From forward thinkers to trailblazers, these local gents are having a moment—and Charlotte is sharing in their success.
The co-founder of Profound Gentlemen is garnering local and national accolades for his work.
Jason Terrell had spent three years after his college graduation teaching in CMS schools when he realized he could make a bigger impact on students by helping other teachers. “I was a 21-year-old teacher,” he says. “I coached football and baseball, and my students were calling me ‘father’ and ‘dad’ because I was someone who was consistent for them.”
He also realized he was one of the few African-American role models in their lives because so few African- American men are teachers. That’s why he and his co-founder, Mario Jovan Shaw, started Profound Gentlemen, a nonprofit aimed at bringing—and keeping—men of color into the school system as teachers and leaders. They recruit the men, offer them special training, mentorships, and development programs, and then work to keep them in their roles. As they wrap up their second year, their success is undeniable. The organization has an impressive 95-percent retention rate and they were recently awarded $20,000 as Seed20’s Wells Fargo People’s Choice Grand Prize Winner.
The 26-year old, who was named to Forbes’ 2017 30 under 30 list, says Charlotte was the perfect place to launch and grow the nonprofit. “Charlotte is an environment where it’s a large city with a lot of teachers,” he says. “But it’s small enough that we were able to grow and get a lot of great community support.”
One of Charlotte’s most gifted mixologists is set
to change the city’s cocktail scene—again.
Stefan Huebner had worked in the Charlotte bar scene for two decades before he began planning the opening of one of the most hotly anticipated nightspots ever to hit the Queen City: Dot Dot Dot. Huebner ran several formerly famed uptown Charlotte bars—Alleycat and Cosmos—and helped open NoDa’s Heist Brewery. Then, this spring, he left Heist to open Dot Dot Dot with partner Conrad Hunter. The bar, in Park Road Shopping Center’s trendy backlot, is modeled after a speakeasy.
Huebner says Dot Dot Dot is set to be a different experience from anything else in town. He and Hunter want to resurrect the long lost art of bar conversation. “Most of the bars in Charlotte are inside a restaurant, but we’re creating more of a bar environment,” says Huebner. “This is the kind of place where you bring someone, rather than meet someone.”
This new Charlotte Knights player is changing the game for the city’s home team.
Charlotte baseball fans have a hot new player to bring them out to the ballgame this summer. Yoan Moncada, the 21-year-old second baseman for the Charlotte Knights, landed in BB&T Ballpark thanks to a trade between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox late last year.
A native of a small town in the Province of Cuba, Moncada speaks very little English, but he’s already made his mark here, being hailed as one of baseball’s top prospects. Naturally, he says his favorite thing to do in Charlotte is play baseball. But he’s enjoying his time off the field as well. “It’s beautiful—it’s a really beautiful city,” Moncada says of Charlotte.
And he’s especially fond of the Uptown ballpark. “I feel really good playing here in this stadium,” he says. “It’s really similar to a major league ballpark.” Like most minor leaguers, he has big dreams—but Charlotte is a perfect stepping stool for them. “My goal here in Charlotte is to be one of the best players, and to just continue getting closer to the big leagues.”
The painter and studio owner is drawing attention to Charlotte’s burgeoning art scene.
“I used to trade art for rent,” Arthur Brouthers says of a time not too long ago when he was still a DJ trying to figure out if he could make a living as a painter. The Charleston native had been spinning music from the time he was 17 and five years ago, when he was 35, decided to try being a full-time artist in his adopted home of Charlotte.
“People think it’s glamorous, but this is some of the hardest work I’ve ever done,” he says.
Brouthers pioneered the abstract fluid painting technique using acrylics and other chemical agents, and often pairs paintings with photographs. Now his art hangs in the halls of Bank of America and Price Waterhouse Coopers buildings in Uptown, as well as some of the most notable homes in Charlotte—and, most recently, in the studio he opened in the unused historic AME Grace Church on South Brevard Street in Uptown about 10 months ago.
After an impressive recent showing in New York City, Brouthers is focusing on promoting his work—and Charlotte—around the country. “I’m hoping to show other cities that Charlotte is very progressive and growing so rapidly,” he says. “I want to show there’s a really good art scene in Charlotte.”
The Championship Director of the PGA Tournament is making history in Charlotte this summer.
Every few years Jason Mengel gets to know a new city pretty fast—and pretty well. The PGA Championship director moved to Charlotte with his wife and three kids in November 2015 to run the golf tournament that will take over Quail Hollow Club—and much of Charlotte—later this summer.
He dug in fast, immediately meeting with key Charlotteans and getting to know his temporary home. “We love it here,” says Mengel. “The whole community —the golf club, our neighbors—has really embraced us.”
It’s a good thing because the tournament is expected to have a $100-million economic impact on the city, and tickets sold out faster than any other championship PGA event in history.
Mengel says that he had no Carolinas connection before the job brought him here, but he and his family have made it their home. “We’re only here for a limited window of time, but we’re here long enough to know what makes this community special,” he says. “The people couldn’t be nicer or more supportive. It’s fantastic.”
Photography by Justin Driscoll