Meet the Team

Trusst Builder Group is a tight knit group of builders and brokers who share a common passion. We love helping our clients turn their dream homes into reality, one brick at a time. Our company is built on a solid foundation – a team of professionals who exemplify trust, integrity and craftsmanship in every aspect of our business. We look forward to working with you.

Shawn Horton:
Broker / Owner

Shawn Horton

Shawn Horton typically gets where he is going ahead of everyone else. Whether it’s running track at UNCW, launching a career in real estate before college graduation or becoming the owner of a successful building company at the young age of 25.

Horton grew up in Pittsboro, NC as the oldest of three siblings, and was a natural leader from an early age. He moved to Wilmington in 1996 to attend UNC Wilmington, where he interned at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and entertained a career in motor sports marketing. Instead, he took a job stuffing envelopes at Coldwell Banker Seacoast Advantage for the Cynthia Strickland sales team.

Within three years, he was a standout Broker at Coldwell Banker and in 2003 was recruited to head up sales at Premier Homes and Hearthside Builders, two home building and development companies active in New Hanover and Brunswick counties. Within a year, he bought Premier Homes with Construction Manager Keith Keller and in 2009, they changed the name to Trusst Builders.

Shawn’s success is defined by three characteristics: character, integrity and joy. He is unwavering in his commitment to provide homeowners a quality home at a great value -- and he enjoys every moment of the process. His creativity and design aesthetic is evident in every Trusst home, from the unique floor plan to the attention to detail in quality and finishes.

Shawn is a 2000 graduate of UNCW’s Cameron School of Business with a BS in Economics. He is active with Port City Community Church and when he is not working, he enjoys a weekly game of beach volleyball, weekends in the NC mountains and family time with his wife Sarah, their young son Sam, and infant daughter Caris.

Ray Caffee:
Broker / Sales

Ray Caffee

Ray Caffee is right at home on a baseball diamond. It’s where he’s spent a good part of his youth as a standout at North Brunswick High School and Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. And it’s where he learned the power of teamwork and competition -- two traits that continue to define his success today as a New Homes Specialist and Broker at Trusst Builder Group.


A native of Wilmington, NC, Ray has an insider’s knowledge and curiosity of the Cape Fear region. He watched with fascination as his hometown changed and grew during the development boom and along the way he developed a passion for real estate – particularly home construction and development.


Since 2001, he has followed that passion, first as a Broker for a series of luxury developments in southern Brunswick County, and more recently as a Broker for Brunswick Forest in Leland, NC. Ray joined Brunswick Forest in April 2007 and played an integral role in the neighborhood’s growth into one of the leading golf course communities in North Carolina. Ray joined Trusst Builder Group in May 2012, where he is responsible for new homes sales in Brunswick Forest and Trusst’s House Calls program.


Ray graduated from Campbell University in 2001 with a degree in Trust and Investment Management and a minor in Financial Planning. Ray and his wife Brittany live in a Trusst Builder Group built home in the Westport neighborhood with their sons Beckett and Wyatt. When he’s not working, you can find him on the softball field or relaxing with his family at the beach.

Lisa Hadgraft:
Broker / Sales

Lisa Hadgraft

Lisa Hadgraft is Trusst’s on-site salesperson for The Forks at Barclay and she couldn’t be happier. According to Hadgraft, The Forks exemplifies the well-known adage of “location, location, location” better than any new home community she’s ever represented. This is high praise for a veteran real estate broker with more than 19 years experience working on a wide variety of communities throughout southeastern North Carolina.

The Forks is ideally located in Midtown and easily accessible to all that Wilmington has to offer, including historic downtown Wilmington, UNCW and area beaches. Parks, culture, entertainment, schools, shops and recreation are all within easy reach and many are within walking distance, such as the Cameron Art Museum, Halyburton Park, the Gary Shell Cross City Trail and the Pointe at Barclay.

