H. David Swain
H. David Swain, a developer of commercial income producing properties in North and South Carolina, formed his development company, Swain & Associates, thirty-two years ago. Since that time, Mr. Swain has been active in the development of multi-faceted, income producing properties including shopping centers, office buildings, warehouses, free standing financial institutions and national restaurant chains.
During the early phase of his career, Mr. Swain developed and constructed in excess of 45 apartment complexes. He currently owns 32 of these properties, which consist of approximately 1,800 units.
Since 1981, a division of the company has specialized in the development of retail shopping centers and has developed, constructed or re-developed approximately 50 properties - in excess of 4,000,0000 square feet. Mr. Swain's company, Swain Management, LLC, continues the management and leasing of all shopping centers within the portfolio.
In addition to his commercial development company, Mr. Swain founded and operated a chain of 14 video rental stores from 1989 - 2002. In 2002, the chain was acquired by Movie Gallery, the nation's third largest video retailer.
Mr. Swain is actively involved in the non-profit arena, serving on multiple boards. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and as member of the Board of Directors of the Cameron Business School, Board of Directors of Centura Bank, Executive Advisory Board for the UNCW Board of Visitors and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Visitors. Mr. Swain was one of six area leaders chosen to direct the University of North Carolina at Wilmington's efforts to select its current Chancellor. He actively serves as a member of the International Council of Shopping Center Developers and has been an active member of the North Carolina Apartment Builders, the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and the Committee of 100.
Mr. Swain and his wife have given freely of their time and resources to numerous philanthropic causes including the March of Dimes and the Pink Ribbon Project. They are also benefactors of the Cape Fear Museum.
The son of a schoolteacher, Mr. Swain strongly supports initiatives that facilitate equal and affordable access to higher education. To that end, he and his wife have funded 17 college scholarships for children of New Hanover County civil servants. Additionally, in 2009 Mr. and Mrs. Swain donated $1 million to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Mr. Swain is a licensed real estate broker in the state of North Carolina and the state of South Carolina. He and his wife of 41 years have two children Jason David Swain and Meredith Sterling Swain. Jason, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, works with his father. Meredith, a graduate of Wake Forest University, is pursuing her doctorate of physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine.
After graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002, Jason joined the Swain & Associates team to learn the family business.
"Never give up," Jason says. "That's one of the most important lesson I've learned so far. Our line of work is not easy and more often than not it takes a long time to accomplish our goals. But, if we persistently pursue our goals each day, good things will happen."
Jason puts that philosophy to work as he assists Swain & Associates in developing and leasing properties around the Carolina's. He negotiates leases and works to place retailers in portfolio properties. Jason is also active in property acquisition and spends a great deal of time scouting and analyzing sites and new markets for company clients.
"We've got an unbelievable group of people here," he says. "Everybody on our team is the best in their field. It's exciting to get up and go to work each day with such phenomenally talented friends."
Jason married his high school sweetheart, Katie, after they graduated from UNC Chapel Hill. Today, they live in Wilmington. Jason enjoys spending time with friends, reading, and playing golf, football and basketball when he and Katie are not traveling to watch the UNC athletic teams.
Don FallisProperty Management
Don Fallis is a veteran of Swain & Associates and part owner of Swain Management.
Don has been working closely with David Swain since 1984, and over the years he has performed most every job in the company.
Today, the majority of his time as head of property management is spent overseeing the management of the company’s leasing arm, including financing, accounting and third-party contractors for landscaping, maintenance, parking lot upkeep and work.
A native of Atlanta, Don earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia in 1975. He earned his broker’s license in 1988 and in 1995 his designation as a Certified Shopping Center Manager from the International Council of Shopping Centers.
“As property managers, we do a good job of maintaining properties to a high standard, and we know how to do that within the client’s budget,” Don says. “We pride ourselves on having the experience to do it right. If a customer is looking to work with us, we know what we’re doing, and we can maximize his cash flow.”
Don and his wife, Pam, live in Wilmington, and they have two children: Andrew (who also works for Swain & Associates) and Katherine. Don serves on the board of directors of UNC Wilmington’s Student Aid Association, the Seahawk Club, which raises funds to support athletic scholarships.
Andrew FallisProperty Management
As a student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Andrew traveled the country as head manager of the men's basketball team -- even flying to Sacramento & Nashville as the Hawks competed in the NCAA tournament.
