Healthy, confident smiles make

a difference



CAROLINA MARKETING COMPANY, INC. PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451 (910) 207-0156 •


Reproduction or use of the contents in this magazine is prohibited.

© 2019-20 Carolina Marketing Company, Inc.



Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. strives to bring correct, accurate information that is published in the magazine. However, Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. cannot be held responsible for any consequences resulting from errors or absences. Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. also cannot be held responsible for the services provided by any and all advertisers in our publications. All material in this magazine is property of Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. and may not be reproduced without authorization from the publisher. North Brunswick Magazine – A Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. publication is published four times per year and is distributed to residents and businesses in North Brunswick County, NC, to subscribers and to select areas of New Hanover County, NC and Horry County, SC.


About the cover: Winter 2019-20



North Brunswick Magazine







Meet Buster, a 7-year-old black-capped capuchin monkey who lives with his family in Leland. Photographer Megan Deitz captured our cover photo of Buster, and writer Melissa Slaven Warren wrote the story about the Smith family’s experience of living with a monkey as an adopted family member. See the story on page 48.

Now Open in Brunswick Forest

Introducing Dr. Paul M. Hrvol III, D.C. Doctor of Chiropractic Voted Best of Brunswick #1 Chiropractor in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019

“Nothing is more rewarding than helping people get back to LIVING their lives. Whether that means getting back out on the course, back to work, or being able to play with their grandchildren, I can not imagine a more fulfilling career.”

Request an appointment with Dr. Hrvol today! Chiropractic | Physical Therapy | Titleist Golf Performance | Massage Therapy


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1175 Turlington Avenue, Suite 103, Leland, NC 28541 2nd Location at 728 Village Road, SW, Winter Shallotte 2019-20 13


NBM M A G A Z I N E Reader/Advertising Services Subscriptions Want to subscribe to NBM? Subscriptions are $15.99 per year and include 4 issues of NBM. Subscribe safely online using PayPal, credit or debit card at Call our office at (910) 207-0156 or email us at to request a subscription.

Back Issues When available, back issues of NBM can be purchased for $5. Call or email us for information.

Letters We welcome your letters and comments about NBM. Send your letters to PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451 or email them to When sending your letters, keep in mind they may or may not be published in a future issue of NBM. The publisher reserves the right to make the final decision.

Writing Opportunities We are always willing to consider freelance writers and article ideas. Please send suggestions or inquiries to North Brunswick Magazine, Attn: Editor, PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451. Or email us at

Change of Address If you move, please submit your new and old address to North Brunswick Magazine at

Advertising Interested in advertising in NBM? Please contact us to set up a meeting with an Account Executive. Our main office number is (910) 207-0156, or you can email us at

Marketing Services

REAL ESTATE ESTATE PLANNING ADVANCE DIRECTIVES ESTATE ADMINISTRATION -Purchases, Reenance -Wills -General Durable POA -Executor Representation -Contracts & Deeds -Revocable/Living Trusts -Health Care POA -Administrator Representation -Title Searches -Review or Preparation -Living Wills

Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. provides a wide range of marketing services. This includes advertising design services, custom publications, mailing services and more. Contact our office for additional information or to set up a meeting with a Marketing Consultant. Visit us online at the above website. With any additional questions, call us at (910) 207-0156. 14 14

North Brunswick Brunswick Magazine Magazine North


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S e a C oastRe a lty.c o m

Winter 2019-20



Publisher Justin Williams with his daughter, Ava.

Those who know me well, know this: I genuinely love our region. Our publications and websites now cover nearly 100 miles from Topsail Island through Little River, South Carolina, and I truly care about all of the areas in between, from Pender and Onslow counties in the north to New Hanover County in the middle to Brunswick County and Horry County in the south. As I travel around getting these publications together, I’m always in awe of how each area is unique. Each town along this stretch of coast has its own personality and vibe. But you know what’s the same everywhere I go? The awesomeness of the people I meet along the way. Through my travels over the past 15 years I have met so many cool people and gathered so many stories to tell (and maybe a few I shouldn’t), and the people are the main reason this area means so much to me. Every day I hear people lament about the growth and development of southeastern North Carolina, and I understand where they’re coming from, but I want to say this: Can you blame people for wanting to be here, for loving this place as much as we do? I find that the newcomers are also really cool people with fascinating backgrounds and specialized talents that contribute to the overall good of the community. In this edition of North Brunswick Magazine, you’ll meet


North Brunswick Magazine

some of these people, newcomers and longtime locals alike. You’ll meet Dr. Gene Smith, the new president of Brunswick Community College, as well as Dr. Jerry Oates, the superintendent of Brunswick County Schools. We’ll introduce you to the innovative marching band director at North Brunswick High School, to a car fanatic who rescues Saabs and to a family that keeps a most unusual pet. We’ll also tell you about Brunswick Family Assistance’s efforts to overcome the low-income cycle in Brunswick County. At the end of each year, I count my blessings, and one of the biggest blessings has been the community’s support of this magazine. I appreciate our advertisers. I appreciate our readers. I appreciate everyone who allows us to tell their stories. I appreciate all of you who provide us with vital feedback. We can’t do this without you!

! Justin Williams CEO/Publisher


Season of Gratitude

Winter 2019-20




My background includes time spent in the U.S. Air Force working on B-1 Bombers, followed with 10 years in the design and sign industries. I have won multiple American Advertising Federation Addy Awards in design, and my design experience includes logos, brochures, business cards, T-shirts, wedding invitations, event collateral, magazine layouts, posters, vehicle wraps and signage. Custom illustration is a favorite of mine in creating a unique client brand. As an avid photographer, I feel I can capture so many defining moments that get lost in our everyday hustle. Photography is definitely one of my most favorite aspects of art. Stopping time for a moment with a “click� is truly exciting and it allows for the magic of our world to be captured forever.


After spending a decade as an English teacher in Florida, I moved to Wilmington three years ago to be closer to family. I now spend my time freelance writing and raising my two small, very energetic children. I love exploring all that makes North Carolina such a beautiful state, and I also enjoy traveling as much as my family and time allow. My writing appears in various parenting and local area publications. In my free time I tend to read or go for a run, and I also love to compete in creative writing contests. I have received awards for several pieces of flash fiction. My ability to tell a good tale is a talent that I use nightly when tucking my kids in with a bedtime story.


I am a freelance writer who lives in Sunset Beach. I earned my BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and am currently pursuing my Masters in Liberal Studies from UNCW. I have been a freelance business writer, feature article author, nonfiction essayist, technical editor, entrepreneur and a product and brand manager. My work has appeared in Our State magazine, and I am a regular contributor to local publications. In my spare time I enjoy water sports and coastal living with my husband, Bill, and 110 lb. rescue dog, aptly named Bear. Visit my website at


North Brunswick Magazine

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North Brunswick Magazine

Winter 2019-20



Seaglass Salvage Market

December 20 to 22 Seaglass Salvage Market in Leland is an indoor/outdoor event with more than 40 local vendors selling handmade, homemade, resale and retail items. Food trucks are on hand each day. Seaglass Salvage Market has a willingness to give back to the community, providing visitors with information about organ donation through the Lindsay M. Benton Foundation at each market and collecting bras and feminine hygiene products for I Support the Girls. Hours are 9 am to 3 pm Friday, 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and 10 am to 3 pm Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. Information: (910) 239-7709;

A Christmas Carol

December 19 to 22 The Theatre Exchange presents an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in the Stein Theatre at Thalian Hall in downtown Wilmington. The show takes the timeless story of Christmas redemption from London to a depression era Hooverville on the outskirts of St. Louis. Actor, historian and Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts Executive Director Tony Rivenbark once again brings Ebenezer Scrooge to theatrical life. Tickets are $28, and shows begin at 7:30 pm. Information: (910) 632-2285;

Reindeer Drawn Carriage Rides

December 20 to 24 Horsedrawn Tours in downtown Wilmington presents “Reindeer”-Drawn Carriage Rides. Caroling, Santa and candy canes for the kids are part of the fun. Admission to ride is $6 to $14. Information: (910) 251-8889;

4th Friday Gallery Night

December 27 The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County presents 4th Friday Gallery Night, a monthly self-guided tour of galleries, studios and art spaces. Visitors will enjoy exhibitions of various artistic genres including oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, photography, glass, metals, wood, ceramics, mixed media and more. 4th Fridays also include opening receptions, artist discussions, demonstrations, live music, wine, food and other art-related activities. Participating venues include Aces Gallery, Acme Art Studios, The Art Factory, Art in Bloom Gallery, The Golden Gallery, The ArtWorks, New Elements Gallery, Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts, Expo 216, Flytrap Brewery, River to Sea Gallery, The WHQR Gallery, Crescent Moon and The Daniels Gallery. Information: (910) 343-0998;


North Brunswick Magazine

New Year’s Eve Gala at Thalian Hall

December 31 The New Year’s Eve Gala at Thalian Hall in downtown Wilmington features dinner, drinks, dessert and a performance of La Cage Aux Folles presented by Opera House Theatre Company. Following the show the party continues with a live DJ, dancing, karaoke, and a champagne toast at midnight. Information: (910) 632-2285;

New Year’s Eve River Cruise

December 31 The New Year’s Eve cruise aboard the Henrietta in downtown Wilmington features a DJ dance, light appetizers, a cash bar and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Reservations are required. Information: (910) 343-1611;

Night Tour of the Burgwin-Wright House

January 3, February 7, March 6 Experience Colonial nightlife by candlelight at the Burgwin-Wright House. Interpreters will reveal the rituals and superstitions of bygone times in a life without electricity and modern conveniences. Space is limited, so it’s best to register ahead of time. Admission is $12. Information: (910) 762-0570;

Art Talk with Barton Hatcher

January 9 The Art League of Leland presents an Art Talk with Barton Hatcher, a self-taught artist who describes his paintings as contemporary abstracts. His sculptures, created from found objects, may include wood, metal and glass. His work has been showcased in several North Carolina galleries and may be found in private art collections. Hatcher also owns and operates Gardens by Barton, a Port City landscape design business. The event will take place at Leland Cultural Arts Center from 4 to 6 pm. Information:

Mint Julep Jazz Band

January 11 A concert with Mint Julep Jazz Band will feature almost all of the musicians on their recent album, performing Keenan’s originals and some holiday classics in groupings ranging from traditional jazz combos to Big Band. The show will be held at Odell Williams Auditorium. Doors open at 7 pm, and the show starts at 8 pm. Advance tickets are available online for $12 (plus a parking option), or tickets will be available at the door for $15. Information:


Port City RIP the Runway Winter Mardi Gras

January 11 Port City RIP The Runway is a scholarship fundraiser in honor of Lillie Ann Heggins. Proceeds from the familyfriendly event will help send some kids to college. There will be special guest appearances this year, along with a special runway scene you don’t want to miss. This event takes place in the CFCC Union Station Building located at 502 N. Front Street in downtown Wilmington. Tickets cost $30 to $70. Information: or Facebook: Port City RIP the Runway

Beethoven 15K & 5K

January 12 Wilmington Symphony Orchestra presents the seventh annual Beethoven 15K and 5K at Brunswick Forest in Leland. The event offers 5K and 15K races and Beethoven’s Doggy Dash 1-mile fun walk or run. A postrace party will be held at the Fitness Center in the Leland Room with adult beverages, food, vendors and exhibitors. Proceeds benefit the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. Admission is $30 to $45. Information:

Health Hacks Cooking Demo & Nutrition Education

January 13 & February 10 Free, 90-minute healthy cooking demonstrations and nutrition programs will be offered at the WWAY Event Center on January 13 and February 10. The events will take place from 6 to 7 pm, and no pre-registration is required. First timers get a free t-shirt. Information:

Gabriel Russo in Concert

January 17 Gabriel Russo will give tribute to the smooth style and mellow sounds of Frank Sinatra on January 17 from 7 to 9 pm at Leland Cultural Arts Center. Tickets are $10. Information: or

Dink for Pink Pickleball Tournament

January 21 to 26 A pickleball tournament benefitting Lump to Laughter, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting those diagnosed with breast cancer, will take place at the House of Pickleball in Leland. Each participant will receive a performance athletic fit shirt, and those who register before the end

Winter 2019-20



of the year will receive a $5 discount. Each day will include rounds of each category until final elimination. Information: (910) 253-7780;

North Carolina Jazz Festival

January 23 to 25 The 40th annual North Carolina Jazz Festival will take place at The Hotel Ballast on the banks of the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington. The 2020 event brings new jazz musicians to the stage along with some of the longtime favorites. Opening night will feature Veronica Swift with the Emmet Cohen Trio. Ben Polcier, Bruce Harris, Judy Kurtz, Chris Gelb, Adrian Cunningham, Rossano Sportiello and Nicki Parrott will all be performing. Information:

Shallotte Rotary’s Las Vegas Night

January 25 The 15th annual Shallotte Rotary’s Las Vegas Night is set to take place on Saturday, January 25 from 6 to 10:30 pm at Planet Fun in Shallotte. Tickets cost $85 and include appetizers and dinner. A cash bar will be available to purchase wine and beer. Door prizes as well as silent and live auctions will be underway. All proceeds benefit those in need, and all prizes are made possible by local businesses. Information:

Chefs’ Showcase

February 1 North Carolina Azalea Festival is pleased to return the Chefs’ Showcase to its lineup of pre-festival events. Tickets are $75 each and include a plated, five-course meal by notable chefs in our region, wine pairings, light entertainment and a silent auction. Table sponsorships are available for $1,000 and include eight tickets to the Chefs’ Showcase, table access to a pre-event social meet and greet with the chefs and two Airlie Luncheon Garden Party tickets for the table host. The luncheon will be held at 1 pm. Information: (910) 794-4650;

Cirque Zuma Zuma

February 7 Get ready for an exhilarating African Cirque Style show that’s packed with amazing themes to wow its audiences. The show is coming to Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College. Doors open at 6:30 pm, and tickets are $33. Information:


