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On the Level

Revving it out of the recession (access required)

Trent Haston grew up in Charlotte, but On the Level bets he picked up some of his business savvy from a tried-and-true driving maneuver straight from twisting back roads of the Blue Ridges. That’s how Haston not only survived the housing bust but beat it, too, growing his Charlotte-based Andrew Roby General Contractor business into the Roby Family of Companies.

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On The Level: Hoss Hinson – yes, the name is real. So is he. (access required)

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Hoss Hinson is a cool name, and the guy who has it has the cool to back it up, too. The wrap-around-sunglasses-sporting, pickup-truck-driving, beard-wearing, hard-hatted and safety-vested vice president of the Monroe-based Godfrey Construction Co. showed up at East Mecklenburg High School taking swigs through a straw in a Big Gulp cup full of Mountain Dew.

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Drawn to Souths: On the Level with Jim Burbank of Saussy Burbank (access required)

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Over the past quarter-century, Jim Burbank has built a lot of houses, in Charlotte, Raleigh and the Charleston area. Along with them, he also has built a reputation for solid and not overly adorned quality homes as contractors used to build, with solid wood, two-panel interior doors, simple but beautiful moldings and classic layouts opened up to accommodate contemporary tastes.

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Not exactly ‘The Godfather’ : On the Level with Darin Brocklebank (access required)

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Eschewing the cliché of starting a successful business on the back of a paper cocktail napkin, Darin Brocklebank started out Metro GreenScape at the bottom of a paper grocery sack. Usually, On the Level calls or emails subjects and begs them for a half-hour of their time. Brocklebank emailed us, saying he wanted to meet us so he could do us a favor. That was a new one, so we agreed to meet, but only if he let us interview him in exchange for hearing about his offer.

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