Board of Directors
Jim Bailey grew up in Raleigh and attended Woodberry Forrest School. He then went on to graduate from Duke University. He and his wife own the Anchorage Morina in Atlantic Beach where they also have a residence. He has been involved as both the developer and owner of Commercial and Residential Real Estate for more than 30 years. He serves on the Boards of a number of local charities. He also served two terms on the Atlantic Town Board. He is on active pilot as well as boater.
A Burlington, N.C. native, Steve Blanchard attended Western Alamance High School. He now resides in Sunset Beach, N.C. He retired as Business Development Manager from WIX Filtration / NAPA Filters ofter 38 years in 2015. He served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division from 1969-1975 and is a USCG Licensed Captain and a Commercial Fisherman. Steve's previous experience with the tournament was as a sponsor for many years and he was elected to the B&GC Billfish Classic Board of Directors in 2017.
Chris has been with our Tournament since 2004! He is a USCG 1 Licensed Captain, received his B.A. from UNC Charlotte. He has 10+ years' experience in charter fishing and is currently operating 2 restaurants in Brunswick County, N.C. He is also a contributor to Carolina Sportsman, Sport Fishing Magazine, and several local newspapers. Chris is a staff writer for www.kingfishcup.com. We are so excited to have him continue 1 with us!
Another long-standing board member, Fred Cory truly believes in giving back to the Boys & Girls Clubs of The Coastal Plain. He is an avid angler and a wonderful craftsman in wood. He has donated many of his creations to the Silent Auction. Fred has been with Cisco Systems for 20 years as a systems engineer. Before that, he was with 1st Union for 5 years as a network consultant. Fred has been involved with the BOD of the B&GC Billfish Tournament since 2010 and has been offshore fishing since 1995. He has made Morehead City, N.C. his home port since 2007.
Scott is a native of Clemmons, N.C. where he grew up with 4 sisters and 1 brother. In his teen years, he began offshore fishing and quickly developed a passion for it. He has fished many of the NC Governor's Cup events over the past few years. He attended Carteret Community College and finished his degree at Appalachian State. He has worked in banking since 2002 with several banks and now with Sound Bank in Morehead City. He became a member of the Afterhours Rotary Club in 2012. Afterhours Rotary has been very active with the Boys & Girls Club over the years and annually volunteers for fundraising events. Scott has served with many local non-profits and boards during his career and understands the importance of giving back to the community.
Wade Fickling grew up in Greenville, N.C. and has been offshore fishing since he was old enough to ride along with his dad. He worked as a charter boat mate in Morehead City, Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean for twelve years. Currently, he is the captain of "The General" on the Morehead City waterfront. He has participated in the Billfish Classic since its beginning as both mate and captain. His family consists of his wife Beth, and their two children, Gray and Thomas, who both attend Carteret County schools.
Born and raised in Colorado, Donna found her way to the Crystal Coast 29 years ago and has never left. She managed Etc., a high-end ladies' clothing store for 18 years. She was a caregiver for her in-laws for the last 6 years of their lives. She was the director of Big Rock Blue Marlin KWLA Tournament for 3 years and is currently Media and Marketing Director for Al Williams Properties in Atlantic Beach.
Scott joined the Board of Directors of Boys & Girls Club of Coastal Carolina in 2015, a year after moving to Morehead City. He was very involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nosh/Edgecombe Counties serving on the BOD for over 10 years and as Chief Volunteer Officer for nearly 6 years, Finance Choir, and other leadership roles during his tenure. His passion for youth is demonstrated further in being a mentor with middle school youth and as an active board member for Communities In Schools for 18 years. He is currently with Select Bank where he serves as the bank's Director of Government Lending which includes SBA and USDA government lending programs.
Jason Skladan joined the Board of Directors in Spring 2020. He attended the University of Tennessee, graduating with a degree in Psychology. He now resides in New Bern, N.C. with his wife, LeeAnn, and son, Ryan. His daughter, Abbie, is a student at Elon University. He is an avid offshore fisherman and has been a participant and sponsor of the Billfish Classic for the past four years. Jason started his career in information technology as a global manager for Computer Sciences Corporation. Most recently, he spent the last ten years owning and operating a retail sporting goods store that served the eastern part of North Carolina.
Allison Struyk was born and raised in Carteret County, where she started fishing with her father on her family's boat, "C-Oats." Allison received degrees from in Recreational Therapy and Interior Design from Carteret Community College, as well as a degree in Business and Organizational Behavior from Mount Olive University. Allison worked for the Department of Defense for nine years as a program analyst and now works as a civilian data analyst at Cherry Point. Allison and her family have been fishing in the Governor's Cup tournaments since 2008 on their boat, "Piracy."
Karen Willis and her husband ore the owners of Willis Insurance Agencies in Beaufort and Morehead City. They have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. Karen has been an advocate for Boys & Girls Club since the opening of the first club in Beaufort 20 years ago. She's served as Board Choir of the Boys & Girls Club of Coastal Carolina several terms and currently serves as secretary of the Boys & Girls Club of the Coastal Plain. She has been the volunteer and event coordinator for the tournament for over 10 years. In addition to her work with Boys & Girls Club, she is a lifetime member of the Beaufort Woman's Club who has continued with their support of both the clubs and the tournament since it's opening.
Thomas Wood is a graduate of Concord University with a B.A in Business Administration. He holds a USCG 100-ton Master Captains License and has operated Dancin Outlaw Charters, a full-time charter boot located on the Morehead City waterfront, since 1997. He has first-place finishes in Big Rock, Ducks Unlimited, and Cope Fear Blue Marlin Tournaments, as well as first, second, and third finishes in The Big Rock Tournament release division. He lives on Harkers Island with his wife of 32 years, Vera Wood. He raised two wonderful children, Katie and Frank Wood, who are recent graduates of Appalachian State University and North Carolina State University, respectively.