Cape Fear Fitness Staff


Carysa – Owner & Manager

carysaCarysa joined the staff of Cape Fear Fitness in January 2009, teaching spinning classes, operating the front desk, and working as a personal trainer.  With a personal interest background in dance and several years as a cheer coach and tumbling instructor, Carysa is no stranger to the fitness industry and understands the value of maintaining optimal health.  With training and experience in administration and team leadership, Carysa took the position as Manager of Cape Fear Fitness in January 2011 and has led her staff in community events, continuing education and resource development.  She became an owner of Cape Fear Fitness in November of 2011.  Carysa “loves helping people feel better about themselves”.



 Eric – Owner

Dr. Eric is one of the founding owners that opened Cape Fear Fitness in 2008.  As an orthopedic specialist and surgeon with training and experience in military medicine, Dr. Eric brings a valuable perspective of health and fitness to the family at Cape Fear Fitness.  He is a Member of the American Osteopathic Association, Associate Member of the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a Member of the American College of Sports Medicine, and a Member of the North Carolina Osteopathic Medical Association.  Dr Eric utilizes the gym facilities for his own physical fitness and maintains watch for the latest in innovative ideas and resources to benefit members of Cape Fear Fitness.  He is married to Dr. Heather, they have three children and reside in Southport.



Michael – Front Desk Team Leader, Personal Trainer, Instructor

mikeMichael manages the front desk at Cape Fear Fitness.  He attended Appalachian State University, where he studied English and Criminal Justice.  He loves fitness because he loves the idea of being able to improve yourself each and every day. He is an IFTA-certified personal trainer.




Mellinee – Personal Training Team Lead, Youth Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer

Mellinee has been a resident of Brunswick County since 1999, originally from Charlotte, NC. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BS in Business Administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School, Mellinee began her journey into fitness. She joined the Cape Fear Fitness team in mid 2015 and quickly found her home. Mellinee began as a CFF Kid’s Program Assistant and earned her IFTA Personal Training Certification at the end of 2015. She specializes in pre/post-natal training and is an OhBaby! Fitness® Licensed Instructor. Mellinee happily balances her time as a trainer and instructor, with her life as a wife and mom of one daughter. She believes a healthy life, mental, physical balance leads to greater success in every endeavor.



Lisa – Marketing Team Leader, Personal Trainer/Instructor

LisaLisa has been a resident of Brunswick County for 15 years. She is married and has two wonderful boys ages 14 and 10. She is a graduate of East Carolina University with a BS in Applied Sociology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family. She is an IFTA Certified Youth Fitness Specialist and IFTA Certified Personal Trainer. She teaches Physical Education at Southport Christian School. She is also a Let’s Play Today® Certified Instructor. She loves working with children of all ages and abilities. She has experience in developmental therapy and has a desire to help children reach their full potential. Her goal here at Cape Fear Fitness is to educate children of the importance of health and fitness that will carry over into adulthood. Contact her for membership or advertising information.



 Kristin – CrossFit Head Coach

Kristin Melendez
Kristin, born in Danville, VA, stayed active on the dance floor studying from age 4 until she graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Upon graduation, she travelled from Florida to New York and eventually settled in Boiling Spring Lakes with her husband Josue. Kristin was introduced to CrossFit Southport in 2014 after having her second son and wanting to become active again. It was there that she found a lost confidence in herself and a community of friends she now calls family, not to mention being in the best shape of her life at age 37!  Her passion for CrossFit led her to want to share her knowledge with others so she began co-coaching classes, which then led her to obtaining a Level I Certificate and taking the reigns as head coach.  Kristin is a firm believer that fitness is a key factor in leading a happy healthy life!



Brian – Personal Trainer/Crossfit Level 1 Trainer

brianBrian has been a full time resident of Oak Island since 1993.  He and his wife Heather have three teenage boys, Caleb, Hunter and Paxton who are all very active in High school and college sports.  Brian brings years of experience as a personal coach and team building specialist.   Brian’s passion for helping people and love of fitness has merged over the past few years.  He is a Certified Personal Trainer and TRX Specialist.




Sam – Instructor, Personal Trainer

Sam moved to Southport in 2014 from Syracuse, New York. She became a member of CFF in 2015 and started working in childcare in 2016. She still works in the childcare room as well as the front desk and is an IFTA certified personal trainer, IFTA certified kickboxing and indoor cycling instructor and a Madd Dogg Athletics certified Spinning instructor. She is a mom of two and found her love for fitness by wanting to be a role model for her kids showing them that a healthy and fit lifestyle can be fun!


