Real Estate & Construction
Massive wealth has been created in North Carolina’s real estate industry over the last decade because of soaring property values, particularly in the Charlotte, Triangle and coastal areas. The state has become a magnet for international investment because of its growth prospects. This section includes many of the state’s most successful contractors, developers and residential brokerage company owners.
chairman, CEO | Dominion Realty Partners
The development firm led by former professional tennis pro Andrews, 62, has offices in Charlotte, Raleigh and Richmond, Va. The N.C. State University graduate raises money to help interest low-income children in tennis.Read More
North Carolina’s challenge: Managing the significant growth our state has experienced and will experience is going to determine our quality of life in North Carolina.
Person you admire: My father. After serving in World War II, where he received the Silver Star for piloting B-17 bombers, later becoming a general in the Air Force, got his master’s in tax law from Northwestern University [and] later formed many companies like BTI, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, FMI and N.C. Natural Gas and many more. He always supported me in chasing my dreams while challenging me to be the best I could at whatever I chose to do.
Decision you would change: [I would have] remained on the pro tour a few additional years to have possibly won a Grand Slam title instead of retiring. Getting to the finals of the Australian Open was nice, but a win is everlasting.
Something surprising: I was adopted at birth.
CEO | Fonville Morisey Barefoot
The Raleigh area native started his own company in 1983 and merged with Fonville Morisey in 1989. It has long been a major force in the Triangle’s residential real estate market and also operates a Wilmington office. His son, Jonathan, is company president.
president | Barnhill Contracting
Barnhill has served as president since 2010 of the company founded by his grandfather. Among the state’s largest contractors with annual revenue topping $500 million, it has built or renovated high-profile projects such as Charlotte’s Optimist Hall and WRAL’s headquarters in Raleigh.
CEO | Bell Partners
The son of company founder Steve Bell has shepherded more than $10 billion in real estate deals since joining the company in 2001. He became CEO in 2016. The UNC Chapel Hill MBA graduate raised $950 million in 2020 to acquire more apartment developments.
president, CEO | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty
Camp, 66, has built his real estate company into one of the state’s largest with more than 900 agents. The University of South Carolina graduate took over Prudential Carolinas Realty in 2005. Warren Buffet’s company bought the business in 2013.Read More
First job: Selling peanuts at University of South Carolina home football games
Best advice: There is no substitute for hard work. (my father)
Proud family accomplishment: The strength of character of our children and their spouses, and their commitment to their family, their faith and good citizenship
Favorite passion: Spending time with my wife, Patricia, and our children and grandchildren
Person you admire: My parents, John and Emily Camp, and my wife’s parents, Melvin and Joyce Poole. They were exemplary in character, love for their families, church and country.
Favorite recent book: The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Favorite music: Carolinas beach music
Something surprising: I cry when I hear the national anthem.
ROY CARROLL II
founder, president, CEO | The Carroll Cos.
Carroll founded his company with his father as a custom homebuilder in 1984 and has grown it to more than $2.5 billion in real estate under management, including apartment and office buildings, hotels and storage units.
president | Clancy & Theys Construction
Clancy, 72, succeeded his father in 1986 in leading the business that was formed in 1949. The company ranked 170th nationally in Engineering News Record’s rankings of largest U.S. contractors in 2019. It also has offices in Charlotte, Wilmington, Orlando and Newport News, Va.Read More
First job: Estimator
Employer’s distinction: One of the state’s oldest and largest vertical construction and family-owned companies
North Carolina’s challenge: Prosperity is concentrated in a few places and not broadly shared among ethnically diverse groups.
Favorite passion: Racing my Porsche
Person you admire: My father, E.I. Clancy, who cared deeply about us
Favorite recent book: Spearhead by Adam Makos
Favorite music: The Who
co-owner | True Homes
He leads one of the 40 largest U.S. homebuilders, according to Builder magazine. It has operations in the Charlotte, Triangle, Triad and coastal markets. It closed on more than 2,000 properties last year. He is chairman of the American Bank & Trust community bank.
senior vice president, national operations | Balfour Beatty
The Kansas State University graduate joined the London-based contractor as Carolinas business unit leader in 2006, then became regional president in 2012. He’s led some of the state’s largest construction projects, including 300 South Tryon and 1 Bank of America Center in Charlotte.
founder, CEO | The Dilweg Cos.