Lisa joined Trusst Builder Group in October 2013 to manage all new home sales at Compass Pointe, a resort community just south of Wilmington on Highway 74/76. She transferred to The Forks community upon it's opening in 2015

A native of Long Island, NY, Lisa moved to Wilmington in 1995. She has worked with a variety of builders and developers in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, primarily in new home sales. She says that Trusst is unique from many other builders in the quality and value they bring to each of their homes.


Lisa and her husband Roger have two children, Randy and Nicole. When she isn’t working, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family on the water or supporting one of the various ministries sponsored by her church.

Scott Cowan:
Broker / Sales

Scott Cowan

Scott Cowan is a natural born salesman. Just ask his family. He loved Wilmington so much when he first came here in 2003 to attend UNCW that he ultimately sold both his parents and brother on moving here. Today he puts that passion and easygoing charm to work each day as a Broker and New Home Sales Specialist at Trusst Builder Group.

A native of High Point, NC, Scott studied Criminal Justice at UNCW and earned his BA in 2007. Following graduation, he worked in the local hospitality industry for two premier hotels and resorts. Here, he honed his customer service skills and worked closely with guests to ensure their experience exceeded their expectations each and every visit. Scott says he wants to do the same at Trusst Builder Group – consistently exceed homebuyers expectations while guiding them to their dream home.

When he’s not working, Scott can typically be found on or near a body of water with his Labrador Retriever Ella. Scott is also an avid sportsman with a competitive spirit. He enjoys hockey, tennis, volleyball and just about sport that requires scorekeeping. 

Jacob Marks:
Broker / Sales

Jacob Marks

Jacob Marks spent four years at UNCW studying criminal justice and sociology with intentions of becoming a US Marshal. But fate – and his wife Amanda – led him down a different path into real estate sales. And although he doesn’t have to chase down wanted criminals on a regular basis, Marks is particularly adept at chasing down leads and helping clients dodge the slings and arrows of an ever-changing real estate market.

Marks joined Trusst Builder Group in August 2014 to manage all new home sales at Waterford, a premier residential community in Leland. Prior to joining Trusst, Marks worked for more than 10 years in new homes sales at several luxury developments in Holden Beach, Linville Falls, Asheville, Lake Kiawah and Greenville, SC.

Joining Trusst Builder Group was an easy decision, as Marks knows first hand what a quality builder Trusst is. Trusst built his first home in Westport in 2005 and he was so impressed with the quality and attention to detail that he recommended Trusst to his parents, who hired them to build their own home in Brunswick Forest.

When not working, Jacob enjoys hunting and fishing, but you’ll typically find him spending as much time as possible with his wife Amanda and their daughters Ellison and Kaylee. 

Lisa Smiraldi:
Broker / Sales

Lisa Smiraldi

Dale Carnegie may have written the book, but Lisa Smiraldi knows how to win friends and influence people at least as well as the author. And she doesn’t need any pointers – her talents come naturally. Lisa’s outgoing personality and zest for life make her the perfect candidate for New Home Sales for Trusst Builder Group’s Hearthstone neighborhood.

In 2012, Lisa and her husband Tony were tired of New Jersey’s weather and sky-high property taxes, so they went looking for a better lifestyle. What they found was Compass Pointe in Leland. Enamored with the neighborhood on their first visit, Lisa and Tony immediately purchased a home site and began planning their dream home. Then she began telling her New Jersey neighbors about Compass Pointe, and within weeks, she had nine old neighbors as new neighbors. Turns out that Lisa Smiraldi is quite good at selling real estate! 

A massage therapist for 24 years, Lisa decided that a change in address was an excellent opportunity for a change in careers as well. She enrolled in real estate school, aced the exam with a resounding score of 98 and joined forces with the #1 real estate company in southeastern North Carolina – Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. During her first three months as an agent, Lisa sold $1.3 million worth of residential real estate. And she hasn’t looked back since.

An avid animal lover, Lisa is the proud owner of two Chihuahuas, a Pomeranian and thanks to her 19-year-old daughter Jessica, two sugar gliders. Sugar gliders are affectionate little marsupials from southeast Asia akin to a flying squirrel and chipmunk. Lisa also loves to cook, entertain, and when time allows, ride Harleys through the NC mountains with her husband Tony.