Today, Andrew travels across southeastern North Carolina and South Carolina as part of the Swain & Associates team, identifying properties to manage on behalf of property owners and investors who need experienced help.
Andrew graduated from UNCW in 2004 and worked for two years managing the multiple listing services for a local real estate office before joining Swain & Associates in 2006.
"We have a very professional staff that does an excellent job for our clients who have invested in properties and need an experienced management team," Andrew says. "Our clients trust us to do a great job, and we deliver."
Andrew lives in Wilmington with his wife, Melissa. He enjoys playing guitar, golf and -- not surprisingly -- basketball, which he pursues with the Wilmington Athletic Club.
Claude ArnoldSite Acquisition, Development and Leasing
A magna cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina- Greensboro with a bachelor of science in accounting, Claude has worked in the financial realm of several business sectors. After earning his CPA license, he began his career in the real estate tax division of Arthur Andersen, and has been involved in numerous aspects of real estate and development ever since. After taking a year off to sail the Bahamas following an illness, he and his wife followed their passion to the coast, choosing to reside near Wrightsville Beach, NC.
"Integrity is of utmost importance to me personally and professionally. It is the foundation of one's character and a value I refuse to compromise," he says. "Upon first meeting David Swain, I sensed a man of integrity and he has built a company that exemplifies that value. As such, joining Swain & Associates was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made. The team approach employed at Swain ensures our clients and tenants receive the best of professional services available."
Claude is very involved in the real estate development process, including site selection and acquisition, financial and feasibility analysis, as well as contract and lease negotiations.
Claude and his wife, Odette, have living in Wilmington since 1992 and have one daughter, Maggie. Outside of work, Claude is active in many community and church organizations and enjoys golf, boating, surfing, and spending time with his family.
Alex ThorpeSite Selection and Acquisition
Alex's job is to make it easy for clients to find the best location for their business – at the best price.
"Our success is built on our client's success," Alex says. "If they're not successful, we are not successful. We always ask: ‘How can we make your job easier?’ We help them check all the boxes they need to get the deal done."
Normally working on behalf of a client's real estate representative, Alex scouts locations in North Carolina and South Carolina, canvassing target areas for the 4-5 best locations. Then he'll narrow the list and begin negotiations with targeted landowners to strike the best deal.
A native of Rocky Mount, N.C., Alex earned a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1983. In 1991, he earned a master of business administration from UNC-CH's Kenan-Flagler Business School.
In between, he worked in the export tobacco business for nearly five years. Alex moved to Wilmington in the 1990s to work for Swain.
Alex and his wife, Lee, live in Wrightsville Beach. They have two children: son Sandy, and daughter Emma. In his spare time, Alex enjoys boating along the beautiful North Carolina shore.
Joseph H. "Jay" Stilwell, Jr.Certified Public Accountant/Financial Consultant
Jay attended respected universities to earn degrees in business and accounting. Yet his unrelenting work ethic comes straight from the family farm.
"Being raised on a tobacco farm, you don't go to work at eight o'clock and punch out at five," says Jay, who was reared on a 500-acre farm in Yanceyville, N.C. "You work until you put the last rack in the tobacco barn. The thing about me is, I will work for you until the last rack is in the tobacco barn."
At Swain & Associates, Jay helps lead the residential division and is in charge of the company finances and tax returns. He joined the company in November 2002.
Jay became a Certified Public Accountant in 1996, earning his accounting degree from Averett University in Danville, Va., while working in the Yanceyville accounting firm of N.C. State Sen. Hugh Webster. In 1990, Jay had earned a BA in business from Wake Forest University.
Ronald A. Matamoros provides development consulting services to our company. Mr.Matamoros was the company's general counsel for over twenty years. He retired from the active practice of law at the end of 2007 but maintains an inactive status in the state bar of North Carolina and Georgia. His company, RAM Properties I, LLC provides a wide range of services to our company and a series of other multi-family and resort developers. Mr.Matamoros is a graduate of Emory University's college and law school. He practiced as a partner with the Winston-Salem,NC law firm of Blanco Tackabery & Matamoros for over 30 years.
As an integral part of the Swain legal team, Donna works behind the scenes to get the deal done.
"Once the deal is struck, I'm the organizer, the detail person who helps to make it happen, " says Donna. Donna works with attorneys drafting leases, contracts and other legal documents. She also serves as a project coordinator, ensuring deadlines are met and managing all facets of the due diligence process.
"Swain is a team concept and I love being part of the team. Every day is different and there is always something new to learn. Grow and Learn! That would be my mantra!"
