Meet the Team

Cape Fear Living is a lifestyle magazine that celebrates life in Southeastern North Carolina. We are dedicated to showcasing the Cape Fear Region, centered around the Port City of Wilmington but extending across the four counties of Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender. We strive to entertain, inspire and inform.

 As an integral part of the community Cape Fear Living takes pride in showcasing our thriving businesses and talented individuals. Every issue is a celebration of the people, culture, arts, crafts, architecture, history, and foodways of the region.

 Whether you’ve lived in the Cape Fear region all your life, a newcomer looking to become more aquainted with your new home, relocating or just visiting we are committed to sharing the region we love through our monthly magazine, website, social sites, videos and special editions.

Meet the Team: 

Leping Beck | Publisher |

Leping Beck has been the owner and Publisher of Cape Fear Living Magazine since 2016. She is a producer and commentator of Western Reviews – a Chinese language TV program aired weekly with Mingjing TV in New York. Prior to moving to Wilmington, North Carolina in 2013, Leping was an attorney at law licensed in the state of Colorado. Specializing in immigration law and business transactions, she has served as the legal consultant for the Chinese American Merchants Association of Colorado. Leping has been invited by Universities and government organizations to educate new immigrants and small business owners about the legal and economic system here in the U.S. She also enjoys contributing to Chinese language publications as a freelance writer. Leping and her husband Dan Beck, who is a nationally acclaimed artist, have two daughters. They all share a common interest in art, music, and literature. They enjoy the beach, the river and all that Wilmington has to offer. Her education includes a B.A. in English Literature, 1988 at Peking University in Beijing, China and a J.D. 1994 at The University of Denver School of Law, in Denver, Colorado.

Colleen Thompson | Managing Editor |

An editor, writer and photographer Colleen’s work has been published worldwide in magazines, newspapers and digital media. She has a passion for food – particularly Southern and the history behind it. A qualified wine sommelier she loves the art of a crafted cocktail and the storytelling that often accompanies it. With degrees in English and Environmental Science, she has a love of the ocean and if there’s a wild beach, she is in her happy place. From the mesmerising Spanish moss that hangs from the old live oaks to the captivating scent of the magnolia trees The Cape Fear region has taken a hold on her heart. She lives with husband, young and son and two beagles.

Kelly Johnson | Assistant Editor |

In her hometown of Wichita Kansas, Kelly completed her B.F.A. in Ballet at Friends University. With a love for reading and writing, she graduated in the Spring of 2016, achieving a minor in English alongside her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Studying ballet, tap, and jazz under the direction of Stan K. Rogers and Sharon Rogers, Kelly has developed the skills to train, teach, and choreograph. Pursuing her dream to dance professionally, Kelly arrived in the Cape Fear region to train and perform with the U.S. International Ballet company, directed by Walter Angelini and Ines Albertini. Her favorite things include coffee, hugs from her chocolate lab Gabby, modeling, dessert, followed by more dessert, and being a world-renowned aunt. Kelly is proud to be part of the Cape Fear Living team and loves connecting with the community here.

Samantha Lowe | Editorial Graphic Designer |

Samantha Lowe received her degree in graphic design from Kansas State University. After graduating, she worked as the senior graphic designer for a creative firm before venturing out on her own and has been designing publications for 12 years. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. Chocolate is her weakness, and she has a heart for serif fonts and traveling.



Melissa Snowden | Director of Marketing & Sales |

Melissa Snowden, a native Texan, had the opportunity to live and work in Tokyo, Japan and became enamored with the Asian culture. Upon her return to the US, she majored in East Asian Studies at Columbia University. Melissa completed a certification program in Creative Writing at Harvard University. She worked for an investment banking firm with the Private Equity division in New York City, prior to relocating to Wilmington, NC in 2002. Initially, Melissa served as an Event Planner and Marketing Guru for an international pharmaceutical company, prior to commencing her 15-year real estate career. Melissa and her family reside at Carolina Beach and have embraced the coastal lifestyle, with a shared love of the ocean, fishing, surfing, and kayaking.

John Reed | Senior Account Executive |

John Reed is U.S. Army Retired: 1963-1983, with over 20 years of honorable service, including two years of combat tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star, two Army Commendation medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, along with other combat action ribbons. John was the CEO and Founder of Mainstreet, a business development firmed with over 170 clients and businesses, within North Carolina and South Carolina. In 2018 he was appointed Business Development and Sales Director at Cape Fear Living Magazine, where he’s responsible for the hiring and supervision of all sales personnel.

Jeff Chalfant | Account Executive |

Jeff Chalfant has been in the Cape Fear region for almost 20 years. He and his wife (Joan) started a chocolate business, which has been thriving in the Greater Wilmington area for the last 10 years. Jeff is a Coastal Volunteer for AARP, meeting with state and federal officials to advocate for non-partisan issues affecting the SENC community. Jeff also participated in the Eastern Area Regional Reading Service (EARRS), reading to the blind on the radio in the WHQR building until 2012 when the program closed. Jeff has a degree in Economics from Ursinus College, is certified in business ethics, and is a published and national award-winning poet. Jeff has also managed the Philadelphia Opera Company fundraising team during its annual ticket and pledge drive. Jeff enjoys playing golf and going to Sharks baseball games.

Will Hair | Account Executive |

Will Hair is a recent graduate of the Film Studies program at UNCW. Immediately following graduation, Will interned at a production company in Los Angeles for three months. Upon returning to Wilmington, he quickly earned a job at a local production company that specializes in television commercials as well as web and social media content. He assisted in all facets of media production, from conceptualization, locations, and casting, to filming, to the final editing and completion of projects. Creating video advertisements for both local and national businesses also gave him a unique experience in marketing. Outside of film, Will’s personal interests include music, reading, writing, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Samuel Hall | Account Executive |

Samuel Hall is a Wilmington native born and raised in the Cape Fear region. After attending East Carolina and the University of Wilmington, Samuel found a passion in journalism and literature. He worked with Lighthouse, the nation’s leading LGBT healthcare network by running their social media, and from this experience hopes to educate and spread LGBT healthcare awareness across the Carolinas. He finds history and diversity fascinating and sees the possibilities of the Port City truly becoming a beacon of progress for North Carolina. You will most likely see him at any if not all, music and art events in town. When he isn’t working for Cape Fear Living, he enjoys outdoor activities, the beach, and traveling with friends and family. 


Kym Hilton | Account Executive |

Kym is a native of Wilmington and has been amazed by its growth over the past few decades. Since being a hometown girl, Kym has strong roots and a great love for the area. She spent 9 years in the medical field before deciding to make a career change by joining Cape Fear Living Magazine. In addition to enjoying her work with the magazine, she is also the proud owner of her online boutique, Babe Cave Couture, which allows her passion for fashion to prevail. When she actually has downtime, she loves spending it with her children, Colton and  Leah, as well as her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Simba. Kym has always cherished her upbringing on the NC coast and looks forward to sharing all its wonder with our readers!