Bridge Officers

Commander Cdr Joan Payne, S

A lifelong Wilmington resident, I embraced my coastal roots by pursuing a Business Management degree at UNCW. After a short time at Travelers Oil Company post-graduation, I spent 15 fulfilling years as a Branch Manager at Bank of America. Transitioning to the pharmaceutical sector, I served as a Country Approval Specialist at PPD (Pharmaceutical Product Development Company) in Wilmington until my retirement in 2019. Now in retirement, I relish family time and indulge my passion for boating. My deep connection to the community is evident in my longstanding membership at Cape Fear Sail & Power Squadron, where I proudly served as Commander in 2010 and am looking forward to taking on the role again in 2024. With over two decades of membership, I have fostered numerous friendships. I also contribute to the community by serving on the board of the Wilmington Executives Club, which is a social organization in the Wilmington area. As the incoming 2024 Commander, my focus remains on promoting safe boating through educational programs and expanding the squadron membership.

Executive Officer Lt/C Jim Kennedy, S

Jim and his wife Nancie moved to Wilmington in December 2021 from the Columbus, Ohio area where they had resided for 35 years. Jim’s background is in social work and information technology. He is serving his first officer position with CFSPS. He has been a member of the Squadron for two years and has become a certified Vessel Examiner. He has taken both the ABC and the Boat Handling courses. When not involved with boating, he plays tennis and coaches for the Special Olympics. Jim would like to focus on encouraging the involvement of every Squadron member, even if it means only one event or activity in the coming year.



Educational Officer Lt/C Ned Rhodes, SN SEO
Ned relocated to the Wilmington area from Northern Virginia a few years ago to get away from all the traffic and to be near the beach. With his wife Arleen and golden retriever Katie, they enjoy cruising on their Sea Ray 410 Express, Impulse, and their 13-foot Boston Whaler. Ned holds a 100-Ton USCG Captain's license and often brags that he has never run aground when anyone else was around (so there is no evidence). He is President of Software Systems Group which develops custom software for corporate clients. He also captains the Wilmington Water Tours boat on the Cape Fear River downtown. 
Administrative Officer Lt/C John Streatfeild

John and his wife Jean joined the Squadron shortly after moving to Leland in late 2022. He has been an active sailor since first renting an 8’ Sabot on Westlake in Southern California in his early 20s. Since then he has owned several sailboats - most recently a Hunter 335 and a Thistle that he sailed and occasionally raced on lakes in Alabama. With the move to the NC coast, he has retired from sailing and acquired an older Boston Whaler Montauk that he is restoring and plans to use for fishing in the local waters. 

Secretary Lt/C Barbara White, AP

Barbara White is originally from Richmond Virginia, where she graduated from the Medical College of Virginia with both Baccalaureate and Master of Science degrees in Nursing. Having held a variety of positions in health care she retired from Arizona State University as Professor Emerita of Nursing and Health Innovation after teaching there for 20+ years. She is now enjoying being around the water after all those years in the desert and has served the squadron as Administrative Officer, Assistant Secretary, and Photographer.

Treasurer Lt/C Gary Church, S


Gary holds a USCG 100-Ton Coast Guard Master’s License and is a 60-year Mariner with experience in sailing and teaching from 14’ wet boats to 51’ sailboats as well as power boats from a 12’ dinghy to a 64’ motor yacht. This includes owning and operating a 25’ fixed keel sailboat on Lake Michigan and a 27’ I/O SeaRay on the Ohio River and the Potomac Rivers. Before moving to Wilmington 2 years ago he spent 5 years as an owner/operator cruising the East Coast (Chesapeake Bay to Key West) Bahamas (Bimini to Turks and Caicos) and Caribbean (Dominion Republic to Grenada) with his wife, Betty, on their 64’ Grand Banks Aleutian Raised Pilothouse Motor Yacht Laa-Dee-Dah. He has taken numerous courses on navigation, weather, and systems maintenance and repair, including diesel engines with several different organizations and venues. He is also an experienced advanced scuba diver and has been diving throughout the world from the US to the Caribbean to the Western Pacific and Galapagos. He is also a 50-year instrument-rated pilot recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Master Pilot. He is an active sports car driver having raced in a few racing series over the last 30 years throughout the US and Canada.






