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Captain Doug Springer with Wilmington Water Tours and Alan Smith


Captain Doug Springer/Wilmington Water Tours

Captain Doug Springer and his wife Diane Upton returned to Wilmington in 2004 to pursue their dream of life on the water.  Doug graduated in Marine Technology from Cape Fear Technical Institute in the early 1970’s.  After working in the Gulf of Mexico, and on the waterways of South Carolina for about six years he joined the U.S. Air Force as a computer specialist and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of West Florida.  After many years in the computer industry, and their children well on their own, Doug and Diane returned to their favorite city and back with their family of friends.  They soon formed NE Cape Fear Charters and Exploration and put their beloved 36′ Wilard Vega Trawler to work.  After three years of running a successful charter business, a large number of returning and enthusiastic customers provided the confidence in the belief that a water based tour company designed to serve the Cape Fear River basin at large was needed and thus “Wilmington Water Tours, Inc.” was born.

Doug is also deeply committed to Cape Fear River Watch a local grass roots organization with a mission to improve and protect the water quality of the Cape Fear River Basin. He served as the Executive Director for Cape Fear River Watch, Inc. from July of 2007 to January of 2010 while also doing duty as the Cape Fear RIVERKEEPER ®. The organization has grown to allow for a dedicated ED allowing Doug to focus on the duties of the RIVERKEEPER.

Alan Smith

Alan Smith volunteers for such organizations as: Residents of Old Wilmington, Cape Fear Sail and Power Squadron, Cape Fear River Watch, Historic Wilmington Foundation, Domestic Violence Shelter, Interfaith Hospitality Network, and Cape Fear Men’s Club.

Alan has been a Downtown Wilmington resident since 1998. He retired from Navy submarine service and the Central Intelligence Agency. Alan has children and grandchildren here and in Northern Virginia. He cherishes a sense of community within Wilmington and the personal connectedness that comes from involvement with diverse service and “quality of life” organizations. Alan enjoys being in a place where children and grandchildren love to visit and share experiences with boating, beaches and the good life in the historic district.


Kurt Taylor with Next Glass and John Charlesworth with Stealz

next glass and stealz


Kurt Taylor/Next Glass

Next Glass eliminates the risk of bad wine selections for consumers, merchants and restaurants. Using patent pending science and technology, Next Glass is analyzing tens of thousands of wines (about 98% of the available US market) and using the resulting data to create the world’s first Wine Genome Cellar.





John Charlesworth/Stealz

John Charlesworth is co-founder and CEO of Stealz. He graduated from Elon University in 2010 with a B.S. in Business Administration (marketing concentration). The co-founders of Stealz are all high school friends who reconnected after college. There are 4 founders, each with a unique background (accounting, sales, marketing, technology). They sold their first venture in Q1 2013. In starting and selling that company, they came up with the idea for Stealz.




Tom Pechar with Synergy HomeCare, and Phil Clark and Julie Lancaster with OmniStar Financial


Tom Pechar/Synergy HomeCare of Wilmington

Home Care is a second career for Tom Pechar.  Prior to starting Synergy HomeCare of Wilmington he had a long and successful career in the non-profit arena, working as chief executive for professional regional theatres around the country.  When he is not busy building the Synergy HomeCare business and brand, he keeps his toes in the theatre and arts world in greater Wilmington by writing a monthly theatre preview column for Livin’ Out Loud magazine.

Phil Clark and Julie Lancaster/OmniStar Financial Group

Since 1989, Phillip L. Clark has been dedicated to serving individuals and small businesses through the process of comprehensive planning. More than ten years ago, Phillip had a vision to create a firm that would focus solely on the needs of its clients through fee-based services. Today, OmniStar Financial Group operates as a Registered Investment Advisory Firm and provides asset management and comprehensive financial planning. In addition to his role as a Registered Investment Advisor Representative, Phillip played a key role in developing the firm’s proprietary AAMP (Asset Allocated Managed Portfolios) program which is used in conjunction with each client’s Investment Policy Statement. Phillip currently holds his Series 63, and 66 registrations and the Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) designation. Having more than two decades in the financial services industry, Phillip is recognized by his peers as a highly skilled and innovative advisor.Julie Lancaster, Wealth Advisor, has been helping clients achieve financial wellness since 1990. She joined OmniStar Financial Group in 2013 to expand her practice through the eyes of true independence and unbiased wealth management. Prior to joining OmniStar, Julie graduated from Wake Forest University in 1989 and began her career at First Union Bank (now Wells Fargo Advisors) as a Retail Investment Specialist in Charlotte, NC. For the next several years, she trained as an investment associate at Merrill Lynch, and in 1994 was hired as Vice President, and Premier Banking Financial Advisor at Bank of America Investments. She was recruited to join SunTrust Investments in 2006, as Vice President, and Private Financial Advisor for SunTrust Private Wealth Group. Julie holds multiple securities and insurance licenses, and in 2012, earned the designation of National Certified Paralegal (NALA) with expertise in Estates, Wills and Trusts, Bankruptcy Law, and Commercial Law. In addition, she continuously improves her knowledge base by attending several advanced financial planning industry meetings throughout the year.