Meet The Team


Meet David Shucavage

I believe that I'm a bit different from most professionals in the retirement planning field. Back in the 1970's, I graduated Cornell Engineering School and followed the expected path, working first for Corning Glass and then CibaGeigy. For more than 20 years, I worked in engineering and management consulting, with a goal of making more money for companies. In 2001, I decided it would be more meaningful to me to help individuals and families, and, ever since, I have focused on retirement planning. As a result of the path I followed from Cornell to today, I tend to look at things with a different mindset, and with perhaps more skepticism, than many who have spent their lives in the financial industry. As an engineer, I love numbers, but the best part of my job is working with the numbers as I create a strategy with my clients to help them feel more confident. I am an Investment Adviser Representative and insurance professional. Everyone I meet has a unique set of needs, goals, and concerns, and it's very satisfying to tailor-make a plan for each family or individual.

I love to teach as well, and am an approved instructor with the "Financial ABC's of Retirement Workshop" given through Adult Financial Educational Services. This past year, I have taught classes at Cape Fear Community College, Brunswick County Community College, and the University of Mount Olive’s Wilmington campus.

My wife, Sandy, and I live in the historic district of Downtown Wilmington. Our daughters Samantha and Katie are now out on their own in the world. I have lots of hobbies, like music, pottery, fishing and kayaking, and am on the board of Cape Fear River Watch. If you want to hear my music, come down to The Satellite on Greenfield Street some Sunday evening; I’ll be the handsome devil playing the hammered dulcimer!


Meet Brenda Armstrong

Executive Assistant

As David’s Executive Assistant, I am your “go to” person, and always here to help you.

My journey to financial planning began with a degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Franklin University in Ohio. There and throughout my twenties, I also indulged my love of art and painting. I mention this because one of my classmates in art was Mary Ellen Withrow, former Treasurer of the United States from 1994-2001. At that time, neither of us was focused on finance. Years later, I was lucky enough to run into her and renew our friendship.

I spent a number of years working for Parker Hannifin in advertising, and followed that as a marketing representative for computer programmers whose main clients were the US Government and research centers.

After my daughter left the nest to begin her own family, I moved to Wilmington and, in 2006, joined Carolina Retirement Planners. I am Life and Health insurance licensed so I could better serve our clients, and to help me master the complicated paperwork often required by our clients' plans.

When not helping you create your own personal Camelot, I can usually be found enjoying a good book by my own Avalon—the koi pond I built at my home—surrounded by my cats, Merlyn, Gwenna and Sir Lance.


Meet Susan Schley

Administrative Assistant
The warm voice of Susan Schley is often the first you will hear when you call Carolina Retirement Planners. Susan is a “people person,” and we guarantee that she will make you feel comfortable and welcome in our office. On top of that, she is a crackerjack administrative assistant with years of experience, and she keeps our office organized and running smoothly.

Susan is also very creative, and her leisure time includes jewelry making and crochet. She loves the outdoors, fishing and camping.


Meet Sandy Robinson

Compliance & Accounting

In addition to maintaining our office's Compliance records, Sandy makes certain that our office protocol is in line with Compliance rules. She is also in charge of the office accounting. In short, she does the work no one else is really excited about, but is critical, nonetheless. To express her creative side, she writes articles about life in general, and Wilmington history and events in particular, for our monthly newsletter.

Sandy has a degree in Marine Biology from UNCW. She and David met while working in engineering for Corning Glassworks. They have been married for 28 years. In her spare time, Sandy is a novice weaver, an experienced and serious reader, and loves to take Dogma on kayak trips when the weather is warm.


Meet Julia Dobson

As a Client Services Representative, Julia’s mission is to create the best possible experience for our clients. She will get on the phone with companies and solve problems so the client doesn’t have to. She also serves as support to other members of the office.

Originally from Maryland, Julia graduated from Saint Mary’s College of Maryland with a degree in English. She met and married her husband soon after and began her travels as a wife of a Marine Corps Officer. It was on this journey that she began working with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, helping provide financial and educational support to the military. Her experience in this financial environment is what led her to work at Carolina Retirement Planners.

When she is not in the office, Julia can be found at home with her husband and three pups. If you have visited us recently you probably met her new puppy Gus, who enjoys meeting new people almost as much as Julia!

Fun Fact: Julia’s great-grandmother, Dorothy Layton, was a WAMPS baby star in the early 1930s. She was in several films with Laurel & Hardy, including Chickens Come Home, The Chimp, and Pack Up Your Troubles.


Meet Dogma


Dogma, at 4 years old, is the youngest member of our team and still learning the ropes. He takes his job of protecting the office very seriously, although he can still be distracted by popcorn.

In his leisure time, he enjoys travelling to Dog Club of Wilmington where he pals around with the dogs in the “big dog” area (he was placed there after Dog Club personnel discovered he sincerely believes that he is a big dog even though he is only 11 pounds). He also enjoys Friday evening visits to the River Club held by Wilmington Water Tours, because everyone there thinks he’s cute and they give him cheese.