The former NFL quarterback has acquired commercial real estate valued at more than $1.3 billion since founding his company in 1999. The Duke University graduate oversees projects in four Southern states with a history of improving, then selling his developments.
founding partner | Proffitt Dixon
Dixon has led more than $1 billion in real estate transactions since co-founding the company with Stuart Proffitt in 2009. The Appalachian State University and UNC Chapel Hill graduate has developed luxury apartment communities across the Southeast.
regional president | Brasfield & Gorrie
An Auburn University graduate, Duckworth, 54, has spent nearly three decades with the Birmingham, Ala.-based general contractor. He’s been regional president since January 2020. A recent project is WakeMed Cary Hospital’s expansion.Read More
First job: Pumping gas, bagging groceries, shocking shelves and helping the butcher at a small store
Best advice: Look for the win-win solution in all situations. (founder Miller Gorrie)
Person you admire: Miller Gorrie for his selfless leadership and how he values people
Something surprising: I witnessed singer Waylon Jennings signing his will.
managing principal | Cushman & Wakefield
In his position since 2017, Gray, 39, has helped nearly triple the Charlotte office’s revenue. The UNC Chapel Hill graduate joined the national firm in 2012 and oversees more than 100 employees. He helped broker the sale of the Bank of America Legacy Union tower.Read More
First job: Working at Arthur’s, a grill at the SouthPark Belk store. I still eat lunch there.
Person you admire: Hugh McColl Jr.
Something surprising: I have officiated at two weddings.
CEO | Grubb Properties
Grubb, 53, has a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and is a UNC School of Law graduate. His company has developed more than 5,000 apartments and 2 million square feet of office space in several states.Read More
First job: Collecting mortgage payments and completing amortization schedules — by hand — at age 12
North Carolina’s challenge: Providing education for all children, rural and urban
Favorite passions: Kiteboarding, mountain biking, water skiing and snow skiing
Person you admire: Albert Ratner, retired Forest City Real Estate CEO, whose success sprouted from a commitment to community
Favorite recent book: Tightrope by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
R. GORDON GRUBB
president | Grubb Ventures
Grubb, 61, founded the company in 2002 to redevelop underutilized property. He has a Wake Forest University law degree and a UNC Chapel Hill MBA. He and his brother, Charlotte developer Clay Grubb, grew up in Lexington. They do not typically co-invest in properties.Read More
First jobs: Mowing yards and painting houses
Proud family accomplishment: I am so very proud of my entire family including my wife, Sallie, and our three children, Stuart, Robert and Darden.
Person you admire: My late father, Robert Grubb. He helped so many people become homeowners who otherwise couldn’t have by developing nice affordable housing and providing financing, and he did it in a very unassuming and quiet way.
Favorite recent book: I Thought It Was Just Me (but It Isn’t) by Brené Brown
principal owner, president | Beverly-Hanks Realtors
An Appalachian State University graduate and Asheville native, Hanks, 57, has spent 20 years running western North Carolina’s most active residential realty firm with annual volume topping $1 billion.Read More
First job: Working at an Arby’s
Best advice: You’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting. (my father)
Proud family accomplishments: My wife, Amy. She founded Beverly-Hanks Mortgage Services in 2000 and has shepherded the company into a thriving mortgage banking operation, all while being an actively engaged mom to four children and a loving wife and caring friend to many.
Favorite passions: Hunting, fishing, camping, snow skiing and watersports
president | Lincoln Harris
The son of Charlotte civic leaders Johnny and Deborah Harris has led the developer since 2015. He previously worked for Fortress Investment Group in Charlotte. Lincoln Harris’ projects include downtown’s Bank of America Tower and the Rea Farms mixed-use project in south Charlotte.
managing partner | Ivester Jackson
A Michigan State University graduate, Jackson has led the boutique real-estate brokerage since 2003. It is affiliated with Christie’s International Real Estate and specializes in higher-priced properties across the Charlotte region. Its revenue has grown 400% since 2014.
CEO | Coldwell Banker Howard Perry Walston
The Wake Forest University graduate, 62, became CEO after joining the business in 1987 as controller. The firm was created when Howard Perry and Don Walston merged their firms in 1973. Jones previously worked in public accounting.Read More
First jobs: Cleaning shrimp, cutting grass and working as a deckhand on a ferry
Proud family accomplishment: I have three adult daughters. All completed college with honors and are pursuing meaningful careers.
Favorite passion: Running trails at Umstead Park
Person you admire: Don Walston — he has the gift of wondering
Something surprising: I competed in the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, two Ironman races and 20 Ironman 70.3 races.
founder, managing partner | Asana Partners
The UNC Chapel Hill graduate joined former Edens colleagues Terry Brown and Jason Tompkins to co-found the company in 2015 to redevelop mixed-use projects in fast-growing cities. He previously worked for Sears Holdings. Asana raised $800 million in 2019.