Jennifer Molan:
Office Manager/Design Ass't

Jennifer Molan

For Jen Molan, working in real estate is much more than a job. It’s a passion. Since 1995, Jen has worked in the residential real estate industry in a variety of capacities, from mortgages and home closings to property management and home design. And through each phase of her career, she has never tired of witnessing the joy that purchasing a new home brings to her clients and their families.

A New Yorker by birth, Jen grew up in New Jersey and it’s here she began her real estate career at Parkway Mortgage in 1995. She then moved into real estate law, working for closing attorneys as a legal secretary and paralegal. In 2008, she caught the entrepreneurial bug and launched a vacation rental property management firm in Wildwood, NJ, a popular destination on the Jersey shore.

Eventually, the lure of new opportunities and a warmer climate drew her and her fiancé Matt to Wilmington, NC. Here, she worked for several years as a New Home Consultant at Schumacher Homes and assisted buyers with sales, design selections and floor plan modifications. In 2016, Jen joined Trusst Builder Group as Office Manager/Design Assistant. A natural multi-tasker, Jen keeps the office humming while helping buyers select the perfect finishes for their new Trusst home.

Jen is a graduate of Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ with an Associates’ Degree in Liberal Arts. When not working, you will likely find Jen practicing yoga, volunteering at any number of animal charities in Brunswick County, cruising with Matt on the Intracoastal or enjoying some quality down time with her dog Pacino and their three cats.

Kristi Fisher:
Design Coordinator

Kristi Fisher

From an early age, Kristi Fisher, Allied ASID, exhibited an independent spirit and a passion for color, texture and natural elements. She attributes it to growing up on 15 acres in a rural community just outside of Greensboro, NC. Here she created her own adventures through creativity and imagination. These skills continue to serve her well today as Trusst Builder Group’s Design Coordinator.

In this position, Fisher assists homeowners with design selections for their new home, from flooring and wallpaper, to tile, lighting, hardware and fixtures. Fisher oversees all aspects of Trusst Builder Group’s Design Center, an expansive showroom that allows homeowners to design and tailor their new homes to best suit their tastes and needs.

Kristi has extensive experience in interior design, fashion and luxury goods. Prior to joining Trusst Builder Group, Fisher worked as a buyer at Reeds Jewelers; a marketing specialist and interior designer at McKenzie Baker Interiors of Wilmington; and an account services analyst for Ralph Lauren in Greensboro. She is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro with a degree in Textile Products Merchandising and Marketing. 

When she isn’t working, you can find Kristi scouring flea markets in search of the perfect accessory for her latest decorating project, boating and fishing with family and friends or relaxing to music with Ballyhoo, her beloved Yorkie. 

Sandy Wood:
Managing Partner

Sandy Wood

From city planner to banker, to builder and developer, Sandy Wood has enjoyed a varied and successful career. A native of Sanford, NC, Sandy relocated to Wilmington to study at UNCW. Shortly after graduation, Sandy decided to make this coastal community his home.

Sandy began his career as a planner with the City of Wilmington, and while in this position, he launched the Small Business Administration’s 504 business loan program through a joint venture with Wilmington Business Development (WBD). It became one of the most active lending programs in the United States and is still an integral part of WBD today. In the mid 1980s, Sandy was appointed Vice President of BB&T in its Wilmington office and a few years later, left to join Landmark, the largest development and residential construction firm in southeastern North Carolina.

By 1992, Sandy was ready to be his own boss and created Hearthside Builders & Developers. Since then, he has developed 15 residential communities in southeastern NC and one in the North Carolina mountains.  In 2012, Sandy teamed with Shawn Horton of Trusst Builders to create Trusst Builder Group. Together, Trusst and Hearthside have built more than 2,000 homes in New Hanover and Brunswick counties and a majority of the homes in Brunswick Forest.

Sandy is active in many civic and business organizations, including the Cape Fear Council of the Boy Scouts, Wilmington Business Development and the NC Home Builders Association. 

