Cape Fear CREW Announces 2024 Awards of Excellence Winners

2024 Awards of Excellence Winning Teams (courtesy cape fear crew; photo credit page productions)

Cape Fear CREW is pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 6th Annual Awards of Excellence, held yesterday at the Wilmington Convention Center. The awards, which focus on the rapidly growing Cape Fear Region commercial real estate sector, recognize excellence and leadership in commercial real estate. The event was led by Cape Fear CREW President, Sue Meier of Copycat Print Shop, who said, “Cape Fear CREW was thrilled to share the exceptional work done in the commercial real estate sector in the past 18 months. Congratulations to all of the winners and competitors who participated.” 

Best Design Award

Leland Brewing Company
Leland Brewing Company is a captivating “destination”. Its 2.5-acre site features an 8,000 square-foot industrial-style building, 60% dedicated to production and the remainder a vibrant taproom amid vast green event spaces. The manufacturing space has capacity to hold and produce 5,000 barrels annually with cutting-edge equipment. Diverse guest experiences include:

  • The Taproom, with 23+ house-made beers, boasting a 40-foot concrete bar resembling etched live oak wood,
  • A Mezzanine, offering an intimate setting with plush seating overlooking the taproom,
  • The Front Terrace, providing a peaceful country feel, with rocking chairs overlooking Leland’s Founders Park,

*       And the Back Patio, with fire pits, ax-throwing, and a mural, embracing stunning North Carolina vistas. Future plans include an 800 square foot walk-up kitchen, enhancing guest experiences.

Dealmaker Award

Recess by Bevin Prince

In 2020, Will Friend and Bevin Prince envisioned Recess, an outdoor cycle studio for Wilmington. With help from Andy Mitwol and Mike Prince, the team secured financing through Live Oak Bank and coordinated a lease at Mayfaire with CBL Properties to set up a tent in the parking lot of Fresh Market. Through negotiations with Cape Fear Commercial, Recess later relocated to Autumn Hall. Further negotiations involving Swain & Associates resulted in a lease for a brick-and-mortar location, marking Recess’s establishment at 1119 Military Cutoff in the Forum. Their journey through various challenges and locations showcases the team’s adept negotiations and determination, honoring the late Will Friend’s vision with a thriving permanent location.

Best Development Award
nCino Headquarters Expansion

Commencing in July 2020, the nCino headquarters expansion project endeavored to accommodate approximately 600 new employees while simultaneously upgrading the existing campus. The project boasts a new 90,000 square foot office building, a 642-space parking deck, an outdoor employee amenity center, and renovations to the landscape and façade of the existing building. While expertly navigating material procurement and scheduling challenges, the development team also minimized disruptions to nCino’s active daily operations. The completed development skillfully and seamlessly blends the existing and new improvements while introducing unique amenities, new design features, and complementary new materials. Careful attention and thoughtful design culminated in a space aimed at attracting and retaining talent, promoting collaboration, and respecting the character of both nCino and Wilmington.

Economic and Community Enhancement Award for Projects Under $5 Million

Provalus Location in Columbus County

Provalus, an IT service provider that meets corporations’ BPO, ITO, Helpdesk, and call-center needs, will occupy the former News Reporter building in Whiteville, creating up to 200 jobs over the next five years. The project received financial contributions and support from the City of Whiteville, Columbus County, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Department of Commerce, while the property owners negotiated very reasonable pricing, reflecting their strong local ties to the community and desire to see quality jobs created. Through its paid training programs, Provalus has elevated high-aptitude individuals from jobs at retail stores and gas stations to careers as technical support analysts, network operations and cyber security analysts, system engineers, and more.

Economic and Community Enhancement Award for Projects Over $5 Million

nCino Hunger Solution Center/Wilmington Branch of the Food Bank

The Wilmington Branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina provides much-needed access and food security in an area that was previously left in a distressing food desert. The Wilmington Branch features a state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution facility constructed to ensure the ability to maintain full operation and serve as an epicenter in the wake of a natural disaster. The project will provide vital support to the Food Bank community partners and citizens, while creating a positive aesthetic impact on the surrounding area. This development will also ensure a consistent supply of food to local organizations, provide a large community garden, create partnerships with local farmers and businesses, and create numerous job opportunities within the region.