CEO | Kane Realty
Kane started with buying and redeveloping properties in eastern North Carolina, ultimately becoming one of Raleigh’s top developers. The Wake Forest University graduate’s company’s many projects include the $1 billion North Hills Innovation District and Downtown South projects in Raleigh, which mingle office, housing and entertainment.
GREG KEITH, JR.
president, CEO | The Keith Corp.
Keith founded the company with his father, Graeme, in 1989 and has developed, leased or managed more than 19 million square feet of commercial space nationally. Other subsidiaries include general contracting and management of corrections facilities. He has bachelor’s and law degrees from Wake Forest University.
senior managing partner | Childress Klein
Much of Charlotte’s skyline was developed by the firm led by Klein, 75, who has a bachelor’s from Princeton University and a Wharton MBA. Major current projects include the new Duke Energy tower and a massive industrial project planned near Concord Mills in Cabarrus County.Read More
First job: Chemical division of Exxon
Employer’s distinction: We make a point to hire the best, promote from within and give our employees the freedom and tools to do the job that they were hired to do. By doing so, we have been fortunate to play a role in creating exceptional projects that have helped shape Charlotte and respond to the exponential growth happening in the area.
president, director, CEO | Highwood Properties
The University of Georgia MBA graduate joined the real estate investment trust in 2012 and succeeded leader Ed Fritsch in 2018. The REIT, which has returned investors 19% over the past five years, sold properties in Greensboro and Memphis to focus on faster-growth areas.
managing director | Beacon Partners
A U.S. Military Academy graduate with a University of Virginia MBA, Lash, 61, joined with Charlotte Caterpillar franchise owner Ed Weisiger Jr. to start Beacon in 1989. Its projects include the mixed-use RailYard in Charlotte’s South End.Read More
First job: Second lieutenant, U.S. Army
Employer’s distinction: The most distinctive aspect of our company is that we’ve been able to attract a unique and special group of people who are … high character, humble and thoughtful humans and … extremely good at what they do every day. We care about each other and put our families above our work.
North Carolina’s challenge: It is heartbreaking to see so many of our neighbors struggle with poor education options, lack of health care and many other obstacles that lower their chances of personal or family success. It’s not a level playing field, and we can’t rest until it is.
People you admire: Ron Sherrill, ex-CEO of Steelfab. The most generous man I have ever met. … [And] Jim Morgan, ex-CEO of Krispy Kreme. … He’s a wonderful example of leading by loving.
chairman, CEO | Crescent Communities
Named CEO of what was once Duke Energy’s real estate division in 2011, he has overseen more than $10 billion of projects over his career. The Harvard University graduate previously worked for Crosland and The Walt Disney Co. Japan’s Sumitomo Forestry became majority owner in 2018.
CEO | The Spectrum Cos.
McClure, 40, heads a company that has developed more than 30 commercial projects. It has more than 4.4 million square feet of property under management or lease and 1,600 apartments in its $2 billion portfolio. The Wake Forest University graduate earned an MBA at Duke University.Read More
Proud family accomplishment: My son’s nickname is “Happy Jack” because of his smile and the light he brings into the lives of people he interacts with. Grace is an empathetic, caring 9-year-old who goes out of her way to make sure everyone is included.
Something surprising: We moved to England for my dad’s job when I was almost 8 and lived there for four years.
managing partner | MPV Properties
Last year MPV celebrated the 10th anniversary of the merger of companies run by Merrifield, Bailey Patrick and Steve Vermillion. The Harvard Business School graduate has directed the development of 4,000 acres and 3.5 million square feet of commercial space.
owner, broker | HM Properties
The Philadelphia-area native founded her company in 2006 with six brokers. It now
ranks among the top Queen City residential real estate leaders with 115 agents. The UNC Chapel Hill graduate previously built and sold TextWorks, a financial industry training technology company.
Carolinas market director, Charlotte brokerage lead | JLL
Monroe, 55, is a University of Virginia graduate who joined JLL in 2011 after co-founding a regional consulting firm and stints with Lincoln Harris and Spectrum Properties.Read More
First job: Branch manager at First Union National Bank (now Wells Fargo)
North Carolina’s challenge: The growing economic divide. As the state of North Carolina continues to grow and recruit new companies to our beautiful area, we need to make sure that we solve some of our existing issues and not compound them through growth.
Best advice: Treat everyone you meet as an equal and be grateful for them. (my father)
Decision you regret: Not investing every nickel of my life savings in commercial real estate in Charlotte and Raleigh over the years.
