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Chris Jones and David Hartness with IronGate Partners and Jason Arnold with The Hammerheads FC

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Chris Jones, Chief Operating Officer

Chris oversees the day to day operations of IronGate Partners, including accounting, compliance and legal. As a Certified Financial Planner®practitioner and Accredited Investment Fiduciary®,  Chris oversees the risk management division of IronGate and also adds expertise in advanced estate planning and asset protection strategies for the firm’s business owner and executive clients. Chris has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

Chris graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to IronGate, he worked with two regional Broker/Dealer firms and later MassMutual Financial Group. Chris has served as president of the Wilmington Civitan Club, is currently a member of the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a member of the UNCW Board of Visitors. He is also active in Rotary International and the Cameron Executive Network Student Mentor Program. Chris and his wife Carrie have two sons.

David R. Hartness, Chief Client Officer

David’s primary focus at IronGate is serving the firm’s private wealth clients.  He is a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner, Chartered Life Underwriter®, and Accredited Investment Fiduciary®.  Working with staff and outside professionals such as attorneys and CPA’s, David oversees the firm’s financial planning division, and is integrally involved in the Investment and Risk Management functions providing a seamless experience for clients.

David is a native of Fayetteville and graduated from Wake Forest University.  Prior to IronGate he was with First Union and American Express. David currently serves on the UNCW Foundation Board, is the Past President of the New Hanover Estate Planning Council, and has served in various other capacities with Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts of America, and the United Way. David and His wife Susie have three sons.

Jason Arnold- Wilmington Hammerheads FC

Jason Arnold is entering his inaugural USL PRO season with the Wilmington Hammerheads as General Manager of the club. Arnold comes to Wilmington following his role as Executive Director of USL Youth Leagues in Tampa, FL. A three-time NCAA College Cup Final Four participant with the University of Maryland, Arnold joined USL in 2010 as USL PRO and MISL Director of Operations and was named Senior Director of USL Youth Leagues in March 2012. Arnold graduated from University of Maryland in 2004 with his BA.

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Tobin Geatz and Brendan Collins with Seahawk Innovation and Brad Graham with BlueTone Media


Seahawk Innovation

Tobin Geatz – General Partner and Mimijumi sales Board Member

Tobin’s mantra of “do well while doing good” led him to join his fellow co-founder, Tom Looney, in the formation of Seahawk Innovation Management. His vision and leadership have helped Seahawk Innovation Management quickly grow into a unique model to launch, fund, expand, and manage innovative businesses.

He has an extensive background in business start-ups, expansions, and technology applications. He was founder and Chairman of the Board of PharmaTech Solutions in 1999; he then became CEO and Chairman of the Board of Inclinix, Inc. He has been instrumental in the founding and development of several successful ventures, introducing innovative technologies to improve operating processes, including the Inclinix VMR™ technology.

Tobin’s venture capital experience includes his role as a Special General Partner at Aurora Funds II, a $75MM technology venture fund, and as a LP investor in two additional venture funds. Tobin has also founded, funded, operated, and successfully exited several companies including Applied Chemical Solutions, Supercritical Systems, and Discrete Wireless; a set of deals that returned high multiples to pleased investors!

As CEO of 5 private companies, board chairman at six firms, and a board member of a publicly traded company, Tobin has developed and maintains a business development and investment network in the technology and pharmaceutical industries spanning Asia and Europe, with a number of investment banking relationships. He holds nine (9) patents related to his degree in Chemistry from West Virginia University (C’81) where he was also a scholarship football athlete.

Tobin enjoys spending time with his wife and son and is always ready for a tennis match.

Brendan Collins – Partner and Mimijumi Sales CEO

Brendan brings a great deal of international business experience to Seahawk.  Brendan is a Co-Founder and Director of WindRose Capital Ltd., a London-based advisory firm that specializes in sourcing and structuring early stage investments in African and South American energy and infrastructure projects for European institutional investors.  Prior to founding WindRose, Brendan invested private equity and hedge fund capital across multiple industries with firms including DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, the flagship fund of Credit Suisse Private Equity.  In addition, he independently advised Dutch Bank Insinger de Beaufort on the disposal of its UK businesses.

Brendan met his wife Marsha, a Wilmington native, while they were both studying for their MBA at INSEAD, the international business school in France and Singapore.  Brendan attended The University of Western Ontario (Canada) where he played varsity tennis and earned honors degrees from the Faculty of Kinesiology (Sport Science) and the Richard Ivey School of Business.

On weekends, Brendan enjoys playing on the beach with his toddler sons James and Jasper and getting up early to watch English Premier League Soccer and his beloved Fulham Football Club, where he has been a season ticket holder for longer than he cares to admit.

