Leaving the Chamber Strong

After 35 years of chamber of commerce management, including 22 years as President & CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, today I announced my retirement.


Wilmington Named One of Coolest Southern Towns

Jetsetter Magazine has released its list of Coolest Southern Towns, and Wilmington was ranked at #6.


An Educated Work Force

New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick Counties feature dynamic public and private education choices. The three school districts collectively operate 78 schools with grades K-12.

Learn more about the school districts and their rankings: NHC Schools Report Cards

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

The Cape Fear region continues to set the bar for cities across the state for the design and implementation of innovative programs and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) based learning. We are dedicated to providing students with a STEM education as it creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and generates innovation, leading to new products and processes that sustain our economy.

New Hanover County Schools are the only district in the state to have two STEM-based schools: Rachel Freeman School of Engineering and Gregory School of Science, Mathematics, and Technology. The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce's Cape Fear Future initiative started the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program at Trask Middle School in New Hanover County in 2013. Project Lead the Way is a STEM-based curriculum that incorporates engineering, robotics, aerospace and other STEM-related courses. The elective curriculum is offered to students in middle and high school. After beginning the program at Trask, CFF has now funded PLTW for sixth and seventh grade students. The program introduces them to engineering, robotics, computer modeling, and energy. CFF will continue the funding for 8th grade students in 2015-16. The program was so well received in 2013 that the school system expanded it to two additional schools. PLTW was recently cited by the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a “model for 21st century career and technical education.”

STEM Resource

Through a new partnership, Cape Fear Future (CFF) and the University of North Carolina Wilmington's Watson School of Education (WSE) have jointly introduced a new website that outlines available STEM programs across the region. This tool is a wonderful resource for students, parents and teachers seeking STEM-related camps, contests, classes, and more.

Visit the site: www.uncw.edu/ed/stem

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.

  • wow_painting_harrelson_r.jpg
  • (left) Volunteers participate in Leadership Wilmington class project Work On Wilmington

    The application deadline for the 2016 Class of Leadership Wilmington is June 30, 2016. Participants will be sought from corporate, business, education, professional, non-profit and governmental sectors. The Chamber Foundation Board will select a minimum 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.


    The tuition per participant is $1,500. Tuition covers all expenses for the program. An application fee of $25.00 must accompany each application. Application fee is non-refundable.

    Click here for an application

    Schedule for Leadership Wilmington Class of 2017

    • August 4, 2016: Orientation/Alumni Award/Social
    • August 25-26, 2016: Class Retreat, Trinity Center, Pine Knoll Shores, NC
    • September 20, 2016: Session 1 – Arts/History/Culture
    • October 18, 2016: Session 2 – Environment
    • November 15, 2016: Session 3 – Education
    • December 20, 2016: Session 4 – Human Services
    • January 17, 2017: Session 5 – Infrastructure
    • February 21, 2017: Session 6 – Crime & Punishment
    • March 21, 2017: Session 7 – Growth & Development
    • April 4, 2017: Session 8 – Politics & Government
    • April 29, 2017: Work On Wilmington
    • May 16, 2017: Graduation

    Please note: Each regular session will be all day (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). Except as noted, these meetings will be on the third Tuesday of the month. The Orientation/Alumni Award Ceremony will be scheduled from 4:00-7:00 p.m., on Thursday, August 4, 2016. The class Retreat will encompass two full days and will require an overnight stay. The Retreat is mandatory for all class members. The Retreat will be on Thursday-Friday, August 25-26, 2016. Session 8 (Politics & Government) will include dinner at City Hall with the City Council, followed by attendance at the City Council meeting at 6:30 pm. This meeting is on the first Tuesday, and will be in keeping with City Council’s meeting schedule. A WOW project selection meeting will be scheduled on a date in January from 4:00 – 8:30 pm to select the projects. Other special called meetings may be necessary.


    Leadership Wilmington Co-Directors
    Faye Dunaway
    (910) 762-2611 ext. 211
    One Estell Lee Place
    Wilmington, NC 28401
    (910) 762-9765 (fax)

    Scott Czechlewski
    (910) 762-2611 ext. 216
    One Estell Lee Place
    Wilmington, NC 28401
    (910) 762-9765 (fax)


    The mission of the Leadership Wilmington Alumni Association is to provide a resource for all graduates, as well as the Wilmington business and service communities. The association strives to continue offering professional development opportunities for its membership, and to marry the talent from the alumni association with the volunteer needs of the business and service communities, event committee members and board appointments.

    Additionally, our intent is to hold networking events throughout the year to bring Alumni together and to provide ongoing interaction with one another.

    To Join

    If you are a Leadership Wilmington Alumni and would like to join the association, please fill out the form below. This information will allow us to communicate upcoming Alumni Association events and professional development opportunities that may be available in the community.

    This information is not for redistribution and will be used at the sole discretion of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Wilmington Alumni Association.

    Please email us with any questions at dunaway@wilmingtonchamber.org or czechlewski@wilmingtonchamber.org.

    Karl Davis Alumni of the Year Award

    Know a deserving graduate for the Alumni of the Year Award? Nominate them!