Favorite music: Anything from the ’80s and ’90s
CEO | Wilkinson ERA Real Estate
A residential real estate veteran since the 1970s, Moore moved to Wilkinson in 2016 and has helped build one of the region’s biggest agencies with more than 800 agents. He previously was CEO of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston in Raleigh.
managing director | CBRE
The Naval Academy graduate and aviator manages the Charlotte office of the international real estate services company, which he joined in 2010. He previously worked for NorthMarq Capital and RBC Capital Advisors. Over his career, he’s placed more than $3.5 billion in real estate capital.
owner, president | The Overton
Overton, 46, leads a major eastern North Carolina commercial real estate company. The Greenville native and East Carolina University graduate helped lead his family’s water sports catalog company before its sale in 2003. He chairs the Greenville-ENC Alliance economic development group.Read More
North Carolina’s challenge: Not just our state but our country: The polarization of our culture is going to destroy us. There isn’t an us vs. them. There is simply an us, and yet we don’t act that way. Until people get their social media habits under control and members of some of the news media mature, this isn’t likely to change.
Best advice: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Jesus)
Favorite recent book: The Institute by Stephen King
Something surprising: I love to bake with my kids and make some pretty good desserts.
CEO, owner | Terwilliger Pappas, Pappas Properties
The N.C. State University graduate started his company in 1999, and it’s become one of the Queen City’s most prominent mixed-use developers. He’s been involved in such projects as Huntersville’s Birkdale Village, Charlotte Midtown’s Metropolitan and many apartment communities.
owner, CEO | Parr Investments
After building a successful apartment flooring business, Parr launched his company in 2001 to build apartment communities across the Triad. The Appalachian State University graduate and Greensboro native now has nearly 2,500 units under his belt.
CEO | Bald Head Island Ltd.
Bald Head Island
Since 2010 the Harvard Business School graduate has managed the private 12,000-acre island, a second-home destination in Brunswick County accessible by ferry. The island is owned by heirs of Texas oilman George Mitchell. He’s also a partner in Harbor Island Equity Partners and a director at First Carolina Bank.
general manager, executive vice president | Skanska USA Building
Peele manages the Swedish contracting company’s operations in North Carolina and Virginia. Major projects have included the James B. Hunt Jr. Library and Fitts-Woolard Hall engineering building at Peele’s alma mater, N.C. State University, and a surgical tower at UNC Hospitals.
founder, president | East West Partners
Perry has led East West since 1983, building large residential communities such as Meadowmont in Chapel Hill and Adams Farm in Greensboro. The UNC Chapel Hill graduate is a longtime volunteer leader at his alma mater, where he formerly was chairman of the trustees board.
GREGORY POOLE III
chairman, president, CEO | Gregory Poole Equipment
Poole represents the third generation to run the company, which was founded in 1951 as the state’s second Caterpillar dealer. The 1,300-employee company supplies construction equipment across eastern North Carolina. He bought the company from his father and became CEO in 1999. Its annual revenue tops $600 million.
founding partner | Proffitt Dixon
Proffitt, who had worked for Pappas Properties, joined Wyatt Dixon to found the company in 2008. The N.C. State University graduate, who has an MBA from the University of Southern California, has developed more than $1 billion of multifamily communities in the Carolinas and Tennessee.
president, CEO | Pulliam Properties
Pulliam joined his father Winston’s realty company in 1986 and stepped into its top job in 1993. Over the next three decades, the Newberry College graduate has built what he calls western North Carolina’s largest commercial real estate firm.
president, CEO | Coldwell Banker Advantage
Starting his own office in 1995 with nine agents, Rabon now manages more than 1,700 real estate agents and 55 offices in the Triangle, Triad and South Carolina. The East Carolina University graduate is a past president of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors.
president, CEO | Northwood Ravin
The former Crosland executive started his company in 2011 and became a leading apartment developer. After forming a joint venture with New York-based Northwood Investors, the business has expanded into office projects in Durham and Charlotte. He has architecture degrees from UNC Charlotte and the University of Michigan.
president, CEO | Allen Tate
The Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate, 69, has led the brokerage since 1992, overseeing annual sales that have topped $5 billion. In 2018, the locally owned firm merged with Pittsburgh-based Howard Hanna to create the largest privately owned U.S. residential brokerage.Read More
First job: Framing carpenter
North Carolina’s challenge: Public education reform, which is why I am so passionate about BEST NC (Business for Educational Success and Transformation).
Best advice: What would the world be like if someone did not have to get credit?