Brad Graham- BlueTone Media: Creative Director / Director of Client Relations

BlueTone Media is a full-service web design firm located in Historic Downtown Wilmington, NC. They provide their clients with world-class web design and pride themselves on service and support that cannot be matched by any other firm.

Wilmington Business RadioX Special Edition: Voice of Business


On this month’s Voice of Business, show host and The Wilmington NC Chamber of Commerce President, Connie Majure-Rhett welcomed guests  Johnny Griffin with The Wilmington Regional Film Commission and Bill Vassar with EUE/Screen Gems to discuss Wilmington’s film incentives.

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Johhny Griffin- Director of The Wilmington Regional Film Commission

The Wilmington Regional Film Commission, Inc. is responsible for marketing the unique assets found within southeastern North Carolina to the production industry. Whether you are looking for a small town square, a coastal home, a scenic highway, a gaffer, or a c-stand, we are here to help. Our staff has worked in the industry for many years and has a true working knowledge of how to solve your problems. We speak the same language which makes our clients feel comfortable.

Once you choose our region, the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, Inc. facilitates on-location filmmaking within the region by offering production companies a complete range of pre-production services through a central contact. This office provides information regarding local film procedures, permits, and guidelines, and serves as liaison with government agencies. The Film Commission also serves as a general resource and clearing house for information about the Wilmington area.

Bill Vassar-Executive Vice President of EUE/Screen Gems

Bill Vassar is the Executive Vice President of EUE/Screen Gems in Wilmington, North Carolina. He enthusiastically manages the largest studio complex east of California.

“I handpick each employee to create a special team,” says Vassar. “I take great pride in how well we work together to service the needs of each production.”

Bill’s personal involvement and attention to detail have earned the respect of clients such as Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Lifetime, HBO, Showtime and many more. He played an integral role in recruiting the Marvel Entertainment lensing of “Iron Man 3” to Wilmington. This mega-hit is the largest single production in the history of North Carolina.

A four-decade media veteran, Bill’s first job was as a disc jockey when he was sixteen. After working in radio programming, news, sales, general management and station ownership, he transitioned to television and film production. In 1984, Bill joined NBC Entertainment Production in New York City. One of his first assignments was working with the start-up of the original “Cosby Show.”

Active in the community, Bill is the Board Chairman of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission; he sits on the North Carolina Governor’s Film Council and the Cucalorus Film Festival Board. He served two terms on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Bill and his wife Emily live in Wilmington, NC with their two sons.

Spence Hackney with Proclaim Interactive, Dan Marks with Commercial Site Control and Judy Clark with Autism Support and Programs

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Spence Hackney-Proclaim Interactive 

Spence Hackney has been building web sites professionally since 1997. He is the founder and president of Proclaim Interactive, a full service digital marketing agency providing web site design, branding and marketing services to a wide range of clients throughout the country. He also serves on the board of First Fruit Ministries, Alpha Ministries and is a leader in Cub Scout Pack 226.  You can reach Spence at, 910-795-4143 ext 101

Connect with Proclaim Interactive on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Dan Marks- Commercial Site Control

Commercial Site Control (CSC) offers the capabilities of a commercial Building Energy Management System for a fraction of the cost of traditional systems. CSC utilizes the latest hardware technology and advanced cloud based algorithms pushed directly to the controller on site making it easy to install and always up to date.

Judy Clark- Autism Support and Programs 

Judy Clark, mother of two young men with autism, and Founder/Director of Autism Support and Programs, knows firsthand the joys and hardships of raising children who have autism. Both of Judy’s boys are severely affected and she quickly realized the critical need for early intervention and consistency for those on the autism spectrum. In 1994 she set out on a mission that would progress from providing summer school programs for students in Southeastern North Carolina to the development of comprehensive services for individuals with autism. Judy’s drive comes from a love of people with autism and the desire to help them meet their maximum potential.

Special Edition: The Wilmington NC Convention Center Show

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The Wilmington NC Convention Center

CCShow Co-Host, Susan Eaton has lived in Wilmington for over 4 years and serves as General Manager of the Wilmington Convention Center of behalf of SMG, the world largest private management firm for public assembly facilities.

Susan oversees the day to day operations of the Center and the in-house food and beverage operation, along with the outdoor event space.

Kim Hufham- President and CEO of Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau

From the historic river district and Riverwalk that winds around the storied Cape Fear River to three colorful island beaches, there’s something about the water here in Wilmington, N.C. and our beach towns, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, that speaks, surrounds and transforms visitors.  As North Carolina’s most accessible coastal destination, the area’s location, natural beauty, culture and history all charm visitors and residents alike making it the ideal place to let go, give in and get away for a vacation or weekend.

One destination and four unique settings . . . from the river to sea . . . create a bounty of extraordinary experiences.