Sergiy – Personal Trainer, Class Instructor

1sergiy-Sergiy is currently enrolled at UNCW pursuing a Fitness Degree. He is a certified personal trainer and group class instructor. Sergiy specializes in bodybuilding training.  He believes fitness is the greatest thing that you can do for yourself. In fitness, you can actually spend time by yourself defining who you are!





Seth – Personal Trainer, Instructor

1seth-Seth spent his youth involved in all things sports related.  His passion for competition evolved and framed his mindset, ultimately leading to his decision to enlist in The United States Air Force for 4 years.  He found his love for weight training at his first assignment in Italy, and realized that the personal challenges involved with sculpting the human body filled the gap that was left by organized sports.  He is currently working towards enrolling at a 4-year university next semester. Seth is a NASM certified personal trainer.  His training philosophy is that any more than 45 minutes of weight training more than 4 times a week is non-beneficial.  Relatively heavy, high intensity, and controlled functional movements are the staples of his training regimen.




Mikey – CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

mikeyMikey joined CFF team in 2015 as a Level One CrossFit Coach. Mikey has been involved in sports all of his life. He has been an active runner for 4 years and competes in many local events from 5ks to 1/2 marathons.





Tim – CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

timTim McKay is from Kansas but moved to Southport, NC in 2007 for his career in nuclear power. In his younger years, Tim was involved in numerous sports including Soccer and Wrestling. He wanted to get into fitness so he started lifting and immediately became attached to the love of Fitness! Tim decided to further advance his abilities so he started CrossFit.  After a year into it, he became CrossFit Level One Certified so he could help others as well as himself. Tim is looking forward to continuing his education and always learning more!




Wally – CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

wallytWally has been a full-time resident of Oak Island since 1996 and owns and operates Oak Island Fishing Charters. He brings tons of dedication and great people skills to our growing staff. Wally had the honor of being introduced to CrossFit by Karen Candia from CrossFit Ocean Isle Beach and also got to spend a few days with Julie Foucher (2nd, 2012 CrossFit games) and has been addicted to CrossFit ever since. “Seeing what the body can do is really amazing.” Why does Wally CrossFit? “To be a better me!”




Billy – Cross Fit Level 1 Coach, Personal Trainer

billyBilly attended Appalachian State and majored in Physical Education. He taught at West Columbus High School last year and recently returned to the area. He is a CrossFit Level 1 Certified Coach. He believes that eating the right foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining a positive lifestyle are essentials to living a quality and meaningful life. He has an IFTA Personal Trainer Certification.




Pam – Zumba Instructor

pamPam has been a fan of Zumba since her introduction in 2007 and fell in love with this “exercise in disguise”.  She has been teaching Zumba for five years in the Southport area.  Her motto is to just move and have a great time while working out.






Vicki – Instructor, Personal Trainer

3538069Vicki Raspino moved to the Southport area in October 2013 from Old Bethpage, New York and joined the Cape Fear Fitness staff in April 2014.  She holds fitness certifications from Mad Dogg Spinning (spin instructor), American Council on Exercise/ACE (Personal training), and Core Fitness Roller (now known as MOTR by Balanced Body) and trained at Equinox Fitness on Long Island.  She is a firm believer in the mental and physical benefits of regular exercise and is enjoying the active lifestyle of her new coastal Carolina community.  Vicki and her husband Ray, live in St. James.



Amy – Instructor

amyAmy Gibson joined the Cape Fear Fitness team in April 2013 after moving here with her husband from Cleveland, Ohio.  She is an AFFA Certified Group Instructor who was a dance major at Ohio University (but has always been a beach bum at heart).  Amy feels strongly that exercise is not only the key to physical health but also essential for emotional and mental well-being.   Her “Formula for Success” is a room full of enthusiastic people, great music, energy and fun…whether it is cardio, pilates, or weight training. “People need a challenge they can accomplish.   They have to enjoy their challenge or they won’t stick with it!    It’s MY JOB to make sure they ENJOY and ACCOMPLISH their challenge …and  I LOVE MY JOB!”



