Meet The Team: Austin Bryant

Meet The Team: Austin Bryant

You woke up early to the sun rising above the trees and the wind making its appearance in the rustling leaves. It’s a cool summer morning— the perfect day for fly fishing. You quickly make a cup of coffee, grab your supplies, and head out the door to your favorite fishing spot away from the crowds, noise and hustle of everyday life. After a serene drive outside the city, off the gravel drive, and through the woods, it’s just you, the water and the fish (you hope). 

If you’ve never been fly fishing, this idealistic picture may sound intriguing or boring, depending on your preference. But what you may not know about fly fishing is that it’s unique in its technique and not only requires specialized gear but also patience, honed skills and a willingness to learn. 

In some ways, lessons learned through fly fishing can also be applied to the world of entrepreneurship. As both a fly fisherman and an entrepreneur, you must research to find the best spot, you must be patient and wait for the right opportunity, you must be willing to learn unique skills, and ultimately, you must be willing to fail and then cast your line and try again. 

Austin Bryant is Griffin Brothers Companies’ newest entrepreneur apprentice, and you may have guessed it, he enjoys fly fishing in his spare time. He describes fly fishing as a “difficult but rewarding task” and his favorite way to disconnect. 

Entrepreneurship can often be a difficult but rewarding experience in and of itself— something Austin is learning firsthand under the leadership of Mike Griffin and other ZoomUp entrepreneurs. 

As an entrepreneurial apprentice, Austin is able to not only shadow Mike Griffin but also work directly with the ZoomUp entrepreneurs, some of whom were in his position only a few years ago like Austin Helms, owner of Ease Plumbing, Jordan Cupit, owner of Titan Metal Company and Nico Gomez, owner of Level Proof Foundation Solutions. 

Many of Austin’s responsibilities revolve around the Griffin Brothers Acquisitions project at Brookhill Village and managing Skyline Terrace in Charlotte, NC. According to Austin, one of the things he enjoys most about his job is that it’s not a typical 9 to 5 job where you sit at a desk all day. Instead, he is often out in the community, building relationships, learning from successful entrepreneurs and finding ways to overcome obstacles and make an impact. 

Austin shared that “even though it’s a job where [he] can’t give a real description because it’s constantly changing, it’s a learning experience and [he has] already learned, failed, and gone farther than any other job that [he’s] had before.”

60 Years of Griffin Brothers Companies.

60 Years of Griffin Brothers Companies.

Griffin Brothers Companies celebrated its 60th anniversary on February 27, 2021. In 1961, Larry Griffin, Sr. opened the first Griffin Brothers Tire Sales store and since then the company has expanded to land development, ecologically responsible waste management and Charlotte’s one-top-shop for all home and commercial property needs with ZoomUp Investments.

Griffin Brothers Companies has a long history of being a family-owned and operated business. Mike Griffin began working in an administrative role with the company and became the Secretary/Treasurer upon his graduation from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987. Shortly after in 1989, Larry Griffin, Jr. joined the team as Vice President of Griffin Bros. Tire Sales, Inc.

Tire and Automotives Drove GBC Upwards
In 1981, Larry, Sr. acquired full ownership of GBTS and when Larry, Jr. joined the team in 1989, the company began to expand. The second tire and communications store was completed in 1991 with the third in 1996, the fourth and fifth stores following in 2000, the sixth in 2002 and the seventh and eighth locations in 2008. GBTS was later sold in 2016.

Landfill Operations Saw Growth
Over the years, the Griffin family entered into the landfill operations beginning in 1988 when Larry, Sr. entered with 37.5% ownership in North Mecklenburg Landfill, Inc. and 50% ownership in Griffin-Parker Enterprises, Inc. Larry, Sr. purchased the remaining portion of NML & G-P in 1993 and began working full-time in the landfill business.

Since 1993, GBC has acquired and started a handful of other landfills including a C&D landfill in Wake County, a Marion County C&D landfill in Mullins, SC and others. As the company continued to see growth, Griffin Bros Acquisitions, LLC was formed in 1996 allowing for the Griffins to build long term property investments and cultivate various joint ventures.

New Development Operations Took Off
In 1997, Larry, Jr. oversaw Griffin Bros Acquisitions’s development projects in the Lake Norman area, including Waterside Crossing- a mixed-use development including a 19 acre retail site anchored by Harris Teeter, a 15 acre office/medical park, 110 townhomes built by Torrey Homes & Parker-Lancaster Homes, and 404 single family homes built by Niblock Development and Parker-Lancaster Homes.

This GBA venture continued to prosper as a 22,000 square foot, two-story, multi-tenant office building was developed in Cornelius under GBA in 1998. Two years later GBA developed a 12,000 square foot building to suit a space for two tenants in Mooresville, NC. In 2002, The Shoppes at Waterside Crossing, LLC was created with GBA assets pertaining to the Shoppes at Waterside. Ten years later, GBA opened a $26 million mixed-use facility adjacent to the Arts Factory. Mosaic Village offers luxury student housing apartments, 7,000 square foot of retail space, 400-space parking deck, and a 250 person Skyline Terrace with extraordinary views of Charlotte’s Center City.

ZoomUp Investments Started Zooming
Griffin Brothers holds a 10% to 15% stake in the Zooomer companies, which have added about 100 employees to the overall enterprise.It’s more than just capital, however. Griffin also offers advice, support and encouragement as Zoomers navigate day-to-day challenges.

“In life you have some road humps and potholes. My goal is to help them get over those humps smoother and work around the potholes,” Mike Griffin says. “Nothing is straight linear — there will always be ups and downs. My goal as a mentor is to help smooth them out and make it less bumpy.”

ZoomUp investments is an incubator set up for dirty jobs – a next step in Mike’s career to lead and develop tradesmen. By partnering with young entrepreneurs who desired majority ownership, he has been able to work with plumbers, HVAC technicians, landscapers, electricians and others to provide home services to the Charlotte area while also mentoring young business leaders and training the next generation of tradesmen.

What’s Next
For 60 years Griffin brothers Companies has been a staple in the Charlotte community. What started with Griffin Bros Tire Sales has developed into a company with many different facets that impacts and serves Charlotte residents in different ways. From