Favorite recent book: The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath
president, CEO | Rodgers Builders
Rodgers, 73, has been CEO since 1988 of the business started by her late husband, B.D. Rodgers Jr., in 1963. Revenue totaled $510 million in 2019. She has chaired the Charlotte Chamber and Mint Museum boards.Read More
First job: Waitress at a hot dog stand
North Carolina’s challenge: Workforce development to ensure we continue to attract and grow diversity in our workforce and diverse future economic growth across the entire state, both in urban and rural communities
Best advice: B.D. Rodgers, founder of Rodgers Builders, always said, “Never second guess yourself. Things work out for the best because you make the best out of them.”
chairman, CEO | Samet Corp.
Samet succeeded his father in 2000 as leader of the construction company formed in 1961. The University of Georgia and UNC MBA graduate expanded into development with revenue topping $400 million in 2019. It has six offices, including one added last year in Wilmington.
partner | Windsor Commercial
Seymour co-founded the company in 2003 after a multidecade career in sales and real estate. It develops multifamily, medical and industrial projects in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee. He has a bachelor’s degree from N.C. State University and a UNC Greensboro MBA.
owner | Preston Development
Smith, 72, and partner Bubba Rawl have been key developers of many residential communities including MacGregor West and Preston in Cary, with backing from SAS Institute’s Jim Goodnight. Their nearly 8,000-acre Chatham Park project is expected to be among the Triangle’s largest planned communities. The Salisbury native’s father, Wilson, was a co-founder of Food Town, now Food Lion.Read More
First job: Food Town produce department
North Carolina’s challenge: Too much control by state government
Best advice: Be friends to everyone.
Proud family accomplishments: Two great children and two awesome grand-daughters
Favorite passion: Travel
Person you admire: Bubba Rawl — my business partner of 35 years
Favorite recent book: Boxed In by J.P. Davis
Favorite music: ’70s
vice president | Gilbane Building
Sullivan was tapped to lead the North Carolina operation in 2016 after working for the Providence, R.I.-based contractor and a predecessor company since 2000. The University of Florida graduate works with a client list that includes Duke University, Truist and Google.
THOMAS TAFT SR.
chairman, CEO | Taft Family Ventures
The former N.C. state senator and veteran lawyer has developed or acquired more than 7,000 apartments and 2 million square feet of commercial space since 1988. He has a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a UNC Chapel Hill law degree. His sons Thomas and Jonathan are principals.
managing partner | Front Street Capital
Team, 65, has been a key N.C. developer since the mid-1980s. He and his son Coleman merged Carolina Investment Properties and Front Street Capital in 2014. The Wake Forest University graduate oversees a real estate portfolio valued at more than $350 million. His son Alston also works for the business.Read More
First job: Training program at BB&T
Employer’s distinction: Front Street Capital is a high-energy, full-service development firm that is experiencing tremendous growth. … We pride ourselves in the cities that we call home and enjoy helping change the face of each community.
co-owner, CEO | Vannoy Construction
The East Carolina University graduate, 72, has worked in the family business since 1971 and been CEO since 1985. Annual revenue has topped $580 million in recent years with six offices in the Carolinas.Read More
First job: My first job was curb hopping at a local restaurant in Jefferson when I was 12 years old. This job taught me about hard work and responsibility from a young age.
North Carolina’s challenge: The biggest challenge facing our state which most concerns me is the growth, or [more] specifically our ability to keep up with the infrastructure to handle the growth.
Best advice: My best advice came from my dad. He always taught my brothers and me to treat everyone like you would like to be treated. In terms of the business, he always said you could construct many good projects and a lot of people would see them, but if you built just one bad project, everybody would hear about it.
Proud family accomplishments: I am married, and through the years have been blessed with two sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren, and two stepsons, one of whom passed away in 1996. In his memory, our company set up a scholarship fund that has helped more than 570 high school seniors pursue their dreams by attending college.
Favorite passions: My favorite pastimes are playing golf and collecting muscle cars and memorabilia. … In 2020, I auctioned off my collection of muscle cars and memorabilia that took 30 years to accumulate. The decision was not an easy one, but now I have room to start collecting again.
founder, CEO | Intracoastal Realty
Wallace went to Florida State University on a basketball scholarship, then embarked on his career in real estate. He founded his brokerage company in Wrightsville Beach with one other employee in 1976. It now has more than 350 agents and 13 offices.
chairwoman, CEO | Window World
The Wilkes County native and Meredith College graduate acquired the corporate office of the exterior remodeling company from her late husband Todd’s parents in 2007. They previously owned several franchise stores. Becoming CEO in 2010, she oversees more than 200 locations nationwide.