Property values in North Carolina continued to soar over the last year, creating an unprecedented bullish real estate environment. The average home value in most of the state’s largest metropolitan areas increased by more than 15% over the last year, according to Attom Data Solutions research. Rental rates showed similar gains. The number of homes for sale remained depressed even as new starts picked up. This section includes many successful North Carolina contractors, developers and brokerage executives.
president | Precision Walls
The Cary native and Campbell University graduate joined the family business after graduating from Campbell University in 1996. In 2019 ownership transferred to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan to improve retirement benefits and succession planning. It has more than 1,000 employees and 11 offices in four states.
chair, CEO | Dominion Realty
The former tennis pro started his business in 2005 and has become a leading regional developer with offices in Raleigh, Charlotte and Richmond, Va. The Woodberry Forest School graduate has raised more than $9 million for tennis programs involving low-income children.
Pre-workday motivation: Being fortunate to do what I do every day.
Key to industry success: Creativity in solving problems.
Best advice: Make the most out of your opportunities.
Three people to share a meal: Roger Federer, Jack Nicklaus and Elon Musk.
Proud family accomplishment: How we all dealt with the loss of my 31-year-old daughter who died of cancer.
Favorite hobby: Golf.
Where to entertain a visitor: Carolina Hurricanes hockey game.
president | Barnhill Contracting
He’s had his post since 2010 at the company founded by his grandfather and previously led by his father, Bob. The company’s work on the Greg Poole Jr. All Faiths Chapel at Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park was named a “Best Building Project” by the Carolinas Association of General Contractors in January.
executive chair | Bell Partners
The UNC Chapel Hill MBA transitioned to his role in January after serving as CEO for six years. He has worked for the company started by his father, Steve, since 2001. It has raised $3.5 billion for apartments and other real estate investments since 2006.
chair, CEO | Lee-Moore Capital
The University of Georgia graduate and Duke University MBA has spent his professional career at his family’s business, which started in 1932 as Lee-Moore Oil Company. In 2006, he sold the gasoline division. His best-known project is the Governors Club golf-course community in Chapel Hill. He was named to the UNC System Board of Governors last year.
Pre-workday motivation: Finding a scalable solution to workforce and affordable housing.
Key to industry success: Real estate is a team sport. Having a wide and deep professional network is key.
Best advice: Do your best to help everybody you can.
Three people to share a meal: Benjamin Franklin, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel.
Proud family accomplishment: That we all love and enjoy each other’s company. Lots of fun and laughter when we are together.
Favorite hobby: Reading, travel, hunting and golf.
Where to entertain a visitor: Duke Chapel.
president | Brodie Contractors
After starting his masonry business in 1989, he’s employing more than 300 people with projects across the state. He’s overseen lots of education and health care construction, including many UNC System and Wake County buildings. He grew up in Franklin County, graduating from Bunn High School.
CEO | NC Realtors
The Montana State University graduate earned a law degree at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore. She worked at Oregon’s Realtors association for nearly 14 years before joining the N.C. group in 2010.
Key to industry success: As the CEO of the state’s largest trade association, I have learned to have incredible respect for the challenges facing our 57,000 members every day in their professional lives. It is critical to understand those challenges in order to create and implement solutions. Empathy, creativity, patience, open-mindedness and the ability to quickly analyze an issue and rapidly respond are all essential to success.
Best advice: My parents encouraged me to travel, to be an intrepid explorer, to respect and experience the natural world and to always be open to new ideas, experiences and opportunities.
Proud family accomplishment: My kids all know their way around the kitchen. All four enjoy cooking. Truly, my husband and kids are making their way in the world successfully and happily. What more could a wife and mom ask for?
Favorite hobby: Tennis.
president, CEO | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty
The University of South Carolina graduate has led what was previously Prudential Carolinas Realty since 2005. Warren Buffett’s company bought the business in 2915. He oversees more than 900 agents across 15 offices.
