Our Team

Lee Eatmon


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 sales, 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. He is also a Certified Distance Education Instructor. Approved in NC and SC.

Jack R. Burnish, GRI

Update & Elective Instructor

Post-Licensing 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 Instructor,

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.

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Laurie Ann Gardner

Update & Elective Instructor,

Pre- and 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

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 15 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 and Unlimited Property Solutions, both of Wilmington.

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.

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Kelly Stegall

Update & Elective Instructor

Kelly Stegall is an instructor who combines her love for the industry with her passion for helping others. Establishing a genuine relationship with her students is a priority for Kelly. She takes a dynamic approach in practicing real estate in sales as well.


Kelly has enjoyed a career in education and counseling for over 10 years, and loves transferring her skills into the real estate field.


A long-time Brunswick County resident, she, her husband, and their three children enjoy the beach, baseball and the great weather all year long.

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Kasey Kline

Update Instructor,

Pre - and Post-Licensing Instructor

Kasey is an active broker with Carolina One Properties in Wilmington, NC. She specializes with buyers and helps them to navigate the home buying process with ease and comfort. She fell in love with Wilmington on her honeymoon and made the move to the beautiful area. After a few years of selling homes in New Hanover and Pender counties, Kasey took the leap into becoming an instructor. She has always loved being in a classroom, and it felt like her next step into her real estate career. On her off time you can find her playing video games with her son or playing at the beach. 

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Jessica Vargas Mote

Update & Elective Instructor

Pre - and 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.

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Stephen Sulkey

Elective Instructor

Stephen Sulkey has a degree in floricultural product from the State University of New York at Alfred, NY. He also has a bachelor's degree from St. Alphonsus College in Suffield, CT. 

He is currently on the Wilmington Historic Preservation Commission. Over the years he has taught HOA manager courses sanctioned by the Community Association Institute. He has had a broker license since 1996.

He is married to De and has a daughter Elyse.