Lives in: SouthPark
Family: wife, Elaine; children, April, 38, Chris, 45, Kim, 46, Michele (deceased), 49
Education: attended University of Maryland but did not graduate
In was November 1979. Mark Baldwin was working in the hospitality industry and hadn’t seen his wife and kids awake in three days when he learned about a job opening at the Home Builders Association of South Florida.
He got the job. His career would take him to the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C., and then to homebuilders associations in Tennessee and Georgia and, finally, here in Charlotte, where he has served as executive vice president for the Home Builders Association of Charlotte for more than nine years.
He said that when he’s not updating the association’s website, meeting with builders or organizing education and networking opportunities, he spends his time staying current on the activities of local government planners and code enforcers.
What city or county regulation irks you the most?
Currently, the proposed (Charlotte) residential design guidelines. The guidelines, developed by planning staff, dictate the aesthetics of homes with absolutely no regard for the additional costs involved. These regulations are the kind of thing that keeps driving up the cost of housing and deprives low- and moderate-income families from enjoying the benefits of homeownership.
What’s the best part about your job?
Seeing, through the efforts of the association, housing being kept affordable so people can buy homes, that they aren’t being priced out of the market. If we can keep a house at $150,000 rather than $155,000 here in Mecklenburg County, that’s worth everything.
What’s the most intensive building project you’ve been a part of?
The only house I ever helped build was in 1961, when my best friend and I helped our eighth-grade math teacher build a house in Delray Beach, Fla., for his personal use. We made 50 cents an hour, got sunburned every day, dug everything by hand, constantly had Band-Aids on our thumbs, worked 10 hours a day and got all the free water we could drink. I have nothing but respect for the tradesmen and subcontractors who do that type of work today.
Who would win a building contest, Bob the Builder or Handy Manny?
Bob the Builder.
What’s your favorite app?
Angry Birds on the iPhone. I’ve maxed out at all the Angry Birds levels, except the new levels, like Rio.
Tara Ramsey can be reached at [email protected].