ROY CARROLL II
founder, president, CEO |
The Carroll Companies
The Greensboro native is a major Triad developer with more than $4 billion in real estate assets owned or under development. In February, he said he was converting a former Macy’s store in Greensboro into a storage rental business, including space for collector cars.
co-owner | True Homes
Cuthbertson helped start the business that became the 39th largest U.S. homebuilder in 2020 with 2,004 sales and $508 million in revenue, according to Builder magazine. He helped start American Community Bancshares in 1998 — it was sold in 2009 — and then American Bank & Trust in 2019.
senior vice president, national
operations | Balfour Beatty
Dean joined the London-based contractor as the company’s Carolinas business unit leader in 2006. In 2020, the Kansas State University graduate took his national scope job. The company has worked on office towers for SPX, MetLife, Bank of America and other N.C. employers.
managing principal |
Cushman & Wakefield
The UNC Chapel Hill graduate joined the national real estate services firm in 2012 and has had his current role since 2017. He oversees offices in the six major Carolinas metro areas.
Pre-workday motivation: Read the news, answer critical emails and work out.
Key to industry success: Character, drive and energy.
Best advice: Success is made up of lots of failures. Embrace and learn from it as it will lead you to success.
Three people to share a meal: Chris Farley, George Clooney and Michael Jordan.
Proud family accomplishment: My daughter. It’s incredible to watch life through her eyes.
Favorite hobby: Family, friends, Tar Heels and Panthers games, concerts and traveling.
Where to entertain a visitor: Charlotte’s South End.
W. CLAY GRUBB
CEO | Grubb Properties
The Tulane University and UNC School of Law graduate became leader of his family’s real estate business in 1993. The 240-employee company has closed more than 3.5 million square feet of properties in 17 cities with a focus on apartments that fall between the affordable and luxury sectors.
principal owner, president |
Hanks, 58, joined Beverly-Hanks in 1987 and took over as president in 1999. The former president of the Asheville Board of Realtors is an Appalachian State University graduate. The agency has annual volume topping $1 billion.
president | Lincoln Harris
Harris took over as president of the company in 2015 after serving as chief operating officer and working for Fortress Investment Group. His father, Johnny Harris, is CEO and chair of the partnership with Dallas-based Lincoln Property.
founder, managing partner |
The Roanoke Rapids native and N.C. State University engineering graduate founded his real-estate business in 1995. The company owns about 70 buildings with more than 1 million square feet of space in Raleigh and Durham, including several restaurants.
Key to industry success: Showing how our community can meet the needs of a business.
Best advice: My mother’s mom would always say, “Do the best you can with what you’ve got.” This sweet, yet strong, woman from a small village in Lebanon, whose mom passed away when she was 8 years old during the last pandemic, actually lived it. We often hear, “Do your best.” But she recognized, at an early age, that “your best” is not a constant. It varies with what you have and where you are in life.
Three people to share a meal: Philippe Halsman. He was unparalleled at photographing some of the world’s most prominent people and capturing both their whimsical side and their deepest thoughts on film. Danny Thomas. The son of Lebanese immigrants reached the highest levels of entertainment and was grounded enough to create St Jude’s Hospital for children. Joni Mitchell. I just love her.
Favorite hobby: Photography. I have been shooting seriously since I was a teenager. My father thought if I was taking photos, I wouldn’t get in trouble. I have photographed a national title in ‘83 along with Popes, presidents, Nobel laureates, and, most importantly, my kids.
chair, CEO | T.A. Loving Co.
With bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech, he leads one of the 400 largest U.S. contractors, which was founded in 1925. He became CEO in 1990 and chair in 2014. He’s a past president of the Carolinas Associated General Contractors and AGC of America.
CEO | Coldwell Banker Howard
Jones, 63, started with the real estate agency as the controller in 1987, became president in 2000 and took his current role in 2019. The former Ernst & Whinney audit manager is a Wake Forest University graduate. The company has more than a dozen Triangle offices.
CEO | Kane Realty
The Wake Forest University graduate started his company in 1978 and has become Raleigh’s best-known developer with his North Hills, center city and Downtown South projects mixing office, housing and entertainment. He’s planning a big mixed-use development at the former JCPenney site in North Hills.