As a licensed real estate agent, Donna has valuable insight into real estate transactions. A native of Columbia, S.C., Donna has been a valued Swain employee since 1993.
Cindy is a great example of the valve of persistence. The native of Jacksonville, N.C., started her college education in the 1970s at East Carolina University, then entered the world of work and started a family.
But she was so interested in the world of accounting, she went back to school. And in 2004, Cindy graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a bachelor of science in business administration, with a concentration in accounting.
"All my life, I've fallen into numbers and accounting," Cindy says. "I really enjoy what I do."
Cindy joined the company in 1993, helping develop the accounting computer system. Today, she's responsible for financial reports to banks, life insurance companies and property owners. She conducts the monthly and annual reports. She also works on billing, collections and taxes. And she pays the vendors.
Best of all, she says, are her coworkers. "We're like a big family here," she says.
Cindy lives in Wilmington with her husband, Chris, and two sons, Stephen and Brian.
Cheri M. McNeilProperty Management
As a property manager, Cheri is all about the upkeep.
She takes care that the exteriors of all Swain & Associates properties are well-maintained: the landscaping, roofs, sidewalks, lighting – all the details that make a good impression. Or as Cheri puts it:
"My job is to make it safe and attractive for people to come to shop and do business with our clients."
A native of Aberdeen, N.C., Cheri earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg. Cheri worked for a property management company in Charlotte for 12 years, then became regional manager for the company in Wilmington. She joined Swain in 1999, and today, she manages more than a dozen properties.
"I just love my job," she says. "Dealing with contractors, meeting with the new tenants – I just enjoy it all."
In her spare time, Cheri is very involved in the community. She delivers Meals on Wheels, serves on the Parks and Recreation Committee of the town of Carolina Beach and is a member of the Board of Director's for the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society. She also is an avid baker and loves reading mysteries.
An assistant in the Accounting Department, Patricia is responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable, tenants' insurance and other important financial matters.
"I'm very dedicated to my job," Patricia says. "I just love it. I make sure things are done in a timely manner – and done right."
Born in Norway, S.C., Patricia worked for 30 years for BellSouth, mostly in Charlotte, N.C., before moving to Carolina Beach. In January 2003, she brought her business sense to Swain & Associates.
Patricia has a son, Alex, and with his wife, Barbara, they have two daughters, Megan and Lauren. In addition, Patricia is the proud owner of a West Highland White Terrier named Winston, after a certain late, great British statesman.
Patricia has a flair for interior decorating, and the neighbors she helps say she has a real eye for color. For several years, Patricia served as treasurer and financial secretary for St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Carolina Beach. And she delivers Meals on Wheels in the Carolina Beach area.
Stacey CohenAdministrative Assistant
A native of Long Island, N.Y., Stacey helped run law firms for 15 years as an office manager and human resources staffer. Ready for a change of scenery, in 2006 she moved to Brunswick County for the warm climate and the friendly Southern lifestyle.
Today, she works as the company's administrative assistant, greeting clients and tenants on the phone and in the office. Stacey makes sure the office runs efficiently. And she helps keep clients and tenants happy.
"I love my job," she says. I enjoy speaking to our clients and tenants. It's a pleasure to assist them in any way I can. These are the nicest people I've ever met in my life."
Stacey, who lives in Leland with her husband Edward, earned a bachelor's degree from Hofstra University and an associate's degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.After college, she worked as a paralegal and also as a real estate agent, and says with a laugh: "I did everything but fashion."
John HoldenConstruction Manager
Construction Coordination Division
John likes a good challenge, whether pursuing his passion for spear fishing or bringing a client's construction project from the drawing board to reality.
"Every single project is a stand-alone challenge," he says. "It's interesting. Sometimes you start by off writing on the back of a napkin with a client over lunch, but it could be two years or longer between the idea and finishing the project. I work closely with our clients every step along the way."
John, who earned a bachelor of science in construction management from the University of Cincinnati's five-year accredited program, has more than 20 years experience in commercial construction.
He leads from the beginning of the process -- from pre-construction planning to project budgeting to general contractor selection to construction coordination to on-site quality control.
"It's our goal to take a client's dream and turn it into a concrete and steel reality that they can make a profit from," John says. "You work hard to deliver our clients a top-notch product that meets their requirements and their budget."
In his spare time, John enjoys kayaking, offshore boating, recreational diving and spear fishing – depending on the season, grouper, flounder or even lobster.