Connect with Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau on Facebook and Twitter. Also get involved in #Spread the Wilm on Twitter!

Terry Bragg- Executive Director of the North Carolina Battleship

Moored in quiet dignity and majesty the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, across the river from downtown Wilmington, beckons visitors to walk her decks. Envision the daily life and fierce combat her crew faced in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.

From all across our Nation they came, young men who had grown up in the crucible of the Great Depression and now determined to serve their Country in its time of need. These are the men whose stories you will encounter through their oral histories, photographs, and mementos as you experience the Ship and the exhibits.

Step back in time and let history come alive through the crews’ stories. Discover and build your personal connection by steering the ship, starting her engines or even firing the guns. The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA It’s Your Experience.

Wilmington Business Radio Special Edition: Voice of Business

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On this month’s Voice of Business, hosted by The Wilmington NC Chamber of Commerce:  Guest Host- Haskell Rhett, Leadership Wilmington (LW) Executive Director and LW Alumni Margaret Robison and Craig Snow.

About Leadership Wilmington:

The objective of Leadership Wilmington is to educate, challenge and motivate leaders and future leaders to utilize their leadership skills to work for the betterment of our community. There are five components that will be stressed throughout the program. They are:

  1. Leadership skills/styles;
  2. Community issues and challenges;
  3. Dynamics of regional social and economic change;
  4. Diversity; and
  5. Class project.

The ten-month program consists of eight all-day sessions, an orientation social, a two-day retreat to begin the program, Work On Wilmington, and a graduation ceremony. The all-day sessions occur once a month from September through April. To complete the program successfully, each class member is expected to participate in the orientation/social, retreat, all monthly program sessions, Work On Wilmington and graduation. Participants must make a serious commitment to the program and employers must agree in advance to grant participants time off from their duties to attend all scheduled activities.

The application deadline for the 2015 Class of Leadership Wilmington is June 30, 2014. Participants will be sought from corporate, business, education, professional, non-profit and governmental sectors. The Chamber Foundation Board will select a maximum of 30 participants for the class which will reflect the diversity of our community. During the selection process, the Board will review each candidate’s leadership potential, community involvement and accomplishments.

Click here for an application

Kevin French and Barry Eichelberger with Wells Fargo Bank and James Baldwin with The Resource

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Kevin French- Wells Fargo Bank

Kevin French is the district manager for Wells Fargo in the Wilmington Market and oversees nine retail locations and more than 100 team members in Wilmington, Leland and Porters Neck. Prior to his current role, Kevin held a small business/credit consulting role and was previously the store manager at the Mooresville location in Charlotte. He joined the company in July 2005 as financial specialist in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree from Belmont Abbey College in Business Management. He currently resides in Wilmington with his wife and their four children.

Barry Eichelberger-Wells Fargo

Barry Eichelberger is a business banking manager and leads Wells Fargo’s business banking team in Wilmington. He was previously a senior business relation manager and vice president for the Wilmington business banking team before being promoted to his current rule in September 2013.Barry joined the company in 1998 and  has held several positions of increasing responsibility, including district manager and small business senior financial specialist. He began his career as a financial specialist. Barry is a graduate of Shepherd University in West Virginia. He currently resides in Wilmington with his wife and their two children.

Connect with Wells Fargo on Twitter and Facebook

James Baldwin-The Resource

Jim Baldwin has been Branch Manager at the Wilmington office of The Resource for 4 years.  He and his wife, ENan, manage all aspects of the business including recruiting, sales and servicing accounts.  Jim and ENan are both natives of Wilmington.  After graduating from Hoggard High School, Jim graduated from Davidson College and went on to receive two graduate degrees.  Jim says, “We lived for over 20 years in the Piedmont area of North Carolina but we got back to the beach as quickly as we could.”

Connect with James Baldwin on LinkedIn

Brooks Raiford with NCTA and Tricia Callahan with Coastal Carolina IT Consulting

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Tricia Callahan- Coastal Carolina IT Consulting 

Tricia moved to the Wilmington area 7 years ago from Seattle, Washington.  Excited to call Wilmington/Leland my home! She is a proven technology leader with over ten years of experience working in information technology environments. She has demonstrated expertise at managing multi-year, multi-million dollar, international technology projects. Tricia has experience working in the non-profit, health and wellness, fundraising, and clinical research industries.

Tricia’s strengths include: IT management; project management and coordination skills; thorough and thoughtful business analysis; communication targeted at stakeholders across an organization:  ability to galvanize and motivate teams; inter and intra-personal/team building skills; proven ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously; training personnel; staffing cross-functional project teams; and experience writing detailed functional specifications, software and business requirements, policies and procedures

Tricia has a daughter at Cape Fear Academy middle school and a son at Roger Bacon Charter Day elementary school. She has been a volunteer at the Gathering Place for the past 4 ½ years. The Gathering Place is a monthly gathering where adults with and without disabilities can meet each other for food and fellowship.