    Click here for an application

    Brunswick County JobReady Partnership
    (910) 371-3030

    Cooperative Education Program (OJT) - Brunswick County Schools
    (910) 253-2952

    Cooperative Education Program (OJT) - New Hanover County Schools
    (910) 254-4240

    Cooperative Education Program (OJT) - Pender County
    Pender County Schools
    (910) 259-0131

    JobLink Career Center - Brunswick County
    Employment Security Commission
    (910) 754-6120

    JobLink Career Center - New Hanover County
    Employment Security Commission
    (910) 251-5777

    JobLink Career Center - Pender County
    Employment Security Commission
    (910) 259-0240

    Occupational Training Through CFCC
    (910) 251-5676

    Online College Courses

    Region "O" Council for the Advancement of Minorities in Engineering (ROCAME)
    New Hanover County Schools
    (910) 254-4277

    Amy Bradley School
    3801 Wilshire Blvd.
    Wilmington, NC 28403
    (910) 794-6977

    Calvary Christian School
    423 N 23rd St.
    Wilmington, NC 28405
    (910) 343-1565

    Cape Fear Academy
    3900 South College Road
    Wilmington, NC 28412
    (910) 791-0287

    Coastal Christian High School
    709 George Anderson Dr.
    Wilmington, NC 28412
    (910) 395-9995

    First Presbyterian Church Preschool & Kindergarten
    125 South 3rd Street
    Wilmington, NC 28401-4554
    (910) 762-2066

    The Friends School of Wilmington, Inc.
    Middle School (6th-8th)
    350 Peiffer Avenue
    Wilmington, N.C. 28409
    (910) 792-1811
    Elementary & PreSchool (18 months - 5th)
    207 Pine Grove Drive
    Wilmington, NC 28403
    (910) 791-8221

    Myrtle Grove Christian School
    806 Piner Road
    Wilmington, NC 28409
    (910) 392-2067

    New Horizons
    3705 South College Road
    Wilmington, NC 28412
    (910) 392-5209

    Pathways Middle & High School
    3110 Randall Parkway
    Wilmington, NC 28403
    (910) 343-3321

    The Roger Bacon Academy
    3610 Thaddeus Lott Lane, Leland, NC 28451

    SACPC Preschool
    1416 Market Street
    Wilmington, NC 28401

    St. Mark Catholic School
    1013 Eastwood Road
    Wilmington, NC 28403
    (910) 452-2800

    St. Mary Catholic School (K-8)
    217 S. 4th Street
    Wilmington, NC 28401
    910-762-5491 ext. 40

    Wilmington Christian Academy
    1401 North College Road
    Wilmington, NC 28403
    (910) 791-4248

    Wilmington Country Day School
    3114 Middle Sound Loop Road
    Wilmington, NC 28403
    (910) 686-1110

    Winter Park Preschool/Primary Day School
    4501 Wrightsville Avenue
    Wilmington, NC 28403
    (910) 791-5893

    New Hanover County Public Schools
    6410 Carolina Beach Road
    Wilmington, NC 28412
    (910) 763-5431

    Brunswick County Schools
    35 Referendum Drive, NE
    Bolivia, North Carolina 28422
    (910) 253-2900

    Pender County Schools
    925 Penderlea Highway
    Burgaw, NC 28425
    (910) 259-2187

    View ratings for all North Carolina schools at www.ncreportcards.org.

    Area Colleges and Universities

    Brunswick Community College
    50 College Road
    Bolivia, NC 28422
    (910) 755-7300
    (800) 754-1050

    Cape Fear Community College
    411 N. Front Street
    Wilmington, NC 28401-3993
    (910) 362-7000

    Miller-Motte Technical College
    5000 Market Street
    (910) 392-4660

    University of Mount Olive
    1838 Sir Tyler Drive
    (910) 256-0255

    Shaw University - Wilmington
    224 North Front Street
    (910) 763-9091

    University of North Carolina Wilmington
    601 South College Road
    (910) 962-3000

    College Foundations/Funds

    College Foundation of NC
    (866) 866-CFNC

    Affordable Colleges Online


    The Wilmington Chamber Foundation partners with educational institutions and the business community to improve current and future workforce preparedness by:

    • communicating business needs to the educational community;
    • facilitating educational and training solutions for workforce preparedness needs;
    • developing programs for future leaders; and
    • identifying and implementing strategies to fund Foundation-approved programs.


    The Foundation exists primarily to support public K-12 education in New Hanover and Pender Counties. As such, its activities include:

    • fundraising for initiatives to improve public education;
    • gathering input about education needs from business and the community via forums and other means;
    • serving as the link between the public schools and the business community;
    • grant-making to individuals and organizations that seek to improve public education; and
    • conducting assessments/evaluations/accountability.

    Wilmington Chamber Foundation Board of Directors

    Hal Kitchin, CFF Chairman
    McGuireWoods LLC

    Rickey Godwin
    McGladrey LLC

    Rob Kaiser
    Greater Wilmington Business Journal

    Charlie Mattox
    Senior Vice President/Market President

    Mitch Lamm
    First Citizens
    Senior Vice President/Community Banking

    Chris Boney
    LS3P Associates
    Principal (Quality of Life initiative leader)

    John Gizdic
    New Hanover Regional Medical Center
    Chief Operating Officer (CFF Education initiative leader)

    Affiliates and Annual Programs

    • Leadership Wilmington
    • Current Program
    • Alumni Association