When you ask people in their communities about John Crosland Jr. and Bob Atack, you'll first get a big smile, followed by a statement that goes something like, “Where do you want to start?” For it seems that the two men can't stop themselves from finding and fixing problems.

Crosland, chairman of Charlotte, N.C.–based Crosland Inc., built a development powerhouse first with single-family homes and then with upscale apartment, office, and retail complexes. Atack also has enjoyed remarkable success in Richmond, Va., as president of Atack Properties, which develops land for commercial and residential uses. Having compiled impressive business track records, both men now devote more and more of their time and energy, along with enormous financial resources, to countless civic and charitable programs.

For Atack, it's the chance to uplift the lives of homeless people through a residential and training project in a struggling inner-city neighborhood. For Crosland, it's the opportunity to champion affordable housing in programs such as Habitat for Humanity. But that's just for starters, since both are “soft touches” for other deserving causes, including the arts, education, and healthcare.

Doing this good work has, in turn, strengthened their own lives, while enhancing the stature of their companies as well. “I grew up in an environment where, if you promise somebody you are going to do something, you do it in spades,” recalls Crosland. “When you respect others, you build a reputation that also goes a long way in building your business.”

John Crosland Jr. Chairman Crosland Inc.
John Crosland Jr. Chairman Crosland Inc.

Crosland and Atack are the kind of leaders that the building industry had in mind when the Hearthstone Builder Humanitarian Awards were established in 1999. Sponsored by Builder and Hearthstone, a national provider of financing for builders, the awards recognize individuals whose personal ethics and philanthropic spirit light the way for others in the field. Funds from this year's awards will enable the two recipients to designate a total of $350,000 to the charities most important to them.

John Crosland Jr.: Charlotte's Force of Nature

Bob Atack: Mission Statement

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Charlotte, NC.