GREG KEITH JR.
president, CEO | The Keith Corp
Keith has helped develop 350-plus projects totaling more than $3.7 billion across 37 states. With bachelor’s and law degrees from Wake Forest University, he founded the business in 1989 with his father, Graeme. It has general contracting and corrections-facility management subsidiaries.
Pre-workday motivation: Like most people, I find it challenging to manage all that I have to do. My daily time in prayer with the Lord settles my mind, helps me focus and prepares me for the day.
Key to industry success: Our people and our reputation is key. Veritas Vincit (truth prevails) is our motto. Our word is our honor. This has resulted in sustained and successful business relationships.
Best advice: The happiest you will ever be in your life is when you bring joy to others’ lives.
Three people to share a meal: Billy Graham and Jesus.
Proud family accomplishment: We all love and respect each other. I am blessed that I get the honor and privilege of working alongside my dad and two sons each day. I am equally proud of my daughters — for who they are and what they’ve accomplished in their lives.
Favorite hobby: Walking and praying.
Where to entertain a visitor: My farm.
founding partner | Childress Klein
A Princeton University graduate with a Wharton MBA, the Navy veteran formed the business in 1988 with Atlanta’s Don Childress. The company employs more than 250 people and has developed 450-plus projects, including the new Duke Energy tower in Charlotte. Klein is a UNC Charlotte trustee.
CEO, president |
Klinck joined the real estate investment trust in 2012 after working at Goddard Investment Group and Morgan Stanley. The University of Georgia graduate became CEO in 2018 and has overseen the closing of more than $15 billion of transactions in the past decade.
CEO | The Spectrum Cos.
McClure, 41, joined the 40-year-old development firm in 2004 and led its residential division and was chief operating officer before taking his current role in 2021. He has a bachelor’s from Wake Forest University and a Duke University MBA.
Pre-workday motivation: I start my day with a healthy breakfast, five minutes of meditation, a scan of The Wall Street Journal and some time with my wife and kids before school. Three days a week, I hit the gym before work.
Best advice: “You can do anything, but not everything,” from the late Charlotte developer David Allen. It crystallizes the importance of setting priorities, making choices and setting appropriate goals.
Proud family accomplishment: It is gratifying to see my kids, ages 7 and 10, already working hard to make good choices. It can be as simple as choosing to read versus watch TV or choosing to include a friend on the playground who is being left out. My wife and I want our family to make a positive difference in this world.
executive vice president | NC Home
The Elon University MBA graduate has been lobbying for home builders for more than 20 years. He worked for the Raleigh-Wake County builders association from 2005-15 before moving to the statewide group.
Pre-workday motivation: Every day is an opportunity to do something great.
Key to industry success: Be innovative and think ahead.
Best advice: Never mess up on the money.
Three people to share a meal: Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Billy Graham.
Proud family accomplishment: Our strong faith in God and hardworking attitude.
Favorite hobby: Collecting old comic books.
Where to entertain a visitor: Legislative building.
Carolinas market director,
Charlotte brokerage lead | JLL
Monroe joined JLL when it acquired Keystone Partners, where he was a founding partner. He previously worked at Lincoln Harris and Spectrum Properties.
Pre-workday motivation: A Peloton ride, a long walk with our dogs and texts at 5 a.m. from my business partners.
Key to industry success: Treating everyone with the highest respect, honesty, integrity and always doing the right thing. Surrounding yourself with incredible people is also a key ingredient.
Best advice: Focus on what you can control or affect, not on the things out of your control. We call it “taking care of your three foot circle.”br>
Three people to share a meal: Warren Buffet, my grandfather and Jeff Bezos.
Proud family accomplishment: That my boys always try to do the right thing, work hard, and love their mom.
Favorite hobby: Hiking, fly fishing, snow skiing and visiting with friends.