A resident of Wilmington, Sandy is married to his wife Missy and has three children, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Mary, and three grandchildren, Sam, Lucas and Caris.

Joy Gurley:
General Manager

Joy Gurley

Joy Gurley loves to play the piano. She’s been playing since age 8 and each Sunday, she drives an hour and half to her hometown of Kenansville, NC to play the piano at her hometown church of Wesley Chapel United Methodist. She’s filling in “temporarily” until they find a new pianist.

Joy brings this same type of commitment and generosity to her position as General Manager at Trusst Builder Group. She joined Trusst in 1992 to handle bookkeeping and her role has evolved considerably over the years. Today, she has an ownership interest in Trusst Builder Group, and as General Manager, she oversees operations and ensures all aspects of the business are running smoothly and efficiently.

Joy moved to Wilmington in 1985 as a transfer student to UNCW from Mt. Olive College in Kenansville. She graduated in 1988 with a BS in Business Management. Joy lives in Wilmington with her husband Scott and their daughter Jordan.

Steve Hamalainen:
Director of Operations

Steve Hamalainen

Steve Hamalainen first got the building bug as a young boy, and it’s defined him ever since. From fine furniture to homes to a hand-crafted sailboat, Steve has built them all. It’s this meticulous attention to detail and eye for fine craftsmanship that make Steve the ideal candidate for Trusst Builder Group’s Director of Operations.

In this position, Hamalainen oversees construction of all new homes, including budgeting, scheduling, hiring, and construction supervision. Prior to joining Trusst in September 2013, Hamalainen spent 26 years as a construction manager with the Raleigh office of K. Hovnanian, one of the nation’s leading builders.

Wilmington is not entirely new to Steve, as he spent his teenage years here and graduated from New Hanover High School. And although it took him a few years, he’s been looking for an opportunity to return ever since.

Hamalainen is a licensed General Contractor and graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Botany. In his free time, he builds furniture for family and friends and enjoys sailing the 14’ skiff he crafted himself. Hamalainen is married and has four children and one grandchild.

Ben Clark:
Area Production Manager

Ben Clark

Rugby is not for the faint of heart. Just ask Ben Clark. A rugby player at the College of Charleston, Ben honed his perseverance and endurance skills – and most importantly, an ability to stay calm under pressure – to win the day. These same characteristics that made Ben a great rugby player have also served him well in the construction industry. 

Ben is Area Production Manager for Trusst Builder Group. In this position, he manages all of Trusst’s construction managers and has ultimate responsibility for all construction-related processes in the field. And with more than 80 Trusst homes under construction at any given time, Ben’s ability to stay cool under pressure ensures that owners’ homes are consistently delivered on time, on budget and to their exact specifications.

Ben is a native of Wilmington, NC and 2003 graduate of the College of Charleston with a degree in International Business and Spanish. Although his original vision was to live and work abroad, he says he has no regrets about his “accidental” detour into the construction industry. While studying for the LSATs and considering law school, he went to work for a custom home builder, obtained his General Contractor’s license at 24 and launched his own boutique construction firm specializing in high end remodeling and new construction. A few years later, he learned the production side of the home-building industry by working with several national and regional builders. Ben joined Trusst Builder Group in April 2016 and is proud to be a part of a company that has such a great reputation for building high value, high quality homes.

When he is not working, Ben and his wife Anna can often be found somewhere on the water, near the water or in the water with their two daughters Carson and Davis Laine.










Michael Keller:
Construction Admin.

Michael Keller

Although some believe it’s easier to ask forgiveness than seek permission, Michael Keller lives and works by a different philosophy. Michael is an expert at seeking permission, as he is responsible for securing all of the permits required for the construction of each Trusst Builder Group home.

Michael works closely with city and county administrators as well as representatives of water, sewer and electric utilities to navigate the permitting process quickly and professionally. He also works with Homeowners Associations and Architectural Review Committees to ensure that each Trusst home is in compliance with all neighborhood covenants.

