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Our Mission

The purpose of the corporation of the Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is: to develop, encourage, and promote public awareness of the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport; to serve as a philanthropic organization for the support of the resources, programs and facilities of the NCMM at Southport; to render assistance as requested by the Museum; and, to acquire, hold, sell, convey, dispose, and administer real and personal estate and do any all things in furtherance of these purposes as permitted under Chapter 55A of the General Statutes of North Carolina. 

Tom Hale, Chairman of the Board

Tom and his wife, Marybeth, moved to Southport in 2018. He joined the Friends’ Board of Directors in 2019. Tom served thirty years as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard in operational, training and education, international affairs, planning, and staff positions. A career cutterman (ship driver), he served in the Pacific, the Great Lakes, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean in a wide variety of operational billets. Upon retirement from the Coast Guard in 2012, Tom joined the U.S. Department of State and served as the Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Security Assistance in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Tom and Marybeth are blessed to have two children, a son-in-law, a
daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Wayne Berry, Treasurer

Wayne Berry, a Certified Public Accountant, opened  his accounting practice in Southport in 1973.  He and his wife,  Jill  are active in the community through his business, various service organization and the Chamber of Commerce.  Wayne  has been involved with the Museum since its inception and has served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer since 2009.

Kim Cobb
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I am a proud graduate of Wake Forest University and am passionate in cheering on the Deacs! I was a human resources manager for the NC Division of Medicaid for 7 years. After a 6 year work sabbatical to focus on raising a young family, I returned to teaching kindergarten. I retired in June of 2020. Along with two perfect sons, Elliott and Alec, we have two beautiful daughters by choice, Nancy and Parker. This past May, Jim and I become the proud grandparents of our pride and joy, Stuart Thomas. Let me not forget our beloved fur babies; Natty, Forrest, and Charlie.

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as a Board Member for the NC Maritime Museum. This position allows me to support an entity that provides adolescent and adult education that focuses on the history and maritime riches of Southport. I truly believe that this museum is a one of the “Jewels of Southport”, and it is a privilege to offer my time and talents to help it thrive in this beautiful town that I call home.

Mary Carneiro

 I am NY/CT transplant who relocated to Southport in2014. I specialize in helping others discover and fall in love with our coastal living lifestyle as a Broker at Southport Realty since 2015. When I share with my clients how we first found Southport, I start my long extensive list of everything I wanted in my new hometown as part of the story. The little part I often leave out was the biggest deciding factor, the Southport Maritime Museum. On our very first trip to consider Southport Being our new home, after the Southport Realty office of course,was visiting this museum. So yes, my love of history directed me to this place we consider now home. This passion for Southport history I share with my clients, history buffs or not. When meeting wide-eyed tourists in town looking for direction, the first place I send them is our Museums. This  is the lifeblood of our community, linking our pasts to our present. We are finding our area becoming increasingly a destination for transplants. What better way to set roots than to fertilize our minds with the local history. My background is varied but also been on a consistent path leading to this point in time. Decades of experience in the corporate telecom industry as a Computer Programmer. Twenty plus years raising a family small suburban town that prospered by a strong volunteer base made me appreciate that it always takes a village.  That combination of experience prepared me to serve ten years as the Program Coordinator of our Community Senior Center .One of the premier centers in all of Connecticut. What my job was then, and is still today in real estate, is helping folks see where they best fit in. My job is informing them, listening to them, and being that central source to guide them in fulfilling their goals. What resources can enrich their lives and help them become more fulfilled? It’s what I do best; a conduit, a work horse, a coordinator, a problem solver, and a volunteer. 

John F. "Jack" Collins

Jack and wife, Kathy, have lived in Southport/St James for eight years. Jack arrived from Maryland, after retirement from Lockheed Martin with thirty-five years as senior program manager on Defense and Intelligence contracts. Jack graduated from the University of Maryland and continued with graduate studies in Operations Research at the American University and George Washington University. As well as volunteering with Maritime Museum on facilities projects, Jack has worked construction with Habitat for Humanity for five years and is currently on the Brunswick County team for Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM). As time permits, Jack explores woodworking.  Jack and Kathy have three daughters and four grandchildren living in Maryland, California and South Carolina. They enjoy traveling to see them and watching them grow.

Bill Howell
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Bill has sailed over 60,000 nautical miles, circling the globe twice with his wife Laura. Their first circumnavigation was in their engineless 28’ Columbia 8.7 and their engineless SS36 they built in Australia. They lived and worked in Australia for four years and South Africa for four years. Our second three-year circumnavigation was on our 62’ Deerfoot sailboat, with our two pre-teen sons.


Bill’s professional life was centered on technology. Bill was the VP and General Manager of the Events Group for The Washington Post for ten years. He also worked for Microsoft, HP and CSC providing technology services for the federal government.  


Bill and his wife Laura had their home in Southport built in 2014. They moved from Northern Virginia full time to Southport in 2017. 

Donnie Joyner, Secretary

Donnie Joyner was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and attended Brunswick County High School. He later attended Cape Fear Community College and earned a degree in Drafting and Design Technology which lead to a career as Piping Designer in the Nuclear Power, Marine and Petro Chemical industry for more than 20 years.  He later spent nine years at The Home Depot as Lumber and Millwork Specialist.


Mr. Joyner is the Recording Secretary and member of the executive committee of the Friends of the Maritime Museum.  He is also a Member of Mt. Carmel AME Church Usher & Trustee Board, Southport Planning Board, Founder of Smithville Township / Southport Black History The Real Story aka Brunswick County Black History Symposium (annual black history event held in Southport).


He is married to Theresa Qualls of Washington, DC.  They are the proud parents of one daughter (Rhonda).  Mr.  Joyner is a member of Mt. Carmel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Southport, NC, serving as a member of the Trustee Board.  While not involved with his many volunteer organizations, Mr. Joyner enjoys genealogy and photography.