Where to entertain a visitor: O-Ku, Stagioni’s, South End and central business district.
managing director | CBRE
The Dallas-based real estate services firm hired him in 2010 after he had worked for NorthMarq Capital, RBC Capital Advisors and First Union. The Naval Academy graduate oversees the Charlotte office. He’s helped place more than $3.5 billion in real estate capital over his career.
owner, president | The Overton
Since 2013 the Greenville native and East Carolina University graduate has built a major commercial real estate company after working at his family’s water sports catalog business, which was sold in 2003. He’s on the boards of the Greenville Planning and Zoning Commission and Greenville ENC Alliance.
owner, CEO | Terwilliger Pappas,
The N.C. State University graduate has worked on more than 3 million square feet of projects since starting his company in 1999. Pappas is developing a high profile office-medical-residential site in midtown Charlotte. He previously worked for The Harris Group.
general manager, executive vice
president | Skanska USA Building
Peele joined the Sweden-based contractor in 2000 and now leads the North Carolina and Virginia regions. He’s on the board of directors for the Morrisville Chamber of Commerce. He has a bachelor’s from N.C. State University and an MBA from UNC Greensboro.
GREGORY POOLE III
chair, president, CEO | Gregory
Poole is the third generation to lead the Caterpillar franchise, which was established by his grandfather and great uncle in 1951. The company celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, and has grown from 40 people in Raleigh to 1,300 employees across five states.
president, CEO | Southern
Portman is responsible for more than 1,300 people in eight offices at one of the Triangle’s largest subcontracting firms. The Boise State University alumnus and Army veteran joined the business in 2014.
Key to industry success: Hiring the best people and empowering them every day to meet the demanding needs of our customers. We have a strong family culture with managers who practice disciple leadership, have an entrepreneurial spirit, and who stay laser-focused on customer satisfaction.
Best advice: Always set big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs). Before entering military service, my father told me about the concept, and I have adopted these as guiding principles for my personal life and professional career. Don’t settle for mediocrity, and good things will always happen.
Three people to share a meal: Jesus, Elon Musk and Michael Jordan.
Proud family accomplishment: They’re all on their own, doing good things and contributing to society with a solid set of morals and values.
Favorite hobby: Mountain bike riding, hunting and basketball. I also love to take pictures of sunsets and sunrises.
Where to entertain a visitor: Lake Gaston.
president, CEO | Coldwell Banker
The Raleigh native and East Carolina University graduate started his business in 1995 with nine agents and has built it into one of the region’s biggest agencies. He was inducted into the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors Hall of Fame in 2019.
president, CEO | Northwood Ravin
The architectural graduate of UNC Charlotte and the University of Michigan leads more than 300 employees at a multifamily developer with projects across the Southeast and Southwest. He formed the business with New York-based Northwood Investors in 2011 after working for Crosland for 14 years.
president, CEO | Allen Tate
Riley, 70, has led the business since 1992 and helped strike the 2018 partnership with Pittsburgh-based Howard Hanna Real Estate, creating the largest U.S. independently owned brokerage. The companies have 11,000 Realtors at 300- plus offices in 10 states, including about 1,500 in the Carolinas region.
Pre-workday motivation: I am a morning person. I love what I do, and I do my most creative thinking at that time. Making a difference in people’s lives motivates me.
Key to industry success: Attract and retain people who love coaching and counseling clients with their most important possession on this earth. My job as a leader is to inspire them, coach them and help them grow every day.
Best advice: I learned at a very young age that whatever you set out to do is achievable if you put your passion, heart and soul into it.
Three people to share a meal: George W. Bush, Warren Buffett and Lou Holtz.
Proud family accomplishment: My dad was a self-made man and Mr. Optimistic. My mother made sure I finished everything that I started, including earning my Eagle Scout by age 13. .
Favorite hobby: Tennis, boating and relaxing at the mountains and beach.
Where to entertain a visitor: Center City and South End and sharing the evolving growth story of these areas. I was honored to serve as a multiyear board member and past chair of Charlotte Center City Partners and play a strategic part in the development of these neighborhoods.
president, CEO | Rodgers Builders
Rodgers started as an administrative assistant at the business formed by her late husband, B.D. Rodgers, in 1963. She became president and CEO in 1987 after obtaining her general contractor’s license. Its many projects include BB&T Ballpark and Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte.