Michael joined Trusst Builder Group in January 2010 after earning a certificate in Auto CAD from Cape Fear Community College. And although he grew up around the business as the son of company co-founder Keith Keller, Michael didn’t anticipate going into the building industry. But he’s glad he did, as he enjoys the work and particularly enjoys working with his father.

Michael is a native of Wilmington and a student at Cape Fear Community College, where he is working on a degree in business administration.

Alan Brock:
Construction Manager

Alan Brock

Alan Brock has always been an avid reader, but little did he know the written word would have such a profound impact on his life. In 1995, his wife read an article touting Wilmington as one of the nation’s top 50 communities to raise a family. So he packed up his family and tools and left his native Long Island to become part of the Cape Fear building boom.

Soon after arriving in the Port City, Alan read an article about Sandy Wood’s building company and approached him about a job. Sandy immediately hired him and Alan has been a valued member of Trusst Builder Group ever since.

Alan is a 30-year veteran of the building industry and has seen many changes throughout the years. But one thing has never waivered – his commitment to building top quality homes for Trusst Builder Group. As construction manager, Alan manages the entire construction process of a Trusst home, from start to finish. And the best part of his job? Having satisfied customers enjoy their new homes.

Alan is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego with a degree in anthropology. He and his wife Amy live in Leland in a Trusst home he customized to meet their needs. When he’s not working, Alan likes to hunt, fish, ride motorcycles and spend time with his two daughters and granddaughter.

Bill Moe:
Construction Manager

Bill Moe

At age 30, Bill Moe was ready for a change from Connecticut winters. So he and his wife took out their map, selected Wilmington, packed the car and never looked back. That was 1991.

Today, Bill Moe is a construction manager with Trusst Builder Group. In this position, Moe oversees all aspects of home construction, from empty lot to delivery to the homeowner. He’s on-site everyday to manage construction, scheduling, budgeting and quality control.

Moe has worked in residential design and construction since age 18, doing everything from retail cashier and flooring store manager, to independent flooring contractor installing hardwood, carpet and tile. In each position, Moe was highly regarded for his work ethic, management skills and attention to detail – the same characteristics that define Moe’s work today at Trusst Builder Group. 

Moe joined Trusst in 2003 as a foreman. Today he is one of six construction managers overseeing construction of homes throughout Brunswick County. Although Moe enjoys the frenetic pace of his superintendent’s position, he insists the best part of the job is seeing the delight on homeowners’ faces when they receive the keys to their new Trusst home. 

When he’s not building homes, Moe enjoys relaxing with his wife and family and playing the occasional round of golf. And according to Moe, even if he wins the lottery, you’ll still find him working at Trusst Builder Group (but maybe not so many hours.)

Bobby Edmonds:
Construction Manager

Bobby Edmonds

Bobby Edmonds is a man in constant motion. Whether it’s framing houses or playing flag football, he’s rarely standing still.

Bobby got into the building industry straight out of high school in 1986. Two years later, he joined forces with his younger brother Eddie to create a successful framing business. Over the years, they have framed houses for a variety of builders in North and South Carolina, including Trusst Builder Group.

In 2013, Bobby joined Trusst Builder Group as a Superintendent. In this position, he oversees all aspects of construction, from start to finish. As a framer, he took the home through its closed-in stage, with the installation of windows, doors and roof. Now, as a superintendent, Bobby enjoys seeing the home through to completion.

Bobby is a graduate of Laney High School in Wilmington and is a licensed General Contractor. He and his wife Cindy live in Burgaw and their sons Bobby and Ryan are each enrolled at University of North Carolina at Wilmington. When he’s not working, Bobby manages the adult flag football league in Wilmington and also enjoys softball and golf.

Eddie Edmonds:
Construction Manager

Eddie Edmonds

Eddie Edmonds knows the value of family. He and his older brother Bobby have been working side by side since 1988, framing houses throughout the Carolinas. It’s a business model that has worked well for them.

Today, Eddie and Bobby still work together as superintendents for Trusst Builder Group. As framers for Trusst for more than a decade, the Edmonds were well respected for their work ethic and commitment to quality. When the need for superintendents arose at Trusst, Eddie and Bobby were the preferred candidates. 

