Girard Newkirk is a social impact entrepreneur serving as Cofounder and CEO of Genesis Block. Girard is a native of Pender County and moved back to the Wilmington area by way of San Jose, California in November of 2018 with a mission to develop technology, entrepreneurship and the small business ecosystem in the Cape Fear Region. He was awarded the 2018 Regional Startup World Cup Champion in Nairobi, Kenya for his work in providing renewable energy access for off grid communities. In 2019, KWHCoin also founded by Newkirk, won the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards Emerging Company for the company’s work on combining renewable energy and technology. In 2020, he was named to the Top 100 Business Leaders in Wilmington by the Greater Wilmington Business for his work with Genesis Block and Building the Entrepreneur Class. He serves on the boards of the Cape Fear Museum, Cape Fear Collective, Cape Fear Community College Information Technology Committee and the City of Wilmington Clean Energy Task Force.