North Brunswick Magazine


Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce Annual Chairman’s Awards Gala

February 20 This year’s annual gala will be held on February 20 at the Isles Restaurant. The top three nominees in each category will be featured in a professional 30-second marketing video segment at the gala. The event will take place from 5:30 to 9 pm, and tickets are $50 each. Information: chairmansawards/

2020 Cape Fear Heart Ball

February 22 Cape Fear Heart Ball supporters help to connect, innovate, inf luence and invest in advancing efforts to change health outcomes as they relate to heart disease and stroke. The Heart Ball celebrates these efforts to build a foundation of health in our community and ensure that everyone lives a longer healthier life. The evening festivities will include dinner, an exciting live auction and an opportunity to Open Your Heart and further support the mission. This event takes place at the Wilmington Convention Center from 6 to 11:30 pm, and tickets are $175. Information:


March 7 Marchtoberfest features 40+ North Carolina breweries, German-style beer, German food, German music and games. Plus, each ticket holder will be entered to win a trip for two to Oktoberfest 2020 in Munich, Germany (airfare, hotel and Oktoberfest entry included). Festival goers and breweries alike are encouraged to wear Oktoberfest costumes to this unique celebration of craft beer on the coast of North Carolina. This event takes place from 1 to 5 pm at the Wilmington Convention Center. Information:

Step Up For Soldiers 2020 Back Yard BBQ Cook-Off

March 7 The ninth annual Step Up For Soldiers’ backyard BBQ cook-off will be held at the Battleship North Carolina on March 7. Live music, delicious food, crafts, giveaways, kids’ activities and many community-based local vendors will make this a funfilled day for the whole family. This free event will take place from 10 am to 5 pm. Information:

Winter 2019-20


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North Brunswick Magazine





Coming Soon



Local Solar Employee Earns Industry’s Most Prestigious Certification

Novant Health Pediatrics Brunswick Holds Ribbon Cutting & Open House

Michelakis Smiles & Implant Dentistry Holds Ribbon Cutting & Open House



Wilmington Health Adds Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Department Wilmington Health has added a new department for Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine, and Dr. Christopher Hess has joined the Wilmington Health team to lead this new specialty. Dr. Hess brings an expertise and commitment to providing traditional and innovative solutions in the treatment of chronic pain, including interventional nerve blocks, injections, stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma. Dr. Hess received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He earned his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana, and completed an anesthesia residency and internship and pain medicine fellowship at Harvard,

On October 10 Novant Healthy Pediatrics Brunswick held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house with office tours and light refreshments. Attendees were encouraged to bring their children, who had the chance to meet and greet with a special princess and superheroes. The office is at 20 Medical Campus Drive, Suite 205, in Supply.


Jason Ortiz, project manager for Cape Fear Solar Systems, has earned the solar industry’s leading recognition from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP®) and is now a NABCEP Certified PV System Inspection Professional. NABCEP is the most respected and well-established national certification organization for renewable energy professionals. Designation as a NABCEP PV System Inspector is widely recognized to be the most important and meaningful certification of its kind in the solar industry. To become NABCEP-certified, solar professionals must pass a rigorous exam, sign a code of ethics and take continuing education courses for recertification every three years. Ortiz has been employed with Cape Fear Solar since December 2017. The solar company has several other NABCEP certified employees and anticipates a few more certifications in the near future.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts. He is board certified in both pain medicine and regenerative medicine.

On November 4 Michelakis Smiles & Implant Dentistry held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house tour. Guests enjoyed looking at all the state-of-the-art equipment and unique design of the facility. After the tour, everyone went next door to Bridgewater Wines to enjoy complimentary wine and heavy appetizers.

Leland Undertakes Due Diligence to Prevent Disenfranchising Residents The Town of Leland is currently performing due diligence in regard to a potential litigation settlement agreement and interlocal agreement with Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer (H2GO) Sanitary District and the Town of Belville. The potential agreements include Belville returning H2GO’s Winter 2019-20



ATMC Awards Grants to Local Educators CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

In September the North Carolina American Water Works Association and the North Carolina Water Environment Association (NC AWWA-WEA) awarded H2GO’s Utilities Director Russ Lane with the Raymond E. “Red” Ebert Award 28

North Brunswick Magazine

ATMC recently awarded $35,000 in grant funds to 27 educators and organizations for programs that expand educational opportunities for students in Brunswick and Columbus counties. The cooperative held a reception at its Shallotte location in September 2019 to recognize the grant recipients. At the reception recipients shared information about their programs and how the grant funds will enhance the lives of the students and communities.


water and sewer assets (infrastructure and cash reserves) based on a court order, and the conveyance of the Town of Leland’s water and sewer assets to H2GO. The goal is to create a more regional partnership between the towns and H2GO. As part of the due diligence process, Town of Leland staff reviewed the areas in which the town provides water and sewer service and noted that some service areas are not currently within the H2GO Sanitary District boundary. If the areas are not included in the Sanitary District boundary and the town’s water and sewer assets are conveyed to H2GO, then those residents would not be allowed to vote in elections for the H2GO Board commissioners who will set their water and sewer rates. Leland staff, ATMC Awards Grants to Local Educators working with attorneys, researched laws related to this issue. Unfortunately, the addition of water and sewer service areas for his dedication to the water industry. The NC AWWAinto the Sanitary District boundary is not automatic with the WEA Board of Directors established the award in 1988, and conveyance of assets from the town. Town of Leland staff says it is presented to the member who has made a significant they recognize that not everyone will understand or agree contribution to the practice of operating a water distribution with these efforts, but the town stands behind the importance or wastewater collection system. Lane currently serves as the of protecting the voting rights of all its citizens and remains utilities director for Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer, committed to taking the necessary steps to help ensure H2GO, where he has been employed for 18 years. Lane has residents are not disenfranchised. dedicated his career to the water and wastewater industry and leaves many in awe with his knowledge and tactics to effectively and efficiently solve problems and ensure customers H2GO’s Russ Lane Receives Award for Dedication are not without water. He consistently strives to build upon his knowledge and possesses certifications in Distribution, to the Water Industry Collections, Cross Connection and Wastewater Treatment. His goal is to build a sustainable and knowledgeable team for years to come, thus ensuring the community he serves is properly cared for. Lane was recognized for his achievement at H2GO’s Regular Board Meeting on October 15, and the award was presented at the NC AWWA-WEA 99th Annual Conference in Raleigh in November.


Novant Health Expands Labor and Delivery Services in Brunswick County

Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She is a nationally certified and North Carolina–licensed physician assistant specializing in orthopedics.

Novant Health has expanded its labor and delivery services to include midwifery and natural birthing solutions in Brunswick County. Certified midwife Kiya Fox will see patients at Novant Health OB/GYN - Bolivia and offer delivery services at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center. She is accepting new patients. Fox received her Master of Science in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Kentucky, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She has more than five years of labor and delivery experience. Fox has previously worked in labor and delivery units at other Novant Health hospitals. In addition to midwifery services, Brunswick Medical Center offers a variety of natural birthing solutions to laboring mothers. During labor, mothers have the option to use nitrous oxide, birthing balls, yoga balls and a squat bar to help them during delivery.

Novant Health welcomed two new orthopedic providers at Novant Health Orthopedics & Spine in Supply. Physician assistants Devyn Lockley and Amanda Swiss joined the clinic in September and will support orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jordan Glaser. Lockley received a Bachelor of Science in biology with minors in physical sciences and psychology from Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina, and her Master of Science in physician assistant studies from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina. She is a nationally certified and North Carolina–licensed physician assistant. Swiss received a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and her Master of Science in physician assistant studies from East


Novant Health Adds Two Orthopedic Physician Assistants in Brunswick County

Novant Health Surgical Associates Brings New Physician Assistant to Brunswick County Novant Health is pleased to welcome Daniel Burk, physician assistant, to Novant Health Surgical Associates. Burk joined the clinic in November and is accepting new patients. Burk received a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology with a minor in nutrition, dietetics and hospitality from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, and his Master of Physician Assistant Practice from Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina.

Holiday Art Market Takes Places in Leland More than 50 local crafters, makers and artists offered their wares at the Holiday Art Market on December 7 at Leland Cultural Arts Center. Hundreds of shoppers came out to support the local artisans and to grab those one-of-a kindholiday gifts.

Winter 2019-20


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Winter 2019-20





It’s no secret that professional football players credit a healthy lifestyle and special attention to nutrition for their athletic prowess. That’s what motivated former Carolina Panther player and current Carolina Panther Assistant Line Backer Coach Everette Brown to open Charlotte’s first Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise in Midtown in November 2013. So it’s only fitting that Tropical Smoothie Cafe has been named the official smoothie of the Carolina Panthers. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE


SWEET ADVICE – Q&A WITH FELICIA RUDISILL In honor of National Homemade Cookie Day, we caught up with Felicia Rudisill, owner of Sweet Treats by Felicia, and asked her advice and opinions for homemade baking. To Felicia, homemade means using all of your own ingredients and not using anything canned or processed. You actually purée your own ingredients if necessary and anything store-bought does not count — even down to the pie crust. For it to be homemade, you have to do everything yourself. Her favorite is one that she makes for the holiday — a ginger cookie. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE


North Brunswick Magazine






by Christine Gonzalez

by Melissa Slaven Warren

The national spotlight was on the Marching Scorpions of North Brunswick High School (NBHS) during the 2019 Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. They were one of 16 high school bands selected from across the United States to participate in America’s birthday celebration, which includes, floats, balloons and military groups.

If you are looking for a puppy that is curious, brave and bubbly all wrapped up in a petite package of abundant fur, then a Pomeranian, or Pom Pom as they are nicknamed, might be just the pet for you.

Senator Thom Tillis nominated the band in 2018 to perform in the 2019 parade, which is sponsored by the National Park Service. NBHS band director Chris Cook submitted a video and resume of the band, and that secured their spot in the parade which is attended by hundreds of thousands of people each Fourth of July. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE


Pomeranians’ miniature size — 4 to 7 pounds as adults — make them the perfect indoor companion for smaller homes, but don’t let that tiny stature fool you — they have a big-dog attitude. That’s not surprising since Pom ancestors, spitz-type dogs, pulled sleds and guarded homes and livestock. But the tiny versions of their ancestors, similar to today’s Pom Poms, were cherished as pets. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE


A BRIDE ON A BUDGET by Kathy Blake

Lisa Sokolowski’s wedding blog shows couples how to say I Do without saying I’m Broke. Lisa Sokolowski could write a book about wedding mishaps, near disasters and outrageous and unnecessary expenses, but she runs a website instead to help brides, grooms and well-meaning relatives create organized, cost-friendly ceremonies. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

Winter 2019-20



7 Reasons for a Slow Computer Written by The Computer Warriors Inc.


f you’re like many of our clients, at one time or another, you’ve dealt with a slow computer. We all have. There are few things more frustrating than that, right? You sit down hoping to complete a quick task on your machine, and there you sit waiting. Growing tired of the wait you decide to go get a cup of coffee rather than punch your computer. You brew the coffee, grab a cup, add cream and sugar of course, and back to your computer you go. Finally, it boots into windows and you proceed, only to wait some more. The struggle is real!! If this is you, you are not alone. Slow computers are one of the most common reasons people find themselves in our shop. Several different things can cause a computer to be slow. Let’s explore the different things our technicians look for when diagnosing a slow computer, and some common solutions to restore its speed and relieve your headache and frustration!

1. What processor (CPU) is installed? The CPU is the brain of the computer and there are many different models. Some are designed for very basic and simple tasks while others are designed for video editing or gaming. For example, Intel has an extensive line up of CPUs ranging from the Celeron processor on the low end, to the i7 on the higher end. The computing capacity of the processor is essential because it will directly affect how many tasks the computer can handle. If you have a desktop, there is a possibility that you can upgrade the processor. However, laptops have much greater limitations. 2. How much RAM is installed? Random Access Memory, or RAM, is what allows your computer to multitask. When you open a file or program, it is stored here. If you are using more than 60% of your RAM, your computer will start to feel sluggish. Computers that came with Windows 7 often have about 4GB of RAM installed. The Windows operating system alone requires about 2GB of RAM to run, leaving only half of the capacity for all other tasks. As with the processors, most computers can have their RAM capacity increased. 3. What type of storage? Most computers have a mechanical hard drive for its long-term storage. Think of a record player in a sardine can; all the data is stored on the disk. That disk can spin several thousand times a minute. Over time, the moving parts within a hard drive can wear out. As the components age, the responsiveness of the computer will slow down. The good news is that most hard drives can be replaced easily. We recommend Solid State Drives because 34

North Brunswick Magazine

they are 100% circuit based and are much faster and more reliable than their mechanical counterparts. 4. Is the computer up to date? Software is continually being updated. These updates can contain bug fixes, security patches, or new features. Making sure your computer is current is important because your slow down might be caused by bug in an older version of the operating system. 5. Anti-virus? Anti-virus is critical to keeping your computer safe, but some A/V brands can drain your computer’s hardware resources. For example, most A/V will initiate a scan as soon as the computer is turned on. This diverts resources from getting the computer up and running – making the startup process take longer. 6. How is your network? Several have thought their computers were slow but ended up finding out the slowness was caused by a network issue. The easiest way to determine this is to define what is slow: web browsing or general computer function. If your email or Facebook is

slow to load, but the computer seems responsive, then you have a networking issue. Modems and routers, especially those provided by your Internet Service Provider, can have problems over time and may need to be replaced. 7. Is the computer getting hot? Your computer might be throttling itself to keep its systems cool, resulting in slower performance. This is usually a factor on older machines, primarily desktops that have had years’ worth of dust built up inside the device. This dust can diminish the cooling capabilities of fans and heat sinks. Here is the good news: every single one of these issues can be easily remedied. A slow computer does NOT mean you need to get a new one. At Computer Warriors, our team in-store and in-home can find the cause of your frustrations and solve them. Most of the things mentioned are standard maintenance tasks, like changing the oil in your car. If you have a slow computer, bring it to one of our locations, and we will get it back up to speed for you!