Kevin Locklin
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Kevin has been a practicing trial attorney since graduating from George Mason University in 1981. As a partner in the law firm of Locklin and Coleman, Kevin was involved in a number of landmark decisions with the Virginia Supreme Court and has worked to maintain a reputation among professionals and clients as a high caliber attorney and involved, attentive advocate for clients ultimately leading to his induction in the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.


Kevin has always been committed not only to the legal profession, but to his community, and was a board member, and, or acting president for several civic organizations including the Jaycees, and the Historic Manassas Inc. organization dedicated to revitalization of historic Manassas, a city that was chartered in 1873.


Since retiring, Kevin (along with his wife, Mary) has enjoyed many of the resources in Southport including the maritime museum. Kevin has had a passion for all things related to boating for many years and considers the maritime museum an important resource for those within the community and beyond.

Mary Locklin

Mary Locklin and her husband, Kevin discovered Southport while boating. Having boated for several years, Mary and Kevin decided to travel the Intercoastal Waterway. Most of the trip was taken during lovely weather; however, one weekend found them ducking into the marina at Southport just as black storm clouds rolled in. Southport was not on the original itinerary for this trip, but destiny prevailed.

Kevin and Mary remained in Southport for several days, and discovered many precious resources, including the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport. Love of boating and water drew Kevin and Mary to the museum and their appreciation for the incredible resource the museum is, drove them to become lifetime members. When Mary was asked to further support the museum by becoming a board member, it was an immediate and enthusiastic, “yes” in response. 


In addition to boating, Mary is an avid reader and a runner who enjoys participating in road races.

Christy McKeithan
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Christy McKeithan is a Southport native who has lived in Southport/Oak Island her entire life.  She is married to James (Cliff) McKeithan and has one daughter, Savannah.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Wingate University and a Master of Business Administration from University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Christy has family ties in the Southport fishing community dating back decades.  Her grandfather, Jake Stidham, owned J&A Seafood in Southport, established in the late 1950s and ran his own shrimp boat, the Eva K out of the Southport boat harbor.  The seafood market was taken over by her parents in the early 1980s and Christy worked there through high school and college. Her aunt and uncle, Bill and Linda Stidham, also owned a shrimp boat and seafood market in Southport.

Christy is currently employed at PPD, a Division of Thermo Fisher Scientific as a Director of Project Management.  She has been with PPD for over 17 years and works on Hematology and Oncology clinical trials.  Outside of work, Christy loves to travel, read, go fishing and ride horses.  She and her family volunteer regularly to support events and activities at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Southport and Christy serves on the Fundraising committee. Christy held former volunteer roles as a Girl Scout leader and Sunday School teacher.

Claire McNaught

I am a proud Demon Deacon from Wake Forest University.  There I pursued what are still my passions, history and political science.  As an attorney my  principal area of practice was representing and advising law enforcement officers and fire personnel.  In retirement I volunteer for the NC Maritime Museum of Southport, Lower Cape Fear Life Care ( hospice services as a pet therapy handler) and the Southport Historical Society.

Tammy Newton, Vice Chairman

I have been a supporter of the NC and VA Maritime Museums for 40+ years.  My daughters frequented the NC Maritime Museum of Beaufort regularly, participating in their education programs and summer camps.  Our family attended many events and exhibits at the Mariner’s Museum and Park, Newport News, VA.  


I relocated to Southport in 2020 after retiring from 32 years of federal service.  One of my first actions upon relocation was to become a lifetime member of the NC Maritime Museum at Southport and a volunteer.  I am passionate about what the Museum brings to the Southport community and have witnessed first hand the value of the education programs and fund raising efforts of the Board and Museum staff.

Royce Potter
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As a 5 th generation waterman, my roots in the lower cape fear region stretch back to the 1800’s. Southport, and its maritime history, are near and dear to my heart. The Museum wonderfully illustrates the important role that the maritime industry has played in Southport, and the important role that Southport has played in the maritime world.

The Museum has done so much for this community, our heritage, and for me. I have always been glad to help and support the Museum in any way possible.

Lora Sharkey

Lora Sharkey volunteered with the Maritime Museum in Southport before joining the Board of Directors in 2022. She is currently serving as the FOM membership and publicity committee chairperson.  Lora values the Museum because it highlights the ongoing relationship between people and the Cape Fear River for work, food and entertainment.  Lora and her husband have lived in Southport since 2014.  They are both involved with various nonprofit organizations in addition to the Maritime Museum in Southport.

Wayne Strickland

Wayne was a charter member of the Southport Maritime Museum, Inc., a 501C3 not for profit. He served on the Board of Directors since it’s inception in 1989. He was Vice-Chm. 1989-92, and Chairman 1992 until the Museum’s conversion to a State facility in 2000. He constructed all exhibits for The Southport Maritime Museum at its original location on  N Howe Street, supervised and assisted with Museum Library and Classroom construction and performed all maintenance for the museum facilities.

He helped supervise the design and remodel of two duplex apartments on the City of Southport’s historic Ft. Johnston. This became the home to the NC Maritime Museum at Southport in 2011. In 2015 he helped to expand the Museum, doubling the footprint of the Museum facility with bathrooms, office space, storage space, and conference room.


Wayne is the Co-Owner and Operator of "Scuba South Diving Company" (Underwater Salvage, Boat and Ship Inspections, Launch Service, and Scuba Charters.) His 25 foot C-Hawk "Scuba South III” is rigged for search and diving.


Wayne and Mary  married in 1980 and have one married son with three grand-children and one great-granddaughter. He is a Lifetime Member of the "National Association Underwater Instructors" and a Southport resident since 1975.

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