Past Commander P/C Woody Williams, SN-CN

Born and reared in Eden, NC, Elwood earned Bachelor's and Master of Music Degrees as well as the Performers’ Certificate while studying with the famed professor of trombone, Emory Remington, at the Eastman School of Music, a school of the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. Given the nickname, Woody, in college, he did learn to sail on Lake Ontario once the ice melted. After stints teaching at Murray State College in Kentucky and free-lancing in New York, he moved to San Francisco where he was a member of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for ten years, performed with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and taught music at Stanford University for thirteen years. Marrying his wife, Jade, who joined him in San Francisco in 1984, they moved in 1991 to Atlanta, living there for twenty-five years, Jade continuing her career with AT&T then IBM, and Woody operating Williams Music Publishing Co. They joined the Atlanta Sail & Power Squadron (ASPS) after a good friend at Wrightsville Beach, who witnessed a particularly Keystone-Kops-like docking episode with their first boat, gently suggested they “might benefit from some boater education.” Indeed, they did benefit, and Woody began taking classes and getting involved. He completed Coastal BOC, went through the chairs, and became Commander of ASPS in 2015 and achieved the Senior Navigator designation after they moved to Wilmington in 2016 and joined CFSPS. They really enjoyed cruising aboard Escapade, their DeFever 44 offshore cruiser, when they attempted America’s Great Loop which was brought to a halt by the Covid epidemic. But they hope to buy another boat and continue enjoying time on the water. In addition to boating, they enjoy travel, reading, cooking, and many friendships and family visits here in Wilmington.


Elected Assistants

Assist. Treasurer P/Lt/C Steve Thompson, SN

Steve retired from the U.S. Army in 1998 and later from the Department of the Interior where he worked in the information security field. Steve and his wife, Susan, moved to Wilmington in late 2011, both now retired. With a deep love of the water, Steve bought his first boat in 2001 and has been active in boating organizations ever since. You may find him on his boat, Forever Dreamin’. He joined our Squadron in 2012 and is a Certified Instructor and a Senior Navigator. He also was the Squadron's Treasurer. While enjoying their boat, Steve and Susan live by one basic rule: The Captain makes all the important decisions; the First Mate decides which decisions are important!



Assist. Education Officer 1/Lt Meg Morrison, JN

Meg learned to sail at as a teenager at Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake, MI and raced on 470s at the University of Michigan. Throughout her career as an environmental engineer at a consulting firm, she and friends vacationed by bare-boat chartering with sailboats in the Caribbean islands. In 1997 she attended the Chapman School of Seamanship in Stuart, FL and earned her USCG 100-ton Captain license. In 2000 she sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with 4 friends on a 50-foot sloop. She recently bought a 40-foot Endeavor sailboat, Détente, and enjoys sailing out the Masonboro Inlet. Meg is a member of the District 27’s Navigator or “N” club and cherishes the comradery of the Cape Fear Sail & Power Squadron. She was part of the Kids and Boating class at the Wildlife Expo and enjoys coordinating the ABC course. She has participated in many of the Squadron courses and is a Certified Instructor. Meg moved to Wilmington in 2011 to be closer to her parents who retired here in 1992.


Assist. Administrative Officer 1/Lt Jean Streatfeild


Jean grew up in Atlanta and was around boating at an early age. She was introduced to sailing by her husband, John, in Austin, Texas, where they sailed on Lake Travis. They spent their honeymoon on a Catalina 22, along with their dog, in August! They continued to sail on Lake Michigan while living in the Chicago suburbs. When they moved to Alabama, they bought a Hunter 30 from a good friend and moved it to Lake Guntersville from Lake Superior. She was very active and an officer in the sailing club at Lake Guntersville until they sold their sailboat and moved to North Carolina. Since moving, she has enjoyed exploring the ICW with John in their Boston Whaler.

