Our Team

Lee Eatmon

Director

Lee is a Wilson, NC native and a graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville. He pursued his dream in real estate right out of school and has always felt like it was his passion. Building a portfolio of residential rental properties in the Wilson market, Lee purchased a self-storage facility and operated that business for 10 years before selling to an Ohio based self-storage firm.

 

While developing the storage business, Lee took over a Wilson-based real estate firm and served as broker in charge and qualifying broker for several years. This firm had over 50 years of combined agent experience, and a solid reputation in representing customers in the Wilson market. After leaving Wilson for Wilmington, NC he soon opened and expanded real estate services to the Wilmington market including property management for long-term and vacation rentals.

 

Teaching is also a passion for Lee, and he took an instructor role in early 2014. He looks forward to connecting with students and helping them reach their full real estate potential in Pre, Post, or CE classes. 

Jack R. Burnish, GRI

Update & Elective Instructor

Jack's intent is to bring experience and knowledge to the classroom and share it with the students to make the teaching material come alive.

 

He has owned several real estate brokerage businesses over the last 30 years and has always been an owner or a BIC. He is a member of the Brunswick County Association of Realtors (BCAR).

 

His present real estate business is a sole proprietorship and focuses on his statewide referral business and teaching. He has taught real estate courses at Brunswick Community College (BCC) for approximately 8 years and at Southern Choice for 7 years. Jack is a member of the North Carolina Real Estate Educators Association (NCREEA).

 

PJ Doherty

Update, Elective  and Post- License Instructor

PJ brings the commercial real estate world to life with Southern Choice. As a broker with Carolina Commercial Investment Properties, he is active in the Wilmington market and understands students needs and questions in the ever changing word of commercial real estate.

Laurie Ann Gardner

Update & Elective Instructor,

Post-Licensing Instructor

After growing up in Eastern, NC and moving around to different areas of the state, Laurie Ann was drawn back east by her love for the beach and Wilmington’s relaxed, coastal lifestyle. Her passion for real estate was born out of many years of property management, buying and selling houses and home renovations. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned an MBA from Duke University. Prior to obtaining her real estate license, Laurie Ann specialized in marketing communications for over 20 years. She decided to apply this knowledge and experience to her real estate business and to teaching pre-licensing, post-licensing and continuing education across North Carolina.

Laurie Ann is an active real estate broker assisting both buyers and sellers in the Wilmington area. She loves working with people and strives to provide the highest level of personal customer service to her clients and students. In addition to teaching at Southern Choice, Laurie Ann uses her real estate expertise to teach other Pre, Post and CE classes across the state as well as writing and developing material for new classes. She loves calling the Wilmington area home and enjoys all that it has to offer. Laurie Ann is a member of the Cape Fear REALTORS.

Pam Ward

Update & Elective Instructor,

Post-Licensing Instructor

Pam, a former English teacher and school administrator, has almost ten years of brokerage and teaching experience. She is certified by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission to instruct Pre-Licensing and Post-Licensing classes as well as the Update and continuing education classes

Jessica Vargas Mote

Post-Licensing Instructor

Jessica is an active broker in the Southport/Oak Island area. She loves to work with first-time home buyers and help educate them on what to expect during the purchase process. Her business strengths include networking, marketing, and negotiating for her clients.

When she isn't working, you will often find Jessica on the sidelines of her son's football games or cheering for her daughter at a gymnastics meet.

PASSIONATE PEOPLE
for real estate education
Kerrie Landers

Assistant Director

The friendly, helpful voice on the telephone is Kerrie. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Office Administration. She has been with the Academy for 14 years and received her real estate license in 2010.

Meleah Lewis

Assistant to the Director

Meleah joined Southern Choice in 2018 and has been an important part of our growth and success. She is a graduate of UNCW and an active agent with Carolina One Properties, LLC of Wilmington.

Pam Berry CRS, GRI

Update & Elective Instructor

Pam has been a certified Real Estate Instructor since 1996. She has taught Pre- and Post-Licensing and Continuing Education. She is former Real Estate School Director. She also teaches at The Market Place Academy.

Jennifer Boyd

Update & Elective Instructor,

Pre- and Post-Licensing Instructor

Jennifer earned her NC real estate license in 2014. She is an active agent with BlueCoast Realty Corporation in Wilmington, working with both buyers and sellers. Her experience as an agent helps her to be a better instructor, and teaching has made her an even better agent.

 

She is certified by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission to teach CE, update classes, post classes and pre-licensing. She is also a certified home stager and a retired stay home mom to two great kids who both went to ECU. Jennifer is originally from Maine, and moved to NC in 2013.

Debi Dolan-Prince

Update & Elective Instructor,

Post-Licensing Instructor

Debi is active in real estate in the Oak Island and Wilmington area. She serves as the Broker-in-Charge for ERA Coastal and has extensive knowledge of agency,  contracts,  and negotiations skills.

Gabriela Huffman

Update & Elective Instructor,

Pre- and Post-Licensing Instructor

As a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, Gabriela began her successful real estate career in 2011 working with one of the top real estate agencies in the Wilmington area.  Selling commercial and residential real estate soon became a life calling for Gabriela.  In addition to selling, she currently uses her talent and expertise in the real estate arena to teach others North Carolina Real Estate Commission classes held in Wilmington.

Her passion for real estate continues to be exhibited by providing her clients with invaluable marketing tools to sell, negotiate, list and purchase a wide range of  residential properties.

Gabriela's ready to put her expertise to work for you.  Call Gabriela Huffman today and let her love for the coastal lifestyle help you find your next dream home or vacation oasis.

Steve Sulkey

Elective Instructor

Steve is a practicing homeowner manager with a NC RE Broker license. He holds three Community Association Institute designations: Certified Manager of Community Association, Association Management Specialist, and Professional Community Association Manager. In addition to designations, Steve has taught several Community Association Management classes to new managers as well as experienced community managers and serves on the National Faculty of Community Association Institute.

Steve has been managing associations in southeastern NC since 1999 and holds a degree in Horticulture from SUNY College of Technology, Alfred, NY and a BA in Philosophy from St. Alphonsus.

Mike Brennan, GRI

Post-Licensing Instructor

While serving as the Fort Bragg Education Services Officer in May 2014, Mike earned his North Carolina real estate license.  He first purchased, remodeled, and sold houses under the mentorship of a local builder until he retired as a Department of Army Civilian in December 2016.  He subsequently spent 16 months learning the long-term rental property business as the property manager for 150 units at Realtylink in Fayetteville.   He has been a broker since June 2018 and works at Coldwell Banker, Sea Coast Advantage, Oak Island as a Buyer and Seller agent.

Mike has four college degrees in the helping profession including AAS Instructor Technology, BS Psychology, MED Counselor Education, and PHD Adult Education.  He considers instructor preparation and competency vital to the learning environment and is excited to assist students with achieving their learning goals.