Brian Eckel And Spruill Thompson Named To WilmingtonBiz 100

Dec 20, 2022

Cape Fear Commercial is excited to announce that co-founder Brian Eckel and senior vice president Spruill Thompson have been named to the WilmingtonBiz 100 — an annual initiative from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal to recognize the top 100 Power Players, Influencers, Innovators, Connectors and Rising Stars impacting Southeastern North Carolina’s business landscape.

Readers sent in names to consider during a nomination process, and the Business Journal’s editorial team selected the WilmingtonBiz 100. To be considered, individuals had to either work or live in the region. Brian was named among the “Power Players,” while Spruill earned a spot on the list of the region’s “Influencers.”

Find details about the entire WilmingtonBiz 100 at

Spruill Thompson

Senior VP, Cape Fear Commercial & Chair, New Hanover County Airport Authority

In addition to his position as senior vice president for Cape Fear Commercial, Spruill Thompson utilizes more than 30 years of professional experience in commercial real estate and business development in multiple leadership roles for local organizations.

WHY HE’S AN INFLUENCER: Thompson serves as vice-chair of the board for Wilmington Downtown Inc. WDI has supported numerous economic development initiatives in recent years, including redevelopment of the Soda Pop District, the city’s Gateway Project on the northern waterfront and Project Grace as well as its small business microloan program.

Similarly, Thompson brings his professional experience to bear while serving on the New Hanover County Airport Authority Board since 2018, including his current tenure as chair since July. His business experience comes at a time when the airport has seen a flurry of business development on its grounds, including the announcement in April of a long-awaited hotel coming to the airport by 2024.


Brian Eckel

Partner, Cape Fear Commercial

Developer and commercial real estate broker Brian Eckel is involved in multiple companies, having co-founded Wilmington-based Cape Fear Commercial with Vin Wells in 2001 and partnering in Cape Fear Development and Cape Fear Construction.

WHY HE’S A POWER PLAYER: In addition to being a key leader in the commercial real estate industry in Wilmington and in major development projects such as Autumn Hall, Renaissance on Military Cutoff Road, Echo Farms and the redeveloped New Hanover County Government Center, Eckel is a trustee on the Novant Health Coastal Board of Managers and the overall Novant Health Board of Trustees.

Eckel has been working this year on convening a coalition to address the dwindling health care workforce, in an effort to improve the state of healthcare coverage and employment opportunities in the region, according to a Greater Wilmington Business Journal story in October. “That’s a direct correlation to the employee shortage,” he said in the article. “So I started thinking, there’s nothing I can do that I know of today. But what can we do long-term in this community?”

In one of its first big efforts, the group was able to secure a $2 million pledge from Novant Health to speed up its progress. Eckel also negotiated a contract for a downtown building that could become Cape Fear Community College’s planned expanded nursing and allied health facility.