Candice – Kickboxing Instructor

Candice Murphy is a local, who resides in Southport. She was born and raised in the Carolina’s. She joined Cape Fear Fitness in February 2016 as an International Fitness Trainers of America, Certified Kickboxing instructor. She is happily married and is the mother of two twin daughters. She also owns and operates her local business “Murphy Photography”. She believes that fitness is the key to living a long, happy and healthy life and that everyone can find a way to incorporate fun into their routine.



Alex – Gymnastics Program Director

Alex is from Lexington, NC but moved to Oak Island, NC in 2013 to live near the beach. She joined Cape Fear Fitness in 2015, teaching recreational tumbling classes. She is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a BS in Business Administration, with a major in Entrepreneurship. She also holds an AAS in Paralegal Technology from Davidson County Community College. She was involved in gymnastics since as long as she can remember. She enjoys teaching gymnastic skills to students of all ages. Alex believes that skills learned in class help individuals advance in coordination, flexibility, and self-confidence, both on and off the gymnastic mats. Alex can teach skills from forward rolls to full-twists, having ten years of coaching experience from cheerleading, recreational gymnastics, and a competitive boy team. Her goal while teaching gymnastics focuses around seeing a student finish a skill, after months of practice and hard work!


 Liz – Group Exercise Instructor

Liz is a new instructor with Cape Fear Fitness.  She recently moved to Southport from Northern Virginia with husband Mike and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Emily. Liz is a Personal Trainer certified by The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) with additional NASM certifications as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and  Senior Fitness Specialist.   She is also certified with AFAA in Group Fitness and has several additional certifications including;  Les Mills Body Pump and Body Flow, Jillian Michaels Body Shred,  Boot Camp, Resist A Ball, Turbo Kick, TRX and Zumba Gold.  She has worked in the fitness industry for 13 years and ran her own company, FIT4LIFE in Virginia prior to moving to Southport. For Liz, fitness is a way of life; the thread that connects health, happiness and a sense of well-being in each of us.  She enjoys running and participates in several races every year including Tough Mudder and half marathons.


Nellie – Nutritional Coach

Nellie Harden joined the Cape Fear Fitness Team as our Nutritional Coach in 2017. She lives very happily in Southport with her husband and 4 daughters.  She homeschools and serves in many capacities around the community as well as owning her own health coaching business.  Nellie has a degree in biology from Indiana University and is a Certified Health Coach.  Nellies desire to better wellness, and teaching others, began in 2008 when her family hit a profound health crossroads.  After diving in and learning all she could to help her family, she started implementing lifestyle change and nutritional support that ultimately turned the situation around.  In 2012, Nellie had to start sharing with others out of moral accountability because everyone needs to be aware of the truth and answers available to them to better their wellness and overall well-being to enjoy what life has to offer.


Zari – Instructor

Zari Schafer, originally from New Hampshire and inspired by dance from a young age. During a road trip across the country and into Mexico, Zari found her love for yoga. In 2015 she competed her teacher training at Wilmington Yoga Center. Her primary teachers and role models include Jamie Annette, Heather Metzler, Noelle Cavenaugh and Jess Bichler. Zari expands her practice by attending a variety of classes, guiding workshops and being open minded to new knowledge each and every day. Through the classes she teaches Zari hopes to share her interest and affection of yoga, on and off the mat to everyone that crosses her path.



Jamie – Personal Trainer and Instructor

jamie personal trainer and instructorJamie recently joined the Cape Fear Fitness team, working the front desk. Originally from the Atlanta area, she and her family moved to Oak Island in the fall of 2015. Jamie was a self-proclaimed “wimp” for many years and never participated in athletics of any kind, but now enjoys strength training, running in local races ranging from 5K to half marathons, and active hobbies like kayaking. After watching her fitness-loving Dad suffer with a debilitating disease that eventually claimed his life, she was inspired to get serious about her own fitness, and to help others get strong and healthy in order live to the fullest. Jamie is now certified as a personal trainer (NASM), a distance-running coach (RRCA), and a group fitness instructor.



Matt Overcash - personal trainer and fitness instructorMatt – Personal Trainer and Instructor

Matt has lived in the Brunswick and Wilmington area for over 15 years. Matt earned his Master Degree in Biblical Studies in 2004 from the North Carolina College of Theology. From the time he can remember he has been involved in some type of completive sport so Matt really brings a lifetime of fitness to the table. South Rowan High school honored him as one of best athletes to attend there in 90’s! Matt not only loves fitness but he loves helping people and is a great encourager who will always find the best in anyone. He believes if you feel well you can live well! Matt is a certified personal trainer through IFTA.