Pre-workday motivation: I have been very lucky in my life and have been given the opportunity to be on a great team.
Best advice: B.D. Rodgers said, “Things work out for the best because you make the best out of them.”
Favorite hobby: Snow skiing and traveling.
Where to entertain a visitor: Levine Avenue of the Arts in Charlotte. It’s a great example of a very successful public-private partnership.
D. EDWIN ROSE
president, CEO | Shelco
The N.C. State University graduate joined the contractor in 1983 and became CEO in 2000. He’s managed more than 6.5 million square feet of construction and oversees the Shelco’s three offices in Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Raleigh. Recent projects include Corning’s vial manufacturing plant in Durham.
chair, CEO | Samet Corp
The Samet organization dates to 1961, while Samet succeeded his father as its leader in 2000. Growth has accelerated in recent years as the construction company added 190 staffers between 2019 and 2021. He’s a University of Georgia graduate with a UNC Chapel Hill MBA.
CEO | Tri Properties
The UNC Chapel Hill graduate and world class master’s-level swimmer has helped develop 4.5 million square feet of space while leading the business since 1994. In 2021, NAI Carolantic Realty and TRI Properties merged after a couple years of discussion.
president, CEO | Carolinas
Associated General Contractors
The Citadel graduate was a reporter for The News & Observer for a decade before joining the contractors’ trade group in 1989. He became president and CEO in 2014. He has a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Pre-workday motivation: Exercising and reading about business.
Key to industry success: Getting the construction job done successfully on time and within budget to make for happy repeat customers.
Best advice: “Try to do what you love with people you love, and if you can manage that, it’s the definition of heaven on Earth.” — Conan O’Brien.
Three people to share a meal: Jack Nicholson, Tiger Woods and Mick Jagger.
Proud family accomplishment: My wife Denise, a remarkable schoolteacher, and our children, Ben, Maggie and Emily, as well as their spouses and our grandchildren. We are thankful for the optimism, courage and resilience shown by my hero, Maggie, who continues waging a successful battle with cancer.
Favorite hobby: Handball and sports.
Where to entertain a visitor: Hayes Barton Cafe (now The Barton) in Raleigh and Alexander Michael’s in Charlotte.
owner | Preston Development
The Salisbury native, 73, started his residential development company with Bubba Rawl in 1991. It is known for projects such as Preston and The Arboretum at Weston in Cary and the massive Chatham Park project near Pittsboro. His father, Wilson, was a Food Lion co-founder.
THOMAS TAFT JR.
principal | Taft Family Ventures
Taft oversees the five divisions that make up the business previously led by his grandfather and father, having worked for the company for about 11 years. He also develops his own multifamily, office and restaurant projects. He is a member of the N.C. Board of Transportation.
managing partner | Front Street
The Lexington native is a Wake Forest University graduate who has helped develop or acquire more than $565 million in income-producing assets. His private equity real estate group now owns or manages assets topping $360 million. It made its first Tennessee investment last year.
co-owner, CEO | Vannoy
Vannoy joined the contractor in 1971 and took over for his father as CEO in 1985. It now has several offices in the Carolinas and annual revenue topping $600 million. He co-owns the business with his brother, Mark, who is president.
Key to industry success: Meeting people and forming meaningful relationships that continue to grow.
Favorite hobby: Collecting cars and memorabilia In 2020, I auctioned off my collection of muscle cars and memorabilia but have since started rebuilding my collection. My favorite vehicles are the Dodge Demons.
Where to entertain a visitor: Jefferson Landing, a gated mountain resort community and golf course that we built from the ground up.
chair, CEO | Window World
The Wilkes County native purchased the exterior remodeling company from her late husband’s parents in 2007, decades after she and her husband purchased their first Window World location in Wilmington. The CEO of the business since 2010, she serves on the foundation board of Wilkes Community College. Window World has more than 200 locations.
president, CEO | S.T. Wooten Corp.
Wooten has been president since 1994 and CEO since 2019, succeeding his late father, Seth. Formed in 1952 by his grandfather, the company focuses on heavy highway, design-build, materials and commercial site work. It employs more than 1,000 people.