FOR MORE TECH TIPS EVERY WEEK, join our Computer Warriors Community on Facebook. We post up-to-date tech news and tips every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Book appointments and read our blogs at




323 Eastwood Road, Ste. G Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 399-3797

2013 Olde Regent Way Ste. 220 Leland, NC 28451 (910) 726-9552

521 Yopp Road, Ste. 216 Jacksonville, NC 28540 (910) 238-2277

Winter 2019-20



NEW TO THE AREA? Get more information and other numbers at

Where is the post office?

How do I get cable, phone or internet access?

Leland Ace Hardware (910) 383-6688 117-B Village Road, Leland, NC 28451

Atlantic Telephone Membership Corp. (910) 754-4311 (phone, cable or internet)

Leland Post Office (910) 371-9013 1123 Village Road NE, Leland, NC 28451-8479 Winnabow Post Office (910) 253-5576 6351 Ocean Highway E (Hwy. 17 South) Winnabow, NC 28479-5559

Where is the nearest grocery store? Aldi on Ploof Rd (off of Hwys. 74/76) (855) 955-2534 9410 Ploof Road SE, Leland, NC 28451 Food Lion on Village Road (off of Hwy. 17) (910) 371-1951 309 Village Road NE, Leland, NC 28451 Food Lion (off of Hwys. 74/76) (910) 383-1467 1735 Reed Road NE, Leland, NC 28451 Harris Teeter (Waterford Commercial Center) (910) 371-3944 2021 Old Regent Way, Leland, NC 28451 Lowes Foods (Villages at Brunswick Forest) (910) 371-5544 1152 E. Cutlar Crossing, Leland, NC 28451 Piggly Wiggly on Village Road (off of Hwy. 17) (910) 371-2696 112 Village Road NE, Leland, NC 28451 Walmart (910) 383-1769, (910) 383-1872 1114 New Pointe Boulevard, Leland, NC 28451

Where are the nearest Hospitals? Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center (910) 721-1000 240 Hospital Drive NE, Bolivia, NC 28422 New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington (910) 343-7000 2131 S. 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401

Where is the library? Leland Library (910) 371-9442 487 Village Road, Leland, NC 28451


North Brunswick Magazine

AT&T (888) 436-8638 (phone, internet) Spectrum (844) 674-0398 (phone, cable or internet)

Where is the nearest drug store? CVS/pharmacy (Villages at Brunswick Forest) (910) 371-1464 1132 East Cutlar Crossing, Leland, NC 28451 CVS/pharmacy (Village Road) (910) 371-0794 117A Village Road, Leland, NC 28451 Family Pharmacy (Clairmont Shopping Center) (910) 371-3181 112-G Village Road, Leland, NC 28451 Walgreens (in Magnolia Greens) (910) 371-0233 1019 Grandiflora Drive, Leland, NC 28451 Walgreens (Village Road) (910) 371-1806 319 Village Road NE, Leland, NC 28451

Where are the town halls located? Belville Town Hall (910) 371-2456 63 River Road, Belville, NC 28451 Leland Town Hall (910) 371-0148 102 Town Hall Drive, Leland, NC 28451 Navassa Town Hall (910) 371-2432 334 Main Street, Navassa, NC 28451 Northwest Town Hall (910) 655-5080 4889 Vernon Road, Leland, NC 28451 Sandy Creek Town Hall (910) 655-3153 114 Sandy Creek Drive, Leland, NC 28451

How do I get involved in the community or volunteer? (910) 253-2412



Hungry, Healthy & Strong as Horses Winter 2019-20

| SouthBrunswickMag

Green for Life employees work hard and fast in the collection of garbage and recycling across Brunswick County.

By Ed Beckley

e Seizing th Clay


I told my neighbor one night recently that if she saw me outside with my camera at the crack of dawn the next day, it’s because I’m doing a feature story on the great folks who collect our garbage and recycling every week.

common Calabash transforms Jeffcoat Pottery in ts of beauty. elements into objec











Bit of Bermuda in Sunset Beach

Uncommon Clay

At Brunswick Christian Recovery Center, men, and soon women, step through faith into recovery.

The Boat Landing Restaurant offers good food, drinks and views.

Jeffcoat Pottery in Calabash stands out for its exceptional glazes and the teamwork of its dynamic owners.

By Denice Patterson

By Kurt Epps, a.k.a. The PubScout

Having been to Bermuda at least 15 times, I suppose I qualify as a Bermuda-phile. And, I mean, who isn’t, if you’ve ever been there?

By Joan Leotta

Driving into the parking lot of the Boat Landing Restaurant in Sunset Beach, I had a distinct sense of deja vu. Though I had never been to the Boat Landing before, it had a palpable Bermudian aura, kind of like the famous Swizzle Inn (where they know me very well).

Jeffcoat Pottery began in Wilson, North Carolina, in 1974, when both Joe and Tonda held full-time jobs — Joe worked in a bank and Tonda taught art. At that time, they were seeking a source for simple pots for their burgeoning hobby — the cactus business. Unable to find what they were looking for, they learned about a pottery class at Wilson Technical Institute that seemed to offer a solution to their need for good-looking but inexpensive containers.


Artists transform common elements into objects and moments of beauty, and this is especially true of Joe and Tonda Jeffcoat.


The Path to Healing

On a sleepy section of Ash-Little River Road, Brunswick Christian Recovery Center (BCRC) is a sparkling little campus on a former North Carolina Wesleyan Church property. The allmale, faith-based, 12-step drug and alcohol rehabilitation center is freshly painted and perfectly landscaped — obviously the work of many hands. BCRC has come a long, long way in eight short years, and Executive Director Joshua Torbich should know. He graduated from the program six years ago.

Winter 2019-20


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North Brunswick Magazine


The Scent of Christmas The best way to welcome your holiday guests is with a pot of mulled cider simmering on the stove.



Now that the evenings here in southeastern North Carolina are finally chilly, I believe it warrants a mug of something warm and spiced. For as long as I can remember, my family has been dressing up mulled apple cider with all sorts of different flavors and spices, and this version gives this seasonal spirit a nice kick of tartness. The coziness of this drink takes me back to Christmas Eve with my family. My mother always makes the mulled cider, and the smell as it simmers is such a comfort to me. After all the gifts have been opened and we settle in around the tree to discuss the events of the past year, we sip on this tasty toddy. It is easy to serve this to a crowd, as the recipe is easy to scale up or down. You can also make it in a crockpot, which is a great way to serve it at a covered dish event. The longer the cider simmers the better it tastes and the better the house smells. Feel free to use festive garnishes like cinnamon sticks and fresh cranberries to make the cider more visually appealing. Offer a little whiskey alongside for those who want a boozy version and allow each recipient to add a little or a lot as they see fit. I typically start out with a little and then it turns into a lot with each serving. I hope your family enjoys this holiday tradition as much as mine does — with or without the spike of whiskey!

Mulled Cranberry-Apple Cider with a Kick Makes about 20 servings INGREDIENTS 1 gallon apple cider 2 liters Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale 10 ounces cranberry juice 1 cheesecloth 1 teaspoon cloves 2 whole nutmegs 2 cinnamon sticks 1 cup fresh cranberries 2 sliced apples Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple

METHOD Place the cider, ginger ale and cranberry juice in a large saucepan. Toss in the cranberries and sliced apples. Put the cinnamon sticks, cloves and nutmeg in the cheesecloth, tie it securely with twine and drop in the pot. Bring to a simmer on the stove. Reduce heat to low, cover and let steep for 3 to 4 hours. Divide among individual mugs. Add about 1 ounce of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple to each (more or less if desired). Winter 2019-20



The Star of Brunch The perfect bridge between breakfast and lunch, quiche is easy, impressive and universally loved — and this one is no exception.



It was November of this year and one of the first really cold days. My family woke slowly that Saturday morning, and for once we had nothing to do that day. Wrapped in our fuzzy blankets and wearing flannel pants, we sipped coffee and watched a Netflix movie. Before I knew it, morning was turning into noon and we had not yet eaten. It was a bit late for breakfast, but I didn’t want to make sandwiches either. In true brunch form, I opted for a quiche. I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand for the savory pie — pastry crust, eggs, cream, cheese, meat and vegetables. I love quiche because it is versatile — it has both breakfast and lunch ingredients and can be served hot or cold. On this particular morning I was able to dig up a few items that I had leftover from a pasta dish I’d prepared in the previous days. This recipe is quick and easy to make — just combine all the ingredients and put it in the oven to puff. If there are any components of this that you don’t like or don’t have, you can certainly substitute them to suit your palate. Bacon can easily be used instead of the prosciutto, and spinach is a good substitute for the arugula. Onions can be used instead of mushrooms. Swiss or smoked Gouda would be a great replacement if you don’t like goat cheese. The key is to make sure you drain your meat and veggies so the quiche will puff in the oven. As the aroma of the bubbling quiche wafted through the house, my family and I were eager to taste my concoction. Not only did I impress my family, I impressed myself with this one!


North Brunswick Magazine


Prosciutto, Arugula, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Quiche INGREDIENTS 1 pie crust 6 eggs ¾ cup milk 4 ounces goat cheese 4 ounces prosciutto, diced 4 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped 2½ ounces arugula 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard 1 teaspoon thyme Salt and pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Crisp the prosciutto in a pan over medium-high heat. When the meat is about halfway done, pour the oil in the pan and toss in the mushrooms with the prosciutto to saute. Drop the arugula on top of mushrooms and prosciutto to wilt and slightly cook down. Set the pan aside to cool. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs, milk, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. Combine the prosciutto, mushrooms and arugula into the egg mixture and pour all in a prepared pie crust. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Winter 2019-20



North Brunswick Magazine


Living Out the Lifetime Goal Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerry Oates marks one year in his dream job. BY DENICE PATTERSON | PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMBER BULLOCK

Winter 2019-20



The new superintendent of Brunswick County schools is not a complicated man. Dr. Jerry Oates believes that a strong base of family and faith along with a good deal of planning and plenty of hard work are the keys to success in life – and he is living proof that this simple recipe works.


“Of course, one of the most important things in life is treating others how you want to be treated,” he says. Oates’ love for education began with his mother. Gwen Oates was a career elementary school teacher. “She retired 17 years ago from North Duplin Elementary School but returned as a substitute and now teaches the grandchildren of some of her very first students,” Oates says.


North Brunswick Magazine

Another inspiration for the Faison native was his 11th- and 12th-grade history teacher, Shirlie Gaskins, who is now a Brunswick County resident. It was under her wing that a young dreamer wrote out his life plan, mapping a certain future in education administration before he even graduated high school in 1991. His lifetime goal? To one day become a superintendent of a school district. Oates five-year goal was to earn his B.A. to


become a history teacher. He checked that goal off the list piano by ear at age 8, directing a church choir at age 10 and when he graduated from the UNCW Teaching Fellows now serves as the music director at his church. Program and returned to Duplin County to James Keenan In 2015 Oates left New Hanover County to serve as the High School to teach AP history. From there he moved on to human resources officer for Brunswick County Schools. His John T. Hoggard in Wilmington, beginning his 20-year career lifetime goal was getting closer, when 18 months later, he was with New Hanover County Schools. hired as the associate superintendent, where he was In New Hanover County, he tackled his 10-year goal, which responsible for the direct supervision of principals. was to earn a master’s degree in School Administration. At When Les Tubbs announced his retirement last year, Oates 26, Oates was hired as the assistant principal at New Hanover applied for the position. He was selected unanimously by the High School before he even finished the degree. “At that time, Board of Education and began his career as superintendent on legislation would allow you to become an assistant principal November 1, 2018, assuming the responsibility for nearly the moment you enrolled in a master’s program.” 12,500 students, 1,600 full- and part-time employees and a Finally, he began to work toward his lifetime goal, enrolling state, local and federally funded operating budget of $134 in the Doctoral Program at Fayetteville State University and million. travelling two nights a week and every Saturday to the campus The Oates family has lived in Brunswick County since for classes. He took a short 2012. He knows the county break to focus on his new and his stint in human position as the principal at resources allowed him the Lakeside High School, but insight of how Brunswick later completed his doctoral County Schools works. “I It was under her wing dissertation, earning an Ed.D. worked closely with board that a young dreamer wrote in Educational Leadership members and other local out his life plan ... His with a Superintendent’s leaders, and we built strong License in 2011 – relationships.” lifetime goal? To one day accomplishing his 10-year Oates continues to foster become a superintendent of goal right on time. intra-agency relationships a school district. “There is truth in writing with the sheriff ’s department your goals down,” Oates and Brunswick Community shares. “Whether you College. The Early College consciously or subconsciously High School continues to try to achieve them, it exceed expectations in its happens when you write them partnership with the down.” community college, and the district now has a School Oates’ belief in education is shared by his family. His wife, Resource Officer (SRO) in every facility. Sonya, is the assistant principal at Leland Middle School. One area Oates would like to see a new relationship develop “She was inspired by her mother, who is also a career is among the district, county and state agencies focusing on teacher,” Oates shares. mental health issues. “Schools are just a microcosm of the For now, their children are expanding their horizons community,” he says. “If we can address these crises when beyond careers in education. Oldest son Miles is a freshman they happen outside the school doors, by the time they come at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and is planning in through the school doors, they might be diminished.” a career in medicine. Daughter Tamiya, 15, is at North The career educator is quick to add that there is great news Brunswick High School and has her sights set on Spelman flowing from the district these days. “Union received the College in Atlanta. “She likes to debate things, so we think National Blue-Ribbon honor and was recognized as an she might make a good attorney,” he beams. exemplary high performing school, and COAST is preparing Youngest son Jared, 14, “is musically inclined like his students with courses in cybersecurity, green energy and father,” Oates laughs. “But his interests are all over the place digital animation,” he says. right now.” The superintendent reveals that he began playing All schools now have Chromebooks or iPads for 99



Winter 2019-20



percent of the students. Most importantly, schools are showing growth and expanding out of not showing growth. “In a nutshell, ‘growth’ simply means that students are receiving the amount of instruction they need,” Oates says. The district is opening a new middle school at Town Creek in August of 2020. A consulting team is studying the demographics for redistricting for the 2020–21 school year to keep up with the growth in the northern part of the county. Oates is serious about his role in planning for growth. “We don’t want to build a new school and then have schools that are underutilized,” he says. “That is a waste of taxpayer money.” One year on the job and there is one thing that still surprises Oates. “This job is 24/7,” he confides. “It does not

stop.” His phone alerts him day or night if there is an alarm that goes off at a school or if there is a bus incident. “I need to be aware of everything that happens in the district and respond when I have to.” As Oates reflects on his written life plans from nearly 30 years ago, he realizes that he has not yet written down what happens next. Just recently, his mother stopped him in his tracks, when she said, “Son, you are living my dream.” Dr. Jerry Oates hopes to spend the remainder of his career here in Brunswick County Schools. In amazing alignment, his planning, dedication, hard work and faith have led him to this place. “I simply want to remain here as long as I am needed and as long as I am in service to others.” 