Always eager to grow his knowledge and expertise, Eddie obtained his General Contractors license in 2007. That knowledge is put to good use in his position at Trusst, where he oversees all aspects of home construction, from start to finish.

Eddie is a graduate of Laney High School in Wilmington. He and his wife Tammy live in Burgaw with their four daughters and three dogs. When he is not building houses, Eddie likes to hunt and play sports, including golf, baseball, softball and football.

Ryan Horton:
Construction Manager

Ryan Horton

What can restaurants teach you about the building industry? Plenty, according to Job Site Manager Ryan Horton. Prior to joining Trusst Builder Group in 2010, Ryan worked in restaurant kitchens from Greenville to Wilmington, ending with a three-year stint as cook and kitchen manager at the Copper Penny, one of downtown’s most popular eateries.

The frenetic pace of restaurants proved to be an excellent training ground for the multi-tasking required as Job Site Manager. In this position, Ryan ensures all job sites are kept clean and orderly. He also assists Trusst’s six construction managers with anything and everything, from site clean up to materials delivery. And before each home is completed, Ryan oversees the punch list to ensure it is built to Trusst Builder Group’s exacting standards.

A natural athlete, Ryan played football at Greensboro College as a walk-on and was also a stand-out on the baseball team. Today, you’re more likely to find him in the surf than on the field. An avid surfer, Ryan enjoys the coastal lifestyle with his wife Laura and son Easton.

Ryan is a graduate of Pitt Community College in Greenville with an Associates Degree in Business Administration. He is currently studying for his General Contractor’s license and looks forward to a long career with Trusst Builder Group.

Aaron Bordeaux:
Construction Manager

Aaron Bordeaux

Although construction wasn’t on his list of likely occupations, Aaron Bordeaux couldn’t be happier. He loves the hands-on nature of the work and is consistently surprised and delighted by the complexities and intricacies of the construction process. But what really inspires him are the people he works with day to day, including both co-workers and homeowners.

 A self-proclaimed “people person,” Aaron interacts daily with homeowners and tradesmen as Quality Assurance Manager. In this position, he manages the final steps of the construction process to ensure that all elements of owners’ punch lists are handled quickly, efficiently and to their satisfaction.

 Aaron joined Trusst Builder Group in May 2013, six months after graduating from Appalachian State University with a BS in History and a concentration in Business and Economics. Aaron is a graduate of Laney High School, where he excelled in soccer on the school and travelling teams. He’s also an avid snowboarder, which is what drew him to the colder clime of Appalachian State. But don’t expect him to cheer for the App Mountaineers – he’s a diehard Carolina basketball fan.

Jeff Anderson:
Quality Assurance Manager

Jeff Anderson

Jeff Anderson is a travelling man. A native of San Diego, CA, Jeff has travelled throughout Europe and the United States, including Hawaii. Like many a savvy traveler, Jeff is outgoing, spontaneous and an adept problem-solver.  These characteristics serve him well as Quality Assurance Manager for Trusst Builder Group. In this position, Jeff works with new homeowners to address any warranty issues that may arise once they take possession of their Trusst home.

Jeff has worked in residential construction since 1991, when he went to work at his father’s construction business -- Anderson and Sons. According to Jeff, his carpentry skills can be attributed to his father, a general contractor who specialized in residential renovations and new construction in the Greater San Diego area.

In 2000, Jeff’s wanderlust brought him to the East Coast to visit friends, and like many who visit the Old North State, he decided to stay. He worked at the Raleigh office of K Hovnanian Homes, one of the nation’s largest home building companies, as Warranty Manager and Carpenter and as an in-house carpenter for a Raleigh-based restoration firm. In 2007, he launched his own contracting firm, specializing in flood and fire restorations and the resolution of warranty issues left over from prior contractors.