Connect with Tricia on LinkedIn

Brooks Raidford- NCTA

Brooks Raiford has served as President & CEO of NCTA since 2008.  He is a North Carolina native with a passion for improving the quality of life in his home state, and has an extensive background in government relations, business development and operational management.

In the early 1990s, he served as a policy aide in the North Carolina Governor’s Office, where a key focus area was information technology and its impact on a variety of public policy areas.  Subsequently, Brooks served as Director of the Independent College Fund of North Carolina, and then President of Leadership North Carolina.  Most recently, he was Director of Business Development for Balfour Beatty Construction.

Brooks’ other current leadership activities include serving on the Board of Directors of the Wake Education Partnership, the Board of Advisors of the North Carolina New Schools Project, and President of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at NC State University, where he is a former Student Body President and University Trustee.

Brooks’ wife Stephanie is a Principal in the Wake County Public School System, and they have two children, Lauren and Will.

Connect with NCTA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

Kim Hufham with Wilmington and Beaches Visitors Bureau and Karen Swenson with Aflac and Zach Adams with First Bank

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Kim Hufhman- Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau

From the historic river district and Riverwalk that winds around the storied Cape Fear River to three colorful island beaches, there’s something about the water here in Wilmington, N.C. and our beach towns, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, that speaks, surrounds and transforms visitors.  As North Carolina’s most accessible coastal destination, the area’s location, natural beauty, culture and history all charm visitors and residents alike making it the ideal place to let go, give in and get away for a vacation or weekend.

One destination and four unique settings . . . from the river to sea . . . create a bounty of extraordinary experiences.

Connect with Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau on Facebook and Twitter. Also get involved in #Spread the Wilm on Twitter!

Karen Swenson- Aflac

If you had a chance to begin a new career, what would you do? After 35 years of working in Southern California’s entertainment industry, Karen Swenson decided to make a complete change—in careers as well as locations. In 2011, she moved completely across country, building a new home in Wilmington, NC. For her new business, she chose to work with one of the most respected companies in the world: American Film Life Assurance Company or, as it’s known to most of us, AFLAC. “For me, the opportunity to work for AFLAC has been an amazing experience,” Swenson says, “a crash course in learning about my community, its needs and concerns. I hope that my office, which I like to call ‘Wilmy Aflac’, will be the go-to source for information on voluntary healthcare benefits in the Greater Wilmington area.”

Connect with Karen on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Zach Adams- First Bank

First Bank was established in Troy, North Carolina and built on a commitment to provide genuine community bank service and helpful solutions from local bankers who care about doing what’s right.

With more than 79 years of dedicated service, that commitment has not wavered. First Bank proudly serves 32 counties in North Carolina, with locations in South Carolina and Virginia, for a total of nearly 100 full-service branches and is the fifth largest bank headquartered in North Carolina with approximately $3.2 billion in assets.

Small enough to know you like a neighbor, but large enough to provide the community bank service you’ve come to know and expect, First Bank provides affordable, comprehensive financial services including deposit, loan, wealth management and insurance solutions. Plus, our telephone, online and mobile banking technologies allow you to bank on your schedule—24/7, anytime, anywhere.

Our customers are more than that; they are our friends and neighbors. That’s why we financially support local schools and non-profit organizations while encouraging employee participation in volunteer efforts that impact the quality of life in our community.

Connect with First Bank on Twitter.


The Wilmington NC Chamber of Commerce Special Edition: Voice of Business

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On this month’s Voice of Business, show host and The Wilmington NC Chamber of Commerce President, Connie Majure-Rhett welcomed guest Henry Kitchin into the studio to discuss Special Use Permits.

Meet Henry Kitchin

Henry Kitchin, or better known as Hal, is a practicing lawyer at McGuire Woods Law Firm. Hal concentrates his practice on business litigation and creditor’s rights matters. He represents plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust, business tort, and breach of contract cases. He represents creditors in creditor’s rights and bankruptcy cases, and defends lenders in predatory lending and lender liability suits. He has experience in complex commercial, product liability, construction and real estate litigation.

In addition to his law practice, Hal is active in community affairs. In 2013, he served as Chairman of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as Chairman of the Cape Fear Future Foundation and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He has also recently served on the boards of the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation and the Coastal Horizons Center.

Hal attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a John M. Morehead Scholar. While attending Wake Forest School of Law, Hal served on the Wake Forest Law Review as a Notes & Comments Editor, and also served as a member of the Moot Court board.

– See more at: McGuire Woods Website