Career Advancement for Women

Denice Brandon, CFO Monteith Construction

 Denice Brandon, CFO of Monteith Construction Corp., has been an important role model for women seeking careers in the construction industry. Her work ethic has driven her career path since 1988 when she first joined Monteith Building Group in Canada as the sole accountant. In 1999, Denice moved to the U.S. to help start Monteith Construction Corp. She has persevered and succeeded in a male-dominated industry with hard work, unflappable leadership, and compassion. Denice paved a path for numerous women at Monteith while helping grow the business to a thriving annual volume of over $200 million. Denice is also an avid volunteer with GLOW Academy, Work on Wilmington, Habitat for Humanity, NAWIC, CFMA, and the YWCA Lower Cape Fear, to name a few. 

Beth Quinn Excellence Award

Cheryl Nabell

Cheryl Nabell, President of Wade Associates, was a founding member of Cape Fear CREW and has generously provided her very special brand of leadership over the years. She served as President of the Chapter during transformational times and has served on numerous committees. With over 20 years of property and casualty insurance experience, Cheryl works daily with businesses and individuals who value her high level of expertise and personalized service. Insurance Business America has recognized her as one of the 2023 Elite Women, acknowledging her accomplishments and leadership in the US insurance industry. Her professional success is mirrored by the joy and friendship she brings to everything she does, including opening her home to CREW for numerous events, eagerly volunteering, and providing financial support to the Chapter for years.

Impact Award Winner

Wilmington Business Development

Founded in 1956, Wilmington Business Development (WBD) is a private, not-for-profit organization playing a lead role in the Cape Fear Region to attract companies and make their expansion/relocation efforts seamless. Over two decades, the region has experienced tremendous growth in large part due to WBD. Now home to GE Hitachi’s Global Nuclear Headquarters, GE Aviation, PPD, and award-winning logistics firm MegaCorp Logistics among others, Wilmington has become a major player in the world of business recruitment. In coordination with public entities, private developers, brokerages, and other various businesses, WBD is poised for growth as it focuses its efforts on target industries that are expected to see future rapid growth. WBD’s small but dedicated staff also maintains close, collaborative relationships with state and regional partners and allies.

In addition to the Cape Fear CREW Awards, the organization was joined by The Realtors Commercial Alliance of Southeastern North Carolina to present the following awards:

  • RCASENC Member of the Year:  Byron Aynes, The Overton Group
  • RCASENC Real Estate Rockstar:  John Gavin, Cameron Management
  • RCASENC Lifetime Achievement Award:  Hansen Matthews, Maus, Warwick, Matthews & Co.

Cape Fear CREW extends its appreciation to our panel of judges:

  • Clark Hipp, Hipp Architecture & Development, Inc.
  • Dr. Mouhcine Guettabi, UNCW Cameron School of Business
  • Sam Franck, Ward & Smith, P.A.
  • Jenny Mizelle, Retired Economic Development Professional
  • Alyssa Byrd, Lee & Associates and Triangle CREW

Thank you to our committed Partners for 2024! 

Presenting Partner

  • Live Oak Bank

Platinum Partners

  • Copycat Print Shop
  • Highland Roofing

Award Partners

  • Customers Bank
  • Salt Air, Inc.
  • The Braddock Group

Parking Partner

  • Wade Associates

Gold Partners

  • Baker Roofing
  • Corning Credit Union
  • First Citizens Bank
  • Greater Wilmington Business Journal
  • Monteith Construction
  • Realtors® Commercial Alliance
  • Sun Coast Partners Commercial
  • Theory & Practice Productions
  • Wilmington Business Development
  • Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

Silver Partners

  • Cameron Management
  • Cape Fear Property Law
  • Capital Design
  • Clancy & Theys Construction Company
  • Clarendon Properties
  • ECS Southeast
  • Farrell Insights
  • First National Bank
  • KW Communications
  • LS3P
  • Maus Warwick Matthews & Company
  • North Carolina’s Southeast
  • Odyssey Mechanical
  • Page Productions
  • Patriot Roofing

About Cape Fear CREW and CREW Network

The Cape Fear chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), with more than 80 members from a wide array of commercial real estate interests, has as its mission to advance the success of women in commercial real estate. CREW Network is the affiliated national association which represents over 14,000 women in commercial real estate in chapters across more than 80 major markets globally. For more information on the Cape Fear chapter, including membership and partnership information, visit the Cape Fear CREW website at cape-fear/ and follow us on Facebook @CapeFearCrew, Instagram @cape_fear_crew and LinkedIn