After years of travelling to Wilmington almost every weekend and sometimes twice a week, the lure of the beach finally drew Jeff and his family to move here in 2016. When he’s not working at Trusst, Jeff and his wife Nichole enjoy surfing, skateboarding and paddle-boarding with their children and grandson. And, of course, they always find time for a road trip or two up and down the East Coast.

Mike Joyner:
Construction Manager

Mike Joyner

Mike Joyner is a jack of all trades and master of many. Surfer. Bow hunter. Golfer. Artist. Builder. Lifelong learner.

 A native of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Mike began surfing at an early age. It’s a passion that carried him all the way to the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, where he worked at night and surfed by day. After three years, he returned to NC and earned a BA in Anthropology and a BA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He juggled painting, bartending and construction for a few years, and then decided to pursue the building trades in earnest. He earned a BS in Construction Management from East Carolina University in 2004 and since then, has worked as a construction manager and superintendent for various home builders throughout the Cape Fear.

A consummate student, Mike has honed his skills at each opportunity by learning new and better construction methods from anyone willing to teach him. He earned his General Contractor’s license in 2007 and says that he enjoys construction because he’s always learning something new every day.

 Mike is married to his wife Carla and they have a son, Locco, daughter Lottie Lucille and a chocolate lab named Boscoe. When he’s not working, he enjoys boating, golfing, surfing and bow hunting for deer and duck. As time allows, he still takes up his brushes and works in his favorite medium of oil on canvas. And dreams that one day he might just transform that garage into an art studio.


Vanessa Bannerman:

Vanessa Bannerman

Math has always come easy for Vanessa Bannerman, which makes her the ideal Controller for Trusst Builder Group. In this position, she is responsible for accounts payable, payroll and everything in between. Vanessa also acts as an assistant to General Manager Joy Gurley and helps with administrative duties and customer service as needed.

Prior to joining Trusst Builder Group in May 2012, Vanessa worked for three years as a bookkeeper and controller for Intercontinental Hardwoods in Currie, NC. Vanessa has an Associates Degree in Accounting from Miller Motte College and 12 years of accounting experience.

Vanessa is a resident and native of Atkinson in Pender County. When she’s not managing accounts at Trusst, Vanessa says she stays very busy managing life at home, raising four children ranging in age from 2 to 15, as well as two cocker spaniel mix puppies who each have a nose for mischief.

Chris Cobb:
Quality Assurance Manager

Chris Cobb

Construction has always been a family affair for Chris Cobb. He hails from a long line of New Jersey contractors, so it wasn’t a surprise when he took up a hammer at an early age and launched his own construction firm at age 19. His firm quickly grew into a profitable enterprise that employed numerous family members and specialized in both commercial and residential construction in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Fifteen years later, Chris was a new father with shifting priorities. So he went to work as a General Manager for Simon Property Group, a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development. Here, he managed property operations for Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, a 500,000 square foot upscale outlet center in the heart of the Jersey Shore. 

Chris joined Trusst Builder Group as Quality Assurance Manager in June 2016. In this position, he inspects all Trusst homes to ensure the quality of construction and attention to detail meets Trusst Builder Group’s exacting standards. With his background as both an entrepreneur and corporate property manager, Chris the perfect combination of skills for Quality Assurance – a keen eye for details, 30 years of technical expertise and perhaps most importantly, a tireless work ethic and an engaging personality!

 According to Chris, construction may run in his family, but salt water runs in his veins. He and his wife Shanda live within easy biking distance to Wrightsville Beach, where you can often find him surfing, paddle boarding, fishing, diving or spearfishing. And as time allows, he’s restoring an aluminum boat salvaged from the side of the road that he says will soon be plying the Intracoastal Waterway in search of the perfect fishing spot.

Nerissa Starkey:
Closing Coordinator

Nerissa Starkey

Some people are addicted to chocolate. Others can’t get enough of sports. For Nerissa, her consuming passion is organization.

As Closing Coordinator for Trusst Builder Group, Nerissa puts her innate and finely honed organizational skills to work on a daily basis. Nerissa coordinates all closing details and paperwork with buyers, sellers, brokers, attorneys and lenders to ensure each party remains on schedule and is fully apprised of all details.