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North Brunswick Magazine

Monkeying Around


Buster — a loving, smart capuchin monkey — is an important member of the Smith family. BY MELISSA SLAVEN WARREN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MEGAN DEITZ

Seventeen-year-old Jonathan Smith admits that 7-year-old Buster can be a pain sometimes. “It’s like having any other sibling,” Smith says. “He can be annoying, but you love him anyway.” There is one difference in this rivalry among brothers: Buster is a black-capped tufted capuchin monkey. Capuchins are a New World primate from South America. They are social animals with the intellectual capabilities to use tools, process information, remember things and

create value systems. They can also process emotion. “One of the greatest joys of having him is that he’s very loving,” says Donald Smith, Buster’s adoptive human dad. “It’s also exciting teaching him to do things.” Buster can wash his hands (he dislikes having anything messy on his hands), open water bottles and sealed bags, scribble on paper, flip pages in a magazine and open doors, just to name a few. And he can solve a metal wire brain teaser puzzle well before anybody else

The Smith family of Leland at home with Buster, their blackcapped capuchin monkey.

Winter 2019-20


in the house. There’s one thing the Smith family wants to make very clear: Capuchins are not pets. Adopting a capuchin is a lifestyle change. “You can’t treat them like a dog or a cat,” LuCinda Smith, Buster’s adoptive human mom, says. “Buster requires a lot more one-on-one care.” Essentially, he is like a child, a part of the regular dynamic of their household. “Once you make the decision to adopt one, there is no turning back,” the Smiths caution. So, if owning a monkey is something you want to do, you need to do your research — and a lot of it. That’s what the Smiths did. 50

North Brunswick Magazine



Once you make the decision to adopt one, there is no turning back,” the Smiths caution. So, if owning a monkey is something you want to do, you need to do your research — and a lot of it.

LuCinda has been an animal lover since childhood. She was particularly fascinated with monkeys and made a promise to herself that one day she would have one. As their children grew older, she and her husband felt ready to look for a monkey. They researched the different types of primates that are available for adoption in the United States and came across the capuchin. After a year of researching the species, they understood the type of commitment that was required. In captivity, capuchins have a 40-year life span. In the wild, the lifespan is 25 to 40 years. They applied for adoption and

were put on a waiting list for several months before they had their monkey. Seven years ago, they brought a nameless, two-week-old capuchin into their home and into their hearts. “We didn’t want to pick any names that we had a human friend named. We didn’t want anyone to have hurt feelings for naming our monkey after them,” LuCinda says with a laugh. They settled on Buster. At just 5 pounds, Buster is now fully grown. His features are very humanlike, from his circular pupils to his facial expressions. “He absolutely believes that you understand what he’s

saying,” Donald says. He requires the attention of a newborn. He wears a diaper and will for the remainder of his life, so he has to be changed. He can get a cold or a stuffy nose just like a baby and requires infant medicine. Because of his petite size, the Smiths have to manage the doses so as not to give him too much. For the first year of his life, Buster drank a low-iron baby formula, until he could eat solids. Now he mostly eats a paleo diet — no carbs, no sugar. “Of course, he has had a potato chip, and he does know what spaghetti noodles taste like,” LuCinda says. They restrict Winter 2019-20


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North Brunswick Magazine

refined sugars, which can lead to diabetes and is one of the main causes of death in capuchins who are owned privately. Just like a toddler, Buster has to have childhood immunizations: measles, mumps, rubella, all of the typical shots. He also has to have a rabies vaccination as a safety precaution. He has regular vet appointments. His veterinarian is a

primate professor at North Carolina State University who sees only exotic animals. He also has a local vet in case of an emergency; he can consult with Buster’s vet in Raleigh until the Smiths can get him there. The Smiths have five children and one granddaughter. Jonathan, the youngest, will leave for college next year. Donald and LuCinda realize that

with Buster’s expected lifespan, they’ll never be empty-nesters. “We have to plan our lives around Buster,” LuCinda says. “And he’ll be in our will when we pass away, because he’ll need to be taken care of.” Donald works primarily from home so he can stay with Buster during the day. At the center of most every decision they make as a family is Buster. He dictates where they can live (some state, town and city ordinances do not permit exotic pets), where they can travel and even where they vacation. “We have a motor home nicknamed the Buster Mobile that we take on vacations so Buster can go with us,” Donald says. “We recently went to Carowinds with the whole family, and LuCinda and I took turns sitting with Buster and taking the kids through the park.” Buster has USDA certifications, and the Smiths have to take his papers with then whenever they travel. Buster is very well behaved for “a perpetual two-year-old.” Male blackcapped tufted capuchins can be more Winter 2019-20


challenging. But Buster is a bit of an anomaly. He is more social and more laid back than most. But Buster is every bit the little brother. He pouts if he doesn’t get his way; he won’t make eye contact with you if he’s mad; he pretends that he’s hurt if he isn’t getting enough attention; and he’ll let you know if you are blocking his view of cartoons on the television. And yes, he picks his nose. But he will also hug you, cuddle with you on the sofa and talk to you. “If you sit with him and interact for an hour, you’ll think the two of you are carrying on a real conversation,” Donald says. Physically, Buster may in fact resemble a newborn, but intellectually, he’s far advanced. He knows how to share things with people. But he also knows how to place a value on something. If he perceives one item is better than another, he’ll keep the better one for himself and share the lesser item. “He also loves to turn things into tools,” Donald says. “He’s constantly trying to manipulate things and take them apart.” (Writer’s note: As I interviewed the Smith family for this article, Buster came over to me more than once, hugged me then took my pen away and tried to take it apart. He eventually succeeded). The Smiths try to limit Buster’s time in public. “We don’t parade him around town. We’ll walk him around the neighborhood every once in a while. We’re very protective,” LuCinda says. To the Smiths, Buster isn’t a novelty item or a trend they’ll tire of. And to reiterate, he is not a pet. He is a major part of their family unit, and they are more than okay with the prospect of 40 years of diaper changing.  54

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Fine Tuning Band Director Christopher Cook has built the North Brunswick High School Marching Band into a nationally recognized program in which the students have fun learning. BY ANNESOPHIA RICHARDS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA GLANTZ

Winter 2019-20




Christopher Cook knows that when it comes to kids and learning, having fun matters. As the North Brunswick High School band director, Cook has spent the past seven years engaging his students while leading the marching band to national recognition. By promoting an environment of fervent school spirit using a mixture of both modern and traditional techniques, Cook’s own passion for North Brunswick High’s music program comes through in every beat. Growing up in Michigan, Cook spent his own high school marching band years surrounded by a Big Ten college football atmosphere. After graduating from Hampton University in Virginia and spending several years teaching middle school outside of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Cook made his way to Brunswick County in 2012. “When I started, North Brunswick had a Corps-style band program, so the type of band I studied under was different than what my students were used to,” Cook says. “I was a new teacher trying to learn the ropes, but I also wanted to introduce them to the Big Ten college football marching band culture that I grew up with.” Cook says that with a Corps-style band (based on Drum Corp International), the style is very competitive and technical. He realized that although his students were talented and technically skilled, keeping them engaged and invested in band proved challenging. “The issue I was running into was student retention,” he 58

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says. “The Corps style just didn’t pique the interest of the students that we serve here on this side of Brunswick County. I knew that what I had to do was come up with different routines that would increase their excitement about doing marching and half-time shows and that would also get their classmates involved and excited from the sidelines.” By incorporating more popular music in his marching routines, Cook finds he’s able to increase the enthusiasm of his band members, the cheerleaders and the school’s dance team, who perform along the sidelines during football games. Fans in the stands get into the spirit of the game, and parents can relate to some of the more classic music that Cook utilizes, such as this year’s Stevie Wonder tribute show. A current student favorite is the Summer Pop show, during which the band performs all the hits from the past summer. “Kids are more likely to learn something if they enjoy it, so if it’s a popular tune they like, and the tune has everything I need to teach them in a standard music lesson, it’s a win-win for all of us,” Cook says. “These kids are learning how to read music, how to read syncopation, how to get involved with




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Winter 2019-20






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music theory and jazz studies. I get the instruction for the students that I need, and they get the reward of listening to themselves playing their favorite tune.” Their hard work has paid off, and the North Brunswick High School marching band was chosen to play in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. With the support of local businesses, community donations

and fundraisers, such as a children’s summer music camp, the band made a three-day trip over the Fourth of July holiday to represent the state of North Carolina in the parade. “This was so important to us, that our community came together to send us to D.C. immediately after Hurricane Florence,” Cook says. “Our students and parents were afraid we wouldn’t be able to go, but that says a lot about our community and what we think about our students. Despite all the tragedy, we still wanted to do something special for our kids.” This year the band gave back to the community with performances at the Veterans Day Parade, Leland Founders Day and a food truck rodeo. Cook’s goal is for his students to one day perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. For now, though, he is content to watch both the school’s band

program and his students continue to grow and f lourish. “It’s really special knowing that the students who come out of here are very active members of society,” Cook says. “I’ve had a few who’ve gone on to be music teachers, and for the others, wherever they go to work, they’ll know about teamwork, responsibility, leadership and dedication. I tell the kids all the time that even if they don’t decide to do music, whatever they learn here in band, they’re going to take it with them for the rest of their lives.”  Winter 2019-20



North Brunswick Magazine







Recognizing the growth and prosperity of North Brunswick County, many entrepreneurs see Leland area as the perfect place to build a new business or expand an established one. Check out five of the new businesses that have set up shop in Leland this year.


Winter 2019-20



Evonne and Don Varady, Owners 503 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 107 Leland, NC 28451 (910) 769-5414

Why was 2019 the right time to open your business? With our corporate headquarters right over the bridge in Wilmington, we’ve watched Leland grow leaps and bounds these past several years. From active retirees to young families, this town really serves as home to all walks of life. It’s the perfect, on-the-go place to introduce our Clean Eatz Express concept.

What made Leland the ideal location for you? We love Leland’s energy. There’s a real sense of community here. Everyone we’ve met seems to have a passion for getting out and making the most of their days. Whether it is our weekly meal plans, Grab ’n Go options, smoothies or marketplace snacks, we fit in very well to this town’s collective lifestyle because we’re all about nutrition on the fly.

What services and products do you offer? We offer freshly made weekly meal plan options, Grab ’n Go freezer meals, take-andbake cauliflower-crust pizzas, a full smoothie bar and supplement products as well as our signature marketplace items like homemade Paleo Fudge, CE Sauces, Clean Crunch snacks, Buckeyes and more. Our meal plan creations change weekly and can be tailored to meet an individual’s specific needs. This includes vegetarian, keto, vegan, gluten-free and other dietary preferences.

What has been your leading success so far? In the last four years, we’ve grown from a single cafe business to a corporate headquarters in Wilmington with more than 44 locations around the United States. Our weekly meal plans, with an ever-changing menu and ability to customize for dietary needs, have been a big draw for us. But as for our success, it’s the people who support us. We get them. Most just want to be healthy


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and enjoy life. They want better, but don’t always feel like they know how to start. That’s where we come in. We show them that they can still enjoy dining out or dinner at home without sacrificing their health and wellbeing. Through educational programs, like our Red’s Kitchen cooking series and Clean Truth podcast, we try to guide them on the best lifestyle habits to reach their personal goals. Through capstone initiatives, like our We Change Livez Challenge, we provide encouragement to push for better. It’s all about balancing the right nutrition, education and support.

What separates you from the competition? From the start, our mission has been to change lives. We’re not pushing food fads or a trendy diet, we’re promoting a lifestyle. It’s as simple as that. We feel our purpose is to empower everyone — young and old — with the right balance of nutrition, education and support.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? One challenge is the misconception that living a healthy lifestyle means giving up time, money and, frankly, taste. We see this most with families. It’s understandable because they’re always rushed, so we’re here to guide them through a bit — to teach them that clean eating can be convenient, fun and fulfilling.

What can we anticipate from you in the future? In Leland we really see ourselves becoming a hub to bring people together on their individual health journeys. We’ll be rolling out new menus, educational programs and offerings that reflect the community’s passions. Nationally, we plan to keep growing our footprint with more cafe locations in new areas.

2 CLUB PILATES LELAND Mindy Agnoff, Owner 2028 Olde Regent Way, Suite 140 Leland, NC 28451 (910) 725-6190

Why was 2019 the right time to open your business? We opened the first Club Pilates in The Forum in Wilmington in August 2017, the second at the Pointe in April 2018 and last but not least the third Leland in June 2019. We had always planned for three. Also, Leland’s population and business growth from 2017 to 2019 convinced us it was the perfect time to introduce a boutique fitness studio to the area.