Assist. Secretary 1/Lt Jenifer Conder, S

Commander's Appointments

Flag Lieutenant P/C Juanita Neumeister, AP

Juanita Neumeister, AP, the “First Lady Commander” joined the Squadron in 1997 and served as Commander in 2003. She is now serving as Cdr Joan Payne’s Flag Officer. She has been a member of the Squadron for 26 years and has served the Squadron in many capacities over the years. Among her many achievements, she has won the HQ USPS Past Chief Commander's William D. Selden IV, MIR award for Exceptional Efforts in Promoting Involvement of the Membership in 2007.

Members at Large

1st Member at Large Lt George Brown, S

George learned to sail while attending summer school at the Citadel when he was 16, crewing Lightnings owned by the school. He followed up by purchasing a Chrysler Pirateer sailboat his senior year in college. The Pirateer is not a well-known boat; it is 13’ long with a planning hull and runs a main and jib and could run a spinnaker. The summer after graduation George tried to solo sail the Pirateer, named Eurydice, from Little Washington to Cedar Island. That plan did not pan out when George was caught in a thunderstorm while his daggerboard was snagging a crab pot. Letting go of the tiller and sails George was able to raise the daggerboard and free the boat but decided to head to the nearest land, which turned out to be a small uninhabited island where he spent the night. He awoke the next morning when a Marine Harrier jump jet used the island and his boat as an aiming point for practicing attack maneuvers. The maneuverability of that airplane is quite remarkable and fortunately, it did not fire any munitions. George returned to Little Washington. His sailing career continued with the Pirateer, and he also crewed racing boats on Kerr Lake. Sailboats went away when George moved to DC to attend GW law school in 1978, but were replaced by expedition kayaks, including a tough folding Nautiraid 2-person kayak. The Nautiraid traveled to Alaska in 1993 where he and a friend paddled the 70-mile Savonoski Loop originating at Katmai, a tremendous adventure. At one point they saw 40 brown bears in one hour. George also has done guided kayak tours in Alaska and floated the Salmon River. After a legal career in the private and public sectors in DC, where he played with airplanes along with kayaks, bicycles, and motorcycles, George and his wife Laurie retired in 2021 to Wilmington, his dad’s hometown. At retirement, George purchased a 2015 Glacier Bay 2680 power boat and has enjoyed the challenges of learning how to run and maintain that craft. He has taken several of the Squadron’s training courses and really appreciates Meg giving out the answers before test time!

2nd Member at Large Lt Wendall Lightner, S

Wendell retired from Rutgers University in 2015 as an Area Operations Manager in the mechanical maintenance and planning division of the facilities department. One of his favorite buildings was a decommissioned Coast Guard building on Egg Harbour, bequeathed to the University for marine research. Wendell and Sharon moved to Porters Neck in 2021 and instantly fell in love with the Wilmington area and all its offerings. They enjoy boating on the ICW, shows at the Thalian Theater, and various concert venues. Having recently completed VSC training Wendell is a new Vessel Examiner and looking forward to increasing community awareness of our Squadron’s boating education and safety programs.


3rd Member at Large Lt Chuck Eldridge, S

Chuck and Janis Eldridge moved to Hampstead in 2015 after the sale of their sign company in Philly. Chuck was born in Washington, DC, and cruised, fished, and sailed every Friday-Monday, March to Thanksgiving on the Chesapeake Bay from 1965-1984. He bareboat chartered various sailboats from West Palm to the Bahamas and some similar Caribbean voyages. They have 4 adult children and 2 grandkids. Their Hampstead home is their twelfth home in the last 30 years, so they had to quickly learn to navigate different waters across the country. Chuck passed the Piloting course when basic boating was Piloting in 1972. He is an active VSE Examiner. Chuck acquired his USCG Operator’s License (6-PK) in 2020. He primarily teaches safe boating on the water and fills in time with fishing charters on their 2004 22’ Proline Center Console. Chuck and Janis are both Virginia Tech Alumni. They are highly active Board members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). They co-instructed the Basic Boating course in ‘86-’88 as active members of the Northern Virginia Sail & Power Squadron.

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