Nerissa has worked in the real estate industry since 2008, when she moved to Wilmington with her husband Tim. She joined Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in 2010 and has been keeping buyers and sellers organized ever since. 

Nerissa is a native of Wilkesboro, NC a small town in the Blue Ridge mountains, but has lived on or near the coast most of her adult life. When she’s not working, Nerissa enjoys being on the water, playing with her dogs Kaylie and Riley and when time allows. . . reorganizing her closet.

Kevin Carver:
Construction Manager

Kevin Carver

Kevin Carver found his calling early. A native of Durham, Kevin became intrigued with construction during the building of his family’s custom home while in middle school. He was so taken with the process that he talked the builder into letting him work part-time cleaning up job sites. Before long, he was promoted to the framing crew and continued to work construction through high school and college. And although he entered East Carolina University as a business student, it wasn’t long before he switched to his true vocation -- Construction Management.


Kevin graduated from ECU in 2004 and has been working full-time in the building trades ever since. From Charlotte to Virginia Beach to southeastern North Carolina, Kevin has built everything from luxury townhomes and condominiums to custom beachfront cottages and everything in between. When asked what he likes most about working in construction, Kevin is quick to respond that he simply enjoys working outdoors.



He enjoys playing outdoors too. A resident of Wrightsville Beach, Kevin spends his free time fishing, surfing, boating and snowboarding. And like most people fortunate enough to live at the beach, he also enjoys being a favorite getaway destination for friends and family.

Braxton Fussell:
Broker / Sales

Braxton Fussell

They say that if you work at what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life. If that’s the case, Braxton Fussell has hit the jackpot! Braxton manages Trusst Builder Group’s new home sales at RiverLights, a master-planned, riverfront community that combines two of his greatest passions: real estate and the water.

Fussell is a 5th generation native of Wallace, NC, but he could just as easily say he hails from Topsail Beach, as this is where he and his extended family spent most of his youth. He’s much too young to be an “old salt,” but he’s certainly headed in the right direction. Braxton grew up in and on the water and is an avid boater, diver and fisherman.


Prior to joining Trusst Builder Group in 2017, Braxton worked for two of the largest master-planned communities in southeastern NC: Brunswick Forest in Leland and River Landing in Wallace; and one of the largest new home builders in New Hanover County: Stevens Fine Homes. Today, he is honored to be working with Trusst Builder Group, “one of the most respected builders in southeastern North Carolina,” according to Braxton.


When Braxton isn’t giving a tour of a model home, you can find him and his wife Leah out on their boat or planning their next travel adventure. Their destinations will likely include the water, as both Braxton and Leah enjoy diving, spearfishing, waterskiing, wake boarding, paddle-boarding, kayaking and fishing both in the Gulf Stream and Intracoastal Waterway.


Lee Bryant:
Broker / Sales

Lee Bryant

Lee Bryant is one of those rare individuals in New Hanover County who was born and raised in Wilmington and is still proud to call this home. Lee is certain that for him, there’s no better place to live and work. He has the same type of certainty about his career. When he earned his realtor’s license at the very young age of 21, he knew without a doubt that he had made the right choice. Thirty years later, Lee made another great choice when he joined the team at Trusst Builder Group in New Home Sales in 2017.

Lee’s first foray into residential sales involved beachfront condominiums in North Topsail, and from there, he went to work for Landmark Real Estate and managed sales for several new home  communities, including Laurel Ridge, Carriage Hills and Lords Creek. He joined Clark Teachey Realtors in 1998, and a year later, the firm merged with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. His REALTOR’s license has been with Sea Coast Advantage ever since.

When Lee is not working, he enjoys cooking and entertaining family and friends, including his son Daniel, who has inherited his father’s passion for cooking and is pursuing a career as a chef. Lee also enjoys water sports and can often be found kayaking down Bradley Creek to enjoy the afternoon or evening on one of the barrier islands. And when time and opportunity allow, he enjoys travelling and cruising and believes that Trunk Bay on St. John’s should be renamed Paradise.