What made Leland the ideal location for you? We had many members from Leland who had joined the Pointe location. With all the wonderful country/golf club neighborhoods booming in Leland, we decided to give it a try. Leland has a large retirement population, and the demographic is a perfect fit. Pilates is a low-impact way to exercise for all ages, with great results. We thought we had an ideal product for Leland’s growing community.

What services/products do you offer? Club Pilates provides classes designed to strengthen, tighten and tone a person’s entire body safely and quickly. We offer reformer Pilates, which is done on a specialized piece of equipment with weighted springs. We are open seven days a week, starting at 6 am on most days until 7:30 pm. We offer a variety of classes, Flow, Control, Cardio, TRX Suspend and Balance, so our members are never bored. Each class is led by a certified Pilates instructor.

What separates you from the competition? We strive for excellent customer service. Everyone from our front desk staff to our team of instructors believes each member’s experience should be safe, fun and top-notch. We also have an excellent track record, proving that by adding Pilates to your workout routine you will feel better, move better and live better.

What has been your leading success so far?

evident in every class. Our classes have been well attended, and our feedback exceptional. We continuously strive to be the best, and we always listen to concerns and questions members may have.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? Making sure we provide quality classes and keep to our promise. It’s essential that our classes start on time, our studio is spotless, our equipment runs perfectly and our members are happy. So far, we’ve been pleased. We have a dedicated team. We’re only as good as our employees, so we work hard to hire the best.

What can we anticipate from you in the future? Our instructors continue to educate themselves to keep up their certification. We offer creative and innovative classes, so members don’t get bored. We’ll continue to add more free member workshops, contests and challenges to our schedule, and we’re open to new ideas. We always offer free Intro classes for anyone who would like to try Pilates before they commit. The workout sells itself. We’re just the motivators behind the scenes, cheering everyone on.

Fun Fact about you or your business? Before Club Pilates, I owned a retail store in Wilmington called Mindy & Angie’s Fine Paper. We were located in Landfall Shopping Center and then moved to Lumina Commons. My business partner, Angie, and I sold wedding invitations, stationery and gifts for 14 years. I‘ve learned customer service is essential. There are many places to shop, and many places to exercise, so it’s crucial our members have an enjoyable experience in our studios. To feel welcome. Included. A place to meet new friends and an opportunity to focus on their health and wellness. We value every member and truly appreciate their business.

Our amazing team. We call our sales staff and instructors The Dream Team. Their passion, desire, work ethic and love of Pilates is

Winter 2019-20



Frank Kostek, Property Manager 9820 Blackwell Road Leland NC 28451 (910) 371-2331

Why was 2019 the right time to open your business? This location was Asset Storage from 2009 to 2018. GoStoreit bought the business in June 2018.

custom cars in them. We also have special discounts for The Comet Apartments and Leland Station, to name a few, whose tenants choose to rent with us.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Leland is such a growing area. Recognizing that, GoStoreit purchased the business then built another building next to our existing one, adding 328 units.

What services/products do you offer? We offer climate-control and nonclimate-control units ranging in size from 5x5 up to 10x30. We also have 87 outside parking spaces. We sell packing merchandise like boxes, tape, locks, packing paper/ bubble wrap and other items relating to protecting our clients’ possessions.

What separates you from the competition? We offer excellent customer service. We take pride in our clean units and grounds. We have 24/7 camera surveillance with well-lit hallways and flood lights for the parking area. We have water faucets along our front parking for customers to wash down their boats. We also have large 12x30 parking spaces for trucks and RVs.

What has been your leading success so far? We opened our new building in late August and our 10x30 outside units having been renting well, with some customers putting their


North Brunswick Magazine

With the growing population before the new building was opened, we had to send some of our potential customers to other storage facilities because we were at full capacity. With our brand-new building, we have the size you are looking for at competitive prices. Come on in to take a look at our units. You will like what you see!

What can we anticipate from you in the future? We now are offering a 15% website discount when you reserve any unit online. In the future we will continue to have specials such as first month free. We always have a 10% discount for anyone who was in the military or is a senior.

Fun Fact about you or your business? All of the staff members are Leland residents who came from the Northeast to sunny and warm North Carolina. Some of us are golfers, pickleball players and boaters. Some of us love the climate and beaches and the social scene. All of us love the opportunity to live and work in this beautiful community and meet the people who become more than our clients — many have become our friends and neighbors!

4 COASTAL INTEGRATIVE HEALTH Dr. Brian S. Lank, President 1175 Turlington Avenue, Suite 103 Leland, NC 28451 (910) 408-1778

Why was 2019 the right time to open your business? We had been in talks with The Villages at Brunswick Forest for several years, and it always boiled down to having the right doctors and therapists in place to provide the same level of care our patients were accustomed to in Shallotte. We found those people and knew it was time.

What made Leland the ideal location for you? Leland is growing at an exponential pace, and the demand for top-level healthcare has never been higher. We believe Leland is a perfect location for us to bring our unique approach to the current residents as well as the future ones.

What services do you offer? We provide chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage therapy and golf performance programs through Titleist and Nike.

What separates you from the competition? Our team approach. It’s honestly as simple as that. Great outcomes happen when you bring together doctors and therapists from different fields who all have the burning desire to get patients well. Our Shallotte office set the tone for this concept, and our new location embodies that. The patient is always our main focus. We have a lot of tools in our toolbox to get that person back to living the life they want.

What has been your leading success so far? Without question, the patient outcomes. If

you’re not getting patients well and adding value to their lives, you’re not going to be successful. Success for us is getting our patients back to playing golf or picking up their grandchildren. If we focus on that and treat each and every patient like they are family, how can we go wrong?

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? The biggest challenge we’ve had to overcome is building a practice from scratch. In Shallotte we have established a solid reputation based off our results and the way we treat our patients. We work hand in hand with our local family doctors, orthopedics and other healthcare providers. Starting all over again and building relationships is a huge challenge but one we’re so excited about. Bringing our style of healthcare to Leland and helping people live healthier lives is more than worth the rough seas.

What can we anticipate from you in the future? You can anticipate us growing into a practice that is known for its amazing patient care. We might not be able to fix every issue, but I can guarantee you we will go above and beyond trying to. We’re excited to be a big part in this community and serve in more ways than just healthcare.

Fun Fact about you or your business? I also have an unlimited building contractors license and along with my father, Bob Lank, own a custom home and electrical engineering company called Seacoast Building Company.

Winter 2019-20


5 KATIE’S ART & FRAME Katie Samsel, Owner 324 Village Rd, Unit C Leland, NC 28451 (910) 408-1757

Why was 2019 the right time to open your business? After working for 13 years in the art and framing industry, the perfect location became available to open my own custom frame shop on Village Road in Leland. With the added experience in graphic design, printing, marketing and finance, I felt like I had all the tools I needed to launch a successful business of my own. I worked many years for George Murray of Murray Art & Frame. When George closed the custom framing portion of his business, Leland residents and businesses were left with no local framing options other than a trip to Wilmington or Southport. The quality and reputation of my workmanship built over the years working for Murray and the following of residents in the local community gave me the confidence that I would do well for myself when I was ready to open shop.

What made Leland the ideal location for you? It’s where I’ve worked in the industry for 13 years; my customer base is right here. It is my hometown. I have lived here almost all of my life and I love how it has evolved and grown. Leland is booming with growth and opportunity, as seen in the past decade. With the influx of new residents, there is a high demand for my services to help adapt to different styles of home layouts and decor.

What services and products do you offer? I offer expert custom framing of items like diplomas, shadowboxes, needlepoints, posters, giclees, family photos, baby photos, wedding photos, magazine articles, news articles, fine art, original paintings, pastels and more. I offer printing services like digital to print or scan to print, framed or mounted for presentation. I offer custom graphic design to print solutions like photo collages, photo restoration, quotes, name labels and full customization. I offer art copy-scan and print services for artists, including prints on paper and canvas. I also offer photos to canvas and paper, a similar process as art copy. Shipping options are available also.

What separates you from the competition? This is my passion. I love to bring joy with the things I create. As a 68

North Brunswick Magazine

painter, my first passion with art led me to having my artwork scanned and reproduced to sell, which exposed me to the other facets of the industry, including framing. Shortly after I understood that the presentation of artwork by the framing solution is an equally important part of the quality of the piece. Exceeding customer expectations is my goal with each piece I frame. When creating a home space, it is important to surround oneself with things of emotional and sentimental value, and I treat each solution with the care of the client’s tastes. Also, I offer in-home/on-site residential and commercial consultations and deliveries for those who need it. One just can’t get that kind of service from a big box.

What has been your leading success so far? Offering quality creations at affordable prices, listening to the clients’ needs and surpassing their expectations has generated a customer trust and loyalty, much like finding a good dentist, doctor or hairdresser that you stick with for years. A lot of my “lifers” drop off artwork and say, “Just work your magic, I trust you!” Repeat business and word of mouth referrals have been essential in building my business.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? Finding balance between launching and building a business and running a household with two energetic sons keeps me running in all directions seven days a week. It is challenging to switch gears constantly throughout the week with work and home demands, along with new opportunities that keep coming down the barrel. I am grateful for the challenges, because with them I have gained wisdom and growth.

What can we anticipate from you in the future? I am planning expansion into a hybrid business that serves the digital demands of the consumer from design concept to product delivery on more levels. In today’s digital world, projects aren’t always as simple as framing a print. Consumers want variety, such as images on metal and acrylic for example. 

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I love being part of the community, and I love the people I was working with. This [library] was my second home.

The Next Chapter Leland locals were sad to see Lisa Milligan retire from her 35-year career at Leland Library, but she’s still going strong. BY JO ANN MATHEWS

Winter 2019-20


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Lisa Milligan laughs when asked to compare the two jobs she’s held this year. “From one end of the spectrum to the other,” she says. After 35 years as librarian at Leland Library, 25 of them as branch manager, Milligan retired July 1 and on August 5 became a part-time sales representative for Gaines Oil Company in Goldston, North Carolina. She visits customers and makes cold calls on businesses east of I-95 in southeastern North and South Carolina. Chip Poole, vice president of Gaines and best friend with Milligan and her husband, Jeff, approached her a year ago about working for the company. “He said I was perfect for the job because of my experience dealing with the public,” she says. “In January I had no idea I would retire. I love being part of the community, and I love the people I was working with. This [library] was my second home. Those 35 years went by real fast.” Yet, she says, “It was time to close this chapter of my life and move on to enjoy life and family. I didn’t want to go home and waste away.” Despite the removal of a brain tumor 10 years ago and knee replacements on both knees in 2013, Milligan says, “I’m in good health and I wanted to do something.” The most exciting part of being librarian was when children told her, “You really helped me. I got an A on my test.” Adults also complimented Milligan on her suggestions. “They would say, ‘This library has helped me.’” That’s what she liked most: helping people find what they needed. “It was everything from how to make a quilt to how to deal with a very deep and personal problem,” she says. “When people told me, ‘That book you recommended helped me,’ that kept me coming back the next day and the next day.” Milligan also listened to people so she could help them. “I took a lot of interest over the years to provide the best service I could,” she says. No matter the job, Milligan’s philosophy is to be the best you can be to help somebody else. “You don’t


know what problems people are dealing Recently retired librarian Lisa Milligan with,” she says. “You could be the revisits Leland Library difference for that person that day.” with one of her “library Library assistant Morgan Benton families,” the Daggett says she worked with Milligan for four children, Russell, 10, years, and the best thing she learned Carleigh, 7, and Jack, 5. from her was “always treat patrons with respect and give good customer service.” Milligan follows that principle at Gaines. “I want to carry out the same quality of service and show people I care about them,” she says. “I love my [new] job because it’s so intriguing. I’m open for learning.” She explains that one service Gaines provides is testing fuel quality. She saw samples of diesel fuel that had gone bad and “looked like chewing tobacco,” and gasoline with water in it. “Those samples were pulled before my eyes,” she says. “We go in and clean that fuel.” A Leland native, Milligan says that growing up she didn’t have a Winter 2019-20



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specific job goal, but her grandfather always told her she’d be a fine secretary. “Well, working in a library is as close to being a secretary as I could do for him,” she says. At North Brunswick High School, she was in a program that placed students in nonprofit organizations so they got job experience. She was assigned the 74

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library, which at that time was a former bank in a doublewide mobile unit, and worked with long-time librarian Narine Russ. After graduating and being in the workforce for two years, Milligan got word that Russ was retiring and had recommended her for the job. She accepted, was named library assistant and worked by herself for 10 years. A 6,500-square-foot library was built in 1994, and Milligan became branch manager and had two assistants. With the growth of the town, money was appropriated to expand the library and required it be closed from October 2010 to May 2011. During the interim, Milligan was branch

manager of the Hickmans Crossroads Library in Calabash. One change that affected all the Brunswick County libraries was when Milligan and the staff were shelving books to get the expanded library ready for the public and six rows of shelves fell. “Because of that collapse, all the shelves at all Brunswick County libraries are bolted to the floor,” she says. Milligan has no regrets at retiring and won’t move away from her hometown. “I never saw myself anywhere else but Leland,” she says. “I know a lot of people and my family’s here. I’m content with being here.”  Winter 2019-20












2019-20 EDITION

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Winter 2019-20






Seizing the Clay Jeffcoat Pottery in Calabash transforms common elements into objects of beauty.

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Every morning, rock-solid citizens who barely have enough pocket change to make it through the day wake up and go to work. Right here in Brunswick County, there are those who string multiple part-time jobs together, yet can scarcely afford today’s cost of living. Brunswick Family Assistance Program Executive Director Stephanie Bowen put it this way: “The average one-bedroom rental here costs $800 a month. If you work eight hours, seven days a week, at the state’s $7.25 minimum hourly wage, more than half your month’s pay (after taxes) goes to rent alone. If you don’t know how to budget and manage your money to the penny, it can spell disaster for your entire family.” But with just a few hours of free schooling offered by Brunswick Family Assistance (BFA), chances of paying all the bills and holding on to a few extra


dollars are much improved. BFA is a private, nonprofit organization in its 35th year of operation. It provides emergency-only assistance and educational and skills development programs for low-income residents in need. BFA partners with other groups locally in an effort to improve the lives of Brunswick County people in crisis who are willing to help

Between hauling boxes in the BFA Food Bank in Shallotte, BFA Director of Operations and Outreach Charles Jackson and Executive Director Stephanie Bowen discuss changes they are considering to educational and skills development programs for low-income county residents.


Winter 2019-20





North Brunswick Magazine



One decision might have changed everything in a person’s life. And one decision can change everything again.

themselves. Two of their courses are Financial Literacy, which started in 2014, and Job Skills Training, which began last year. BFA Director of Operations & Outreach Charles Jackson is one of its six employees. He says the Financial Literacy course helps participants learn how to budget and manage money better. It includes checkbook balancing, payday loans, the advantages and disadvantages of credit and debit cards, how to develop a budget and how to avoid impulse spending. The course consists of six, 30-minute classes offered to West Brunswick High School students and will be offered around the county, open to the public, starting in 2020. “The first classes we go over how they are spending their money,” Jackson says. “That cup of coffee in the convenience store over time could be the equivalent of gas or groceries.” Bowen adds that when every dollar counts, you need to learn to save up for

With only six employees, BFA depends on a fleet of volunteers to staff its litany of service programs for county residents in need. Above, BFA Program Director Charles Jackson and Executive Director Stephanie Bowen roll up their sleeves and assist volunteers in re-stocking the BFA Food Bank.

the things you want and not use money you need for day-to-day living. Jackson concurs: “So at the end of the first classes, we look at necessity versus things that are not necessary, and it brings to light where they might save money.” Participants receive a tracking paper at the end of the class to take home and start using. “They go home and create a budget, which we review in the set of classes,” Jackson says. Volunteers from local banks come in and assist them in presenting these skills. In the second class, they sit with


each client and go over their budget and see if they have money left over or not; then they discuss what they can do next time if they fall short. “This is the most important thing. It is their responsibility to take the knowledge and use it in real time,” Bowen says. The two directors say they’ve learned something important from the classes. “One decision might have changed everything in a person’s life. And one decision can change

everything again,” Bowen says. With that motto, BFA also offers a two-hour course on job-skills training. Participants learn how to fill out a job application, build a resume, answer difficult questions about their past (such as incarceration) and how to dress for the interview. BFA partners with North Carolina Works (the employment office) and other local professionals to stage the class. Together they perform mock interviews, then go over what the

participants stumbled on and did exceptionally well on and how to improve for their real interviews. “We want to give them the tools,” Jackson says. “We know from experience they can do it. You have to make up your mind you want to change and have a different lifestyle. Some are so used to the struggle they don’t see a way out, but graduates tell us the classes truly help. There is a way out.” Bowen notes that BFA is looking at

LEARNING THE SKILLS THAT PAY THE BILLS Brunswick Family Assistance’s Financial Literacy course helps participants learn how to budget and manage money better. It includes checkbook balancing, payday loans, the advantages and disadvantages of credit and debit cards, how to develop a budget and how to avoid impulse spending.

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“That cup of coffee in the convenience store over time could be the equivalent of gas or groceries.”

NOT that! Winter 2019-20



BFA Executive Director Stephanie Bowen displays a poster promoting the organization’s Financial Literacy and Jobs Skills Training classes, which BFA will offer in 2020, to give low-income earning residents the tools they need to budget, pay bills on time, save some money and get the most out of their hard-earned dollars.


additional elements they can add to the classes. “I’d like to see a module on how to build credit and steps to help people get out of rental situations and perhaps into their own homes,” she says. She says they also need to help people see the consequences of certain decisions. For instance, someone with a larger family may opt to move into a 84

North Brunswick Magazine

mobile home to get more space. But those places can be poorly insulated, and the cost for electricity could be overwhelming. And some have to consider the seasonal nature of some of the jobs in this area. So far, the classes have had 158 graduates, and BFA is considering how to branch out and share these great

ideas with young adults in the schools. “When I was growing up, I never learned about things like debt to income ratio, how a mortgage could be less expensive than renting and the myriad of things that could propel me out of a low-income environment and into a new life,” Bowen says. BFA conducted a pilot class with students at West Brunswick High School a couple of years ago, and Bowen deems it highly successful. There is some consideration now about approaching county and school officials with the hope of offering the classes in all the high schools. 

Do you need help? Or are you able to help? Financial Literacy classes will be offered again in 2020. To learn more about Brunswick Family Assistance’s classes or programs, go to or call (910) 754-4766.


324 Village Rd Unit C Leland, NC 28451 910.408.1757

Winter 2019-20


THE SAABMAN At his Winnabow warehouse, Medhat Bary keeps the dream alive for Saab owners.



North Brunswick Magazine

Former Wall Street day trader Medhat Bary enjoys his new life as the Saabman in Brunswick County.

Winter 2019-20



North Brunswick Magazine




As a child, Medhat Bary imagined that one day he would own a Saab 9000. The car of his dreams looked like an aircraft with its cockpit layout and front dash filled with switches and gauges. Even as a young boy, Bary knew he would somehow get the chance to sit behind the wheel of such a beautiful and powerful car. What he didn’t know, however, was that decades later, his childhood passion would lead him to become affectionately known as the Saabman around Brunswick County and beyond. Originally from New York, Bary worked in Manhattan for 28 years, most of which were spent on Wall Street as a successful day trader. After the events of 9/11, he decided to make a change, moving first to Pennsylvania and then to California before ultimately retiring to the Myrtle Beach area. It was there one morning in 2011 that Bary first heard the news on the radio that Saab Automotive had filed for bankruptcy. That small nugget of information sparked an idea, which quickly turned into the start of a new business.

“I realized the people who owned Saabs would no longer have access to parts or service,” Bary says. “Logically, I thought I could make a lot of money off that, so I started buying Saab cars for parts, dismantling them and then selling the parts on eBay. What started out as a hobby turned into the biggest business I’ve ever had.” Bary searched online insurance auctions for Saabs that had been in accidents that he could salvage for parts. Renting a small warehouse in Conway, he then had the wrecked cars transported back to him. He hired a few people to help him take the cars apart, then researched the different part types before listing them on eBay. Business grew rapidly, and in his first year Bary made more than $120,000 selling Saab parts online. Deciding to also begin selling used

Saabs are just beautiful cars. They’re very simple, very strong, very powerful, and very fast.

Saab cars, his business quickly outgrew its space. Bary moved it to Leland in 2013 and then to a larger warehouse in Winnabow in 2016. He also officially became the owner of his first Saab and finally fulfilled his childhood dream. “Saabs are just beautiful cars,” he says. “They’re very simple, very strong, very powerful, and very fast.” Despite being tucked in the woods and not visible from the main road, Bary’s Saab business continues to expand and flourish. He credits his consistent growth and rising recognition to the value he puts on his reputation and the way he cares for each customer. Bary is proud to say he

Winter 2019-20


about his cars and making sure they work well. I’ve told him he can’t move or close because we need him. He knows those Saabs inside and out.” Another big fan of the Saabman is Brunswick County District Attorney Jon David. Having owned a number of Saabs over the years, David was disappointed when the company went bankrupt in 2011. As his car aged, David worried he would not be able to find a capable mechanic and that parts would soon be in short supply. When he heard about Bary’s business and visited his warehouse, David knew he Though Saab ceased manufacturing automobiles in 2013, Rick and Medhat Bary work together to keep as many of innovative, well-loved cars on the road.

offers warranties on every car, refuses to charge any interest or finance charges and promises to take good care of each car for as long as the buyer owns it. “This year I sold more cars than I ever have, just because people are talking about me,” Bary says. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the service. We serve everybody with honesty and good prices, and we keep their car running.” The name Bary the Saabman has garnered the attention of many Saab enthusiasts from all over the country. With very few options left when it comes to purchasing and maintaining these beloved cars, Bary’s inventory remains remarkable, and his prices are even more so. One customer recently shipped his Saab to Bary for service all the way from California and then proceeded to fly across the country to pick it up and drive it back home. The decision made sense, as the total expense was still significantly less than if he had chosen to service his car on the West Coast. Through word of mouth and constant referrals from happy customers, Bary has never needed to 90

North Brunswick Magazine

pay to advertise his business or bring people to his lot, a claim very few other used car dealerships can make. “A lot of family and friends back in New York laughed when they first heard what I was doing, and now they can’t believe what I’ve made out of all this,” Bary says. “It’s been hard work, but I knew it would be a guaranteed success if I just put in the time and the effort.” One customer who has sent Bary a great deal of business over the years is Wilmington real estate broker Jeff Chase. Shortly after purchasing his first Saab from Bary, Chase returned to the Saabman when his car needed a new engine about a year later. Although Bary’s 30-day warranty had since expired, he still felt compelled to replace Chase’s engine and repair the vehicle free of charge. In turn, Chase purchased two more Saabs from Bary for his son and daughter soon after and over the years has turned numerous other friends and colleagues into additional customers and Saab enthusiasts. “Bary is definitely a good guy, and he takes care of his people,” Chase says. “He’s always been so kind and concerned

would be driving a Saab for many more years to come. “The fact that the Saabman opened right here in Brunswick County is nothing short of a miracle,” David says. “Bary is a wonderful mechanic with an endless supply of used parts who delivers exceptional customer service. For a Saab enthusiast, looking at Bary’s inventory of rebuilt cars is like our field of dreams.” With business growing faster and

stronger by the day, Bary knows he could make a lot more money if he wanted. However, since moving to Brunswick County he has made a conscious effort to change his mindset when it comes to wealth and profit. Bary admits that during the decades he spent on Wall Street, his focus was on making as much money as possible, regardless of how it might affect others. He hopes that with his Saab business, his success will be a result of the hard work and service he can now provide to others. “As a day trader, I didn’t care who

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was losing money as long as I was making more, and that’s the truth,” Bary says. “I never stole money, and I always followed the law, but I was making more money than I should. Unfortunately, I can’t erase my past, but hopefully I’ll see God soon and he’ll forgive me. So today it’s not about the money, it’s about the rest of my life. I’m not trying to change the country, I’m just changing myself. 

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Winter 2019-20


4311 Old Ocean Hwy Bolivia, NC 28422 Lisa Witthar, MSW, LCSW Ann H. Lynch, PA-C


North Brunswick Magazine

From baseball player to biology professor to the Brunswick Community College presidency, Gene Smith gives everything he’s got. BY DENNIS HETZEL


the Way at BCC


Winter 2019-20


G 94

North Brunswick Magazine


Gene Smith’s passions included baseball and biology as he grew up in Johnston County and earned three degrees at East Carolina University. What he couldn’t have known was that those passions would open a path that led to the presidency of Brunswick Community College (BCC), where he’ll celebrate his first anniversary as the school’s leader in January 2020. Baseball was a natural for the former catcher and sports fan who, as an educator, has seen how sports can transform lives of young athletes. He grows animated as he describes the pleasure he takes in talking to BCC’s young athletes about how to present yourself in public and instill pride in self, family, community and school. As he walks through part of the BCC campus on a beautiful, late-summer day, he seems as much a head coach as a college president. He makes sure to stop and ask everyone he sees how they’re doing, from janitors to students to academic deans, and there’s nothing feigned or phony in his down-home manner. Early on, Smith thought about a career in medicine. “I was in a program as a hospital volunteer,” he recalls. “But the pain and suffering hit me. That was hard for me to deal with. “And then there was organic chemistry,” he adds with a slight smile – not his best subject but a critical topic

Dr. Gene Smith, president of Brunswick Community College, is ever-present on campus and enjoys meeting and greeting students, faculty and employees.

for future physicians. Biology intrigued him as teachers stirred his interest. For his master’s thesis, he studied the impact of insects on rivers and streams. He jokes that it might seem obscure, but it’s important because insects are early warning signals of pollution. They need clean

water to survive. “If they’re not there, the fish aren’t there either,” he says. However, Smith still wasn’t sure where all this education pointed. Then one day he saw an ad in the Raleigh News & Observer for a biology instructor at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro.


of others who take workforce and community education programs. BCC also has around 3,000 users of its popular recreation center, performing arts center and athletic teams. Smith appears at every BCC event he can possibly attend as he and his family become part of the Brunswick County community. He met his wife, Jessica, at ECU, where their two sons are now enrolled. Jessica is a senior vice president with BB&T Bank. The family has settled into a dockside home in Holden Beach, and Smith has joined the Rotary Club of the South Brunswick Islands and Holden Beach Chapel, but he quickly points out that he wants to be careful about outside commitments after less than a year in his presidency. Brunswick Community College comes first. “I’m very blessed to be part of BCC and thankful,” he says. “We have a

great team on campus, with our board, with the county and in the community.” BCC’s level of community engagement greatly impresses Smith. He’s building on traditions of strong volunteerism, philanthropy and the financial support of county commissioners to supplement and enhance state funding. He notes that the “Brunswick County Guarantee,” which ensures a BCC education for any qualified high school graduate in the county, is expanding opportunities and fueling growth. That includes workforce programs, certificate training, two-year degrees and smooth transfers of credits to four-year college degree programs at universities across the state. “This is a smaller school than I worked at before, so we’re trying to make sure that our dollars go further


“I applied on a Monday. They asked me to interview on Tuesday. In a week I was teaching at Seymour Air Force Base,” he recalls. Smith enjoyed teaching, but the tug of becoming an educational leader pulled him from the classroom during his 25 years at Wayne. He was a department chair and eventually vice president of academic and student services while he earned a doctorate in educational leadership from East Carolina University (ECU). In November 2018 the Brunswick Community College Board of Trustees unanimously selected Smith as president. He was among three finalists to replace Dr. Susanne Adams after she retired. Smith inherited a respected, growing institution of around 150 full-time employees, nearly 1,600 diploma and degree-seeking students and thousands

I’m very blessed to be part of BCC and thankful. We have a great team on campus, with our board, with the county and in the community. PHOTO BY DENNIS HETZEL PHOTO BY AMBER BULLOCK

here,” he says. “The equipment budget is about half of what I was used to. Everybody has been really good in trying to help me understand what they need.” Immediate priorities include expansion and improvement of the spaces in the McLamb Professional and Technical Center and a major construction project to support the school’s growing health sciences program, which should be complete in 2020. Winter 2019-20



QUICK QUESTIONS with GENE SMITH  Name a movie and a musician who have to be on your desert island playlist. The movie: Rudy. The musicians: Tie between Kenny Chesney and Dwight Yoakam  Who are two people who made a huge difference in your life? My grandfather, who instilled a work ethic and a goal to always do the right thing, and the late Dr. Charles O’Rear, a biologist and mentor at East Carolina University.  What’s the best piece of advice you’d have for your 19-year-old self? Always try to do your best.  What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you? I was a high-school baseball player and worked four summers during college as the clubhouse manager for the Class A Kinston Indians and considered becoming an athletic trainer.


North Brunswick Magazine


hen asked what keeps him up at night, with zero hesitation Smith offers a one-word reply: “Security.” In these times, his answer is no surprise. “There’s not a cabinet meeting where we don’t have a discussion about it,” he says, describing programs BCC conducts to keep the school safe in concert with the Brunswick County Sheriff ’s Office, which maintains a visible campus presence. Smith explains why this subject is not only important because of national events, but also intensely personal. On April 13, 2015, at Wayne Community College, Ron Lane, the popular manager of the school’s print shop and Smith’s friend, was in his shop when a welding student, Kenneth Morgan Stancil III, entered campus with a shotgun in his welding bag. He entered a bathroom, put the gun in his jacket and then killed Lane. Police captured Stancill the next morning on a Florida beach after he fled on a motorcycle. Nearly two years later, he was sentenced to life in prison. Stancill had been fired from his part-time job in the print shop, but the shooting was about much more than

anger over a firing, according to media reports. Lane was an openly gay man, and Stancill was a tattooed white supremacist who hated gays and had a personal dispute with Lane. The school lockdown on the day of the shooting lasted six hours or more. “I first learned about it on CNN,” says Smith, who was on vacation in Puerto Rico at the time. “I texted my associate and asked her what’s going on, and she says, ‘I’m hiding under my desk.’ There was really nothing I could have done, but you want to be with your people.” In the glare of national media, school officials won praise for the response. The campus locked down quickly, and officials sent voice and text alerts to parents and students wherever they were. Smith agrees that the school responded well, but he brings the lessons of Wayne to Brunswick Community College. “It changes you forever,” he says. “And there were people who were very close to the scene that it continues to impact. So, we’re focused on making sure that our faculty and staff know what to do and our students know what to do if that situation comes up. “Hopefully, it never will.” 


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477 Olde Waterford Way Suite #115 Leland, NC 28451 Winter 2019-20


Franklin Rouse Jr. State Farm


ranklin Rouse opened his brandnew State Farm insurance agency in June of 2008 with no clients. Recognizing that the Leland area was poised for aggressive growth and real estate development, and knowing that such conditions are favorable for a business that focuses on property insurance, he took a leap of faith. State Farm is the number one insurer of homes and cars, not only in North Carolina, but also in the United States, so he knew that if he built the agency in the Leland market, the customers would come. Twelve years later, Franklin Rouse Jr. State Farm has six team members and has steadily grown alongside Leland’s boom. The team benefits from an abundance of customers who value personal relationships, good communication and quality insurance. The Franklin Rouse Jr. State Farm team members hail from Minnesota, Virginia, Indiana, Michigan and North Carolina, but they all live locally. They have children in the local schools and children who have graduated from area high schools. They shop in the same stores, attend the same churches and go to the same parks as their clients. Rouse himself started working for State Farm as a team member when he was fresh out of college in 2003. “State Farm is the only company I have every worked for,” he says. He graduated from N.C. State University with a BS in Business Management. He and his wife, Mary Lyons Rouse, have two young children. Besides running a busy agency, Rouse is extremely active in the insurance industry on a state level. He currently serves

Business Profile

on the N.C. Insurance Underwriting Association Board (also known as Coastal Property Insurance Pool), on the Department of Insurance Coastal Task Force and on the N.C. State Farm Agents PAC Board. He is past chair of the North Carolina Railroad Company Board and serves on the Brunswick Community Foundation Board. Rouse and his State Farm team have a mission to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. They achieve this by creating relationships and not just interactions. “We talk all the time about how we can exceed expectations of our clients,” Rouse says. “The premum we charge is the value we create.” They want to help their clients have the best possible life experiences in Brunswick County. “We love Leland and Brunswick County for the same reasons that have made our county the fastest-growing in the state,” Rouse says. “We love this area because of the great weather, low cost of high-quality living, economic opportunity and endless outdoor activities.” Stop by and meet the team at their office on New Pointe Boulevard in Leland.

“Rouse and his State Farm team have a mission to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams.”


North Brunswick Magazine


Franklin Rouse Jr. State Farm 1107 New Pointe Boulevard, Suite 5, Leland (910) 371-5446



Bloomin’ Crazy Nursery & More


ick and Teresa Ewton spent their careers in landscaping in Florida before selling the business, retiring and making the move to Leland. But when Rick decided to open a “little nursery” to have something to do, the Ewtons had no idea they were about to “unretire” and start a second act in landscaping. “I lost my mind,” Rick says. “The business exploded, we bought more property, and the business is growing, growing, growing.” Bloomin’ Crazy Nursery & More, which opened on Mother’s Day in 2018, goes far beyond a landscape business. They are a fullservice landscaping company that offers hardscapes, landscapes, garden maintenance, landscape renovations, design, installation, lawn care, pruning and edging, sod and seed installations and landscape lighting. They also offer outdoor living products and services like outdoor kitchens, pottery and polyresin furniture; a full plant and tree nursery that offers annuals, perennials and trees up to 45 gallons; and an expansive seasonal retail center. “Our nursery and our retail center really set us apart,” Rick says. It features fountains, planters and pottery that you won’t find anywhere else in town. The retail shop is stocked according to the seasons, and right now it’s a Christmas showpiece with unique holiday gifts. As soon as the winter holidays are over, they’ll change their inventory for spring time. For Mother’s Day they’ll offer children an opportunity to make flower basket arrangements in the retail shop. The retail center and new offices, a centerpiece of the nursery, were designed and built by local contractors MWM Properties, owned and operated by Liz and Max McKinley. The sibling duo have an eye for construction and detail, and they helped the Ewtons bring to life their vision for the Bloomin’ Crazy property at 47

Waterford Business Center Way in Leland. Bloomin’ Crazy Nursery & More offers a wide variety of landscaping materials including mulch, topsoil, pavers, sod, water features and stone aggregates. They are an authorized dealer of Cambridge Pavers and Lumien Landscape Lighting. Spring landscape plans should be made now, Rick says. In fact, Bloomin’ Crazy Nursery & More is already booked out through May for services. Above all, they offer a great customer service experience. “Our customer service sets us apart,” Teresa says, and Rick adds, “Follow through, and doing what we say we’re going to do, keeps our customers happy.” The business has a full-time employee who follows up every service and sale with a survey to make sure the customer was satisfied with the products and services they received. In the busy season, Bloomin’ Crazy has 40 full-time employees and 10 part time employees — including many of their own family members. “This is definitely a family business,” Teresa says. Their son-in-law is the dedicated sales representative, Rick’s brother is a production manager, their daughter-in-law runs the retail store, a sister-in-law, along with Teresa run the office, and Teresa’s oldest son handles human resources. “We’re doing this for our kids so they can have it and retire,” Rick says. Speaking of retiring, again, Teresa says, “It won’t happen for a while, that’s for sure!” Bloomin’ Crazy Nursery & More 47 Waterford Business Center Way, Belville (910) 408-9754;

Winter 2019-20


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North Brunswick Magazine


Oktoberfest 15K & 5K Local residents showed up with

post-race awards ceremony, drawings and party took place in the park-like setting beside the lake, with The Joyce Irish Pub providing beverages and food. This is an annual event, so be sure to join in the fun next year.


healthy enthusiasm to run the Oktoberfest 15K & 5K in Brunswick Forest on September 28. Sponsored by Novant Health Oceanside Family Medicine, The Joyce Irish Pub, Omega Sports and Outdoor Equipped, the

race benefitted Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Care Center. The courses through Brunswick Forest are flat and picturesque and travel over paved running trails, across wooden bridges and through a nature area on a 1/3-mile elevated boardwalk. The

Winter 2019-20



Brunswick Riverwalk Veterans Memorial Dedication Hundreds of people attended the unveiling of the Brunswick Riverwalk Veterans Memorial in Belville on Veterans Day, November 11, and honored the men and women who have served the U.S. military in the process. Several veterans, including Belville Mayor Mike Allen, gave speeches at the dedication ceremony. The North Brunswick High School JROTC, with Colonel Steven Barker, presented the posting of the colors, and retired Judge Gilbert H. Burnett raised the flag. For the past year, Jim Bucher, director of Belville Parks and Recreation, has been raising money for the memorial. Customized bricks fill the site with labeled supporters, and town officials say there is more availability if you want to contribute. Go to to download an order form and personalize your memorial brick. The Veterans Memorial was made possible in part due to major sponsors Mulch & More, Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, Draw Fire, LLC, and Joe and Sally Pace. 102

North Brunswick Magazine



Friendsgiving 5Miler Flocks of people gathered for fun, running, food and giving in the Friendsgiving 5Miler on November 16. Runners and walkers not only got a chance to run in the lovely Brunswick Forest community during the cooler temperatures of fall, but also got the good feeling of doing something to benefit the students in the local schools. Racers showed school spirit by signing up on one of the school teams to help win them money. Hosted by Leland Lady Runners, the Friendsgiving 5Miler also collected food donations for Mathew’s Ministries. As the race wrapped up, many participants went to The Joyce Irish Pub, where 50 percent of proceeds were donated to the cause. The 2020 race is scheduled for November 14, so plan to join in the fun!

Winter 2019-20



Brunswick Forest Homecoming Weekend welcomed 70 couples from the Northeast with a taste of the coastal Carolina lifestyle during the Brunswick Forest Homecoming Weekend. The potential future residents were taught how to play pickleball and how to do the Carolina shag. They had lunch at various model homes and topped it off with an Oyster Roast at Logan Homes’ Belize IV model home. Later, they were treated to a party downtown at Bakery 105.



In October Brunswick Forest

L.A. Open Golf Tournament North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual L.A. Open Golf Tournament at Compass Pointe Golf Club on October 16. The shotgun start went off at 9 am to commemorate the captain’s choice event. The pirate-themed golf event was sponsored by Carolina Dunes Behavioral Health, Adams Beverages, ATMC, LS3P, This End Up Furniture Company and Essex Homes. 104

North Brunswick Magazine



Winter 2019-20



Leland Area Rotary Club’s Beer & Wine Tasting Soiree

Allison & Mark Springer, Joe Rychalski

Donielle Bacon, Jennifer Capps, Bobby Dorsch

Debbie & John Almeida, Gail Haas

Virginia & Kevin Binnie



North Brunswick Magazine

Steve Schoepher, Barbara Allen

Holly Schneider, Valerie Lewis

Molly Brodbeck, Erin Firth

Nikki Kirkland, Sheridan Vernon

Leslie & Bob De Lello

Debbie Ross, Coco Ornstein

Roberta & John Adamovich

John & Debbie Williams, Amy Ross, Jeff Domin


Coastal Integrative Health Leland Grand Opening

Adam Clark & Greg Wong

Coastal Integrative Health officially opens their Leland location

Celia Sefrin, Gail Wilson, Delois Graham-Forde, Debbie Piccillo, Peggy Mapson, Tee & Mike Leffin, George & Lisa Mavrowlis

Eva Pittman, Missy Holden

Tammy & Rich Kesky

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Winter 2019-20



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Comet Wesgate officially opens

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North Brunswick Magazine

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Winter 2019-20



Duke Energy Foundation Awards Grant for New Communication System in Leland

Phase 1. These options will be developed to incorporate the new Town Creek Middle School as well as balance school building utilization across the northern district. Once the draft options are developed, Cropper GIS/McKibben representatives will meet with district staff to review and evaluate the potential boundary plans. Additional information about Brunswick County Schools redistricting can be found on the BCS website at www.bcswan. net/redistricting, as well as on the BCS Facebook page and BCS Twitter feed. Local media outlets will also be alerted to help spread the information as well to garner as much interest from the community as possible.

Duke Energy Foundation has awarded the Town of Leland a $50,000 Powerful Communities grant for the purchase of a mobile radio communication system. The town is one of 65 organizations throughout North Carolina to collectively receive a portion of the more than $1.1 million in grants from the Duke Energy Foundation’s Powerful Communities program. The $50,000 Strategic Impact grant will fund a town-operated mobile communication system that will serve as reliable back-up communication during hurricanes and other emergencies as well as enhance the public safety of its citizens at large. The need for a town-operated mobile communication system was identified last year during Hurricane Florence, when storm conditions impacted cellular service communication.

Waste Industries, GFL Environmental Donates to Going Beyond the Pink Waste Industries, GFL Environmental recently made a $4,000 donation to local nonprofit organization and new Full Circle Charity partner Going Beyond the Pink as part of their Full Circle Project.

Two Local Students Win First Place in United States Power Squadron Safe Boating Poster Contest

BCS Hires Consultant for Phase 1 & 2 of School Redistricting At its September 17 Operations Committee meeting, Brunswick County Schools Board of Education approved moving forward with Cropper GIS /McKibben as the consultants for redistricting within the school district. Cropper GIS/McKibben will work to develop two to three draft realignment options for


North Brunswick Magazine

Leland Residents Enjoy Town of Leland Trunk or Treat On October 26 Leland parents brought their kids to Leland Town Hall for the annual Town of Leland Trunk or Treat. Local businesses and community organizations were on site passing out candy from their decorated vehicles, and the town wishes to thank them for their support of the event.

Leland Area Rotary Club Hosts Inaugural Leland Wine & Beer Tasting Soiree Leland Area Rotary Club (LARC) held its first annual Leland Wine & Beer Tasting Soiree on September 10 at Leland Cultural Arts Center. This event benefitted LARC Foundation and other Rotarian efforts in Brunswick County. The club hopes to grow the event with each coming year, so keep a lookout for information about the event in the fall of 2020. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Two talented elementary students won first place in their age categories in the United States Power Squadron Safe Boating Poster Contest. Both students attend Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary. A.J. Herring placed first nationally in the age group 8 to 10, and Autumn Young placed first nationally in the age group 11 to 12. The 2019 Contest Theme was “America’s Boating Club Saves Lives.” The judging took place in Louisville, Kentucky, at the 2019 Fall Governing Board Meeting. Organizers say the contest is designed as a teaching aid to create an appreciation and respect for recreational boating by promoting safe boating as fun boating.

International Paper Foundation Awards Grant to Communities In Schools of Brunswick County International Paper Foundation recently awarded a $1,500 grant to Communities in Schools of Brunswick County (CIS). The grant is intended to purchase independent reading books for low reading proficiency students being provided with tutoring through the CIS Action for Success Program. Books will be provided to students just prior to winter, spring and summer breaks to take home and keep to promote reading as a leisure activity and to ensure students have access to quality reading materials that are appropriate for their reading level and are focused on topics of personal interest. Books will be selected


by students based on topics of interest and their individual reading levels. Providing reading materials for students during school breaks helps prevent reading skill loss. International Paper Foundation has generously provided grants to support book distributions for CIS for the past several years, and CIS is grateful for their commitment and contribution to literacy and developing strong reading skills for Brunswick County students.

well as bath products, gratitude boards and friends. The girls also participated in Sunrise Yoga taught by Ms. Kelly from Breathing Space Yoga in Holden Beach. Youth were able to be in the present moment and not worry about the past or future. Hopefully, all the GEM young ladies who participated will not only use what they learned in their everyday lives but also share it with others in the future as teen volunteers.

Brunswick Town DAR Wins State and National Awards

Town of Leland Library Holds Mural Dedication Ceremony

The Brunswick Town Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) has received national and state awards from Daughters of the American Revolution. Regent Pat Gooding shared the awards at the chapter’s September meeting. On the state level, the chapter received three awards for its support of DAR’s six schools, including Crossnore in Avery County, North Carolina. The chapter also received a Tricolor Award for Chapter Achievement. National Society DAR recognized two individuals: Vickie Elam was honored for Outstanding Service for Supporting Documentation by the DAR Genealogy Preservation Committee, and Diane Kuebert was recognized for her work as a docent by the DAR Museum Outreach Committee and for outstanding service in the southeast division by the Museum Outreach Committee. The Brunswick Town Chapter received the following awards:

A 12-panel mural painted by Art League of Leland (ALL) volunteers for the children’s section of the Town of Leland Library was dedicated at a reception at the library on September 27. The project was funded from donations made in memory of Carole Bohrer, a long-time member of the Friends of the Leland Library. The mural depicts various elements of the North Carolina coastline.

Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams Installed as 1st Vice President of N.C. Association of County Commissioners

Chapter Achievement Award – Level I 2018 Excellence in Constitution Week Leadership Award – Chapter & Community Chapter with a Proclamation from a City Mayor DAR School Committee – Outstanding Service Membership Committee – 2016-2019 Trailblazer Chapter Community Classroom Committee – Outstanding Success Story Public Relations and Media Coverage – Commemorative Event, 1st place Southeast Division Public Relations and Media Coverage – Commemorative Event, 1st place National

4-H Girls Enjoy GEM Wellness Retreat On September 21 and 22, Brunswick County and Pender County 4-H held a Wellness Retreat for middle school girls at the Brunswick County Cooperative Extension office. The purpose of the retreat was to teach the girls new techniques for stress relief and healthy living through 4-H curriculum GEM-Getting Experience in Mindfulness. They learned the importance of mindfulness through self-care, gratitude and using all five senses thoroughly. Lessons were taught by 4-H staff and volunteers, including teen volunteers Autumn Apple, Sydney Blair and Abbey Lute. Youth made a healthy dinner as


DAR Project Patriot Committee – Outstanding Chapter Support

Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams was installed as 1st Vice President of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) during the association’s annual conference, held August 22 to 24 in Guilford County. Other newly installed officers are President Kevin Austin of Yadkin County, President-Elect Ronnie Smith of Martin County and Second Vice President Tracey Johnson of Washington County. Brenda Howerton of Durham County is Immediate Past President. Williams served as 2nd Vice President for the past year and was unanimously elected 1st Vice President during the association’s business session on August 24. Former North Carolina Governor James G. Martin, who served as NCACC President in 1970-71, administered the oath of office to the newly installed officers. Williams is in his second term as a Brunswick County Winter 2019-20



Commissioner and currently serves as the board’s chair. He also serves as chair of the Cape Fear Rural Planning Organization Transportation Advisory Committee and on the boards of the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) and Brunswick Business & Industry Development (Brunswick BID). He previously chaired the NCACC General Government steering committee.

professional development, collaboration, family and community engagement, and innovation and model for other schools. Union was not selected as one of two N.C. schools to receive the award during the ceremony, but being among the Top 1% in the state is for three years straight is considered quite the honor. Union Elementary was named a National Blue Ribbon School last month in September 2019.

Endowment Donation Ensures Hospice Care for All in Brunswick County

Leland Parks and Recreation Earns State Award for Black on Black Project Participation


Lower Cape Fear Hospice (LCFH)’s mission is to provide access to care and support to all, regardless of their ability to pay, and a $50,000 endowment, donated to LCFH by W.J. and Sibyl McLamb in September, will help ensure that their mission is fulfilled. The donation was given in memory of Mrs. McLamb’s mother, Leila Housand Bellamy, who instilled her love of gardening and nature in Mrs. McLamb. A plaque in her honor will be installed in the garden at SECU Hospice House of Brunswick.

Union Elementary Recognized as Top 1% Title 1 School in North Carolina The Dolphins of Union Elementary (2019-20 National ESEA Distinguished School Nominees) were recognized as a Top 1% Title 1 School at the North Carolina Association of Compensatory Educators Conference in Greensboro. Union has been a National Title 1 High Performance Nominee for the three straight years and four in all (2011, 2017-won, 2018, 2019). Each year, two Title I schools from North Carolina are chosen to represent the state as National Title I Distinguished Schools in the high progress and high performance categories. Union met eligibility requirements in the high performance category. Organizers say about 10% of schools in the state meet the eligibility requirements to take part in the Distinguished Schools process. The Top 1% becomes nominees. Schools in the running for the national award are carefully judged in five categories including school demographics, curriculum and instructional program, initiative and sustainability plans,


North Brunswick Magazine

N.C. Recreation and Parks Association awarded the Town of Leland Parks and Recreation Department with a 2019 Arts & Humanities Award for its involvement in The Black on Black Project. Earlier in 2019 Leland Cultural Arts Center (LCAC) hosted a month of programming through the Raleigh-based Black on Black Project, which aims to showcase the work of artists of color and to encourage dialogue among diverse members of the community. Through a grant from the N.C. Arts Council and matching funds from the Town of Leland, LCAC presented a month of programming and events from March 28 to April 25 centered around the Black on Black Project, including an art exhibition, a screening of the documentary Wilmington on Fire, public discussions and outreach to students at local schools and at the Spring Break Art Camp.


Phone# Page#


Phone# Page#

4ever24fit..........................................................................................910-399-4760 97

Katie’s Art & Frame....................................................................... 910-408-1757

68, 85

AA Self Storage............................................................................ 910-408-1600 105

Legacy Homes by Bill Clark.......................................................910-363-1682 24

Aesthetic Dentistry........................................................................910-371-5965 11

Leland Ace Hardware..................................................................910-383-6688 77

Art Catering & Events.................................................................910-755-6642 74

Leland Christian Academy.......................................................910-371-0688 105

ATMC.......................................................................................................844-755-1814 105

Leland Veterinary Hospital...................................................... 910-371-3440 74

Austin Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery....................................910-769-1605 54

Livingston Creek Farms.............................................................910-655-4333 97

Bianchi Brickyard Supply...........................................................910-454-4445 55

Local’s Tavern...................................................................................910-769-1289 100

Bill Clark Homes.............................................................................. 910-350-1744 25

Luxe Home Interiors Waterford...........................................910-371-0464 69

Bleu.........................................................................................................910-579-5628 78

Mary Kay - Christie Rogers......................................................910-520-9661 72

Bloomin’ Crazy................................................................................910-408-9754 99

McNeil & Co. Interior Design.................................................. 910-799-7994 IBC

BlueWave Dentistry.......................................................................910-383-2615

30 & 31

McPherson’s Acme General..................................................910-655-4006 80

Brodee Dogs.......................................................................................910-523-5121 85

Mulch & More...................................................................................910-253-7663 19

Brunswick County Dept. of Social Services......................910-253-2112 29

New Hanover Regional Medical Center.......................... 910-342-3400 BC

Brunswick Forest............................................................................910-371-2434 9

Niche. Décor & Gifts.....................................................................910-769-8839 56

Brunswick Forest Veterinary Hospital...............................910-777-2107 112

Nicole Bray Interiors.......................................................................919-221-3441 14

CAMS.....................................................................................................877-672-2267 52

North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce..................... 910-383-0553 100

Capeside Animal Hospital.........................................................910-383-2100 85

North Brunswick Chiropractic ................................................910-371-1200 70

CapTel.................................................................................................. 866-545-4012 52 Novant Health...................................................................................910-754-5988 4 Carolinas Oral and Facial Surgery.........................................910-762-2618 55

Paul Whitehead - Allstate..........................................................910-338-5686 74

Cherubini Orthodontics............................................................... 910-371-2323 12

PC Solutions.......................................................................................910-371-5999 85

Clean Eatz Express.........................................................................910-769-5414

64, 109

Pinnacle Storage ...........................................................................910-408-1394 26

Club Pilates........................................................................................910-725-6190

65, 109



Coastal Insurance...........................................................................910-754-4326 56

P.T.’s Grille.........................................................................................910-399-6808 97

Coastal Integrative Health......................................................... 910-408-1778

Purple Onion.....................................................................................910-755-6071 74

13, 67

Coastal Spine Institute............................................................... 910-356-6100 103 Rhodes Law Offices, PLLC....................................................... 910-383-3610 14 Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage................................. 910-371-1181 15

RJB Tax Associates, LLC...........................................................910-338-3001 77

CommWell Health..........................................................................877-935-5255 92

Robert G. Merz, CPA, P.C...........................................................910-383-6644 80

Complete Dental Leland..............................................................910-663-1223

Sandpiper Pediatrics...................................................................910-207-0777 55


Computer Warriors.......................................................................910-216-9399 34

Sean Skutnik, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage.....910-279-1016 77

Curley Implants & General Dentistry.................................910-463-2267 IFC

Seidokan Karate..............................................................................910-616-7470 60

Dead Crow Comedy......................................................................910-399-1492 60

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar.........................................................910-221-5522 92

Dwelling Place Interiors...............................................................910-859-1165 62

Signature Wealth Strategies................................................... 910-371-0366 91

Elevate...................................................................................................910-434-6815 70

Smithfield’s Chicken N Bar-B-Q............................................ 910-371-6900 39

EmergeOrtho...............................................................................800-800-3305 17

Swell Vision Center......................................................................... 910-408-1116 62

Farm Bureau Insurance.................................................................. 910-371-2111 23

Sweyer Property Management.............................................910-256-3031 70

First Bank............................................................................................910-383-3955 35 Thalian Association Community Theatre..........................910-251-1788 69 Four Seasons Dry Cleaners......................................................910-859-8394 100

The Bluffs..........................................................................................866-383-2820 42

Franklin Rouse Jr. State Farm Insurance..........................910-371-5446

60, 98

Tina Lee Massage Therapist & Health Coach.................910-233-5615 91

Go Store It............................................................................................ 910-371-2331

12, 66

Town Creek Trading Post....................................................... 678-502-9898 72

Harrington Village Apartments.............................................910-408-1644 3

Tropical Smoothie Café...............................................................910-765-1144 62

Holmes Security Systems..........................................................910-793-4181 78

Troy Williamson - On Q Financial..........................................910-262-2613 72

Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries........................................910-371-2707 80

Trusst Builder Group..................................................................910-371-0304 47

Infinity Custom Cabinets.......................................................... 910-859-8299 7 Turf Medic...........................................................................................910-769-2818 78 Intracoastal Realty Corporation............................................910-256-4503 6 UPS Store............................................................................................ 910-383-1401 92 J & K Home Furnishings............................................................ 843-249-1882

20 & 21

Wilmington Health.........................................................................910-371-0404 46

Josh London – State Farm Insurance.................................910-383-1303 60

Wine & Design.................................................................................910-399-7874 69

Winter 2019-20




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North Brunswick Magazine

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Winter 2019-20


At NHRMC and NHRMC Physician Group, we’re leading our community to outstanding health by looking deeper and working harder to find innovative ways to deliver great care. We’re bringing health screenings to area neighborhoods, offering free exercise and nutrition programs, and volunteering with community partners throughout our region. And we’re just getting started. Join us at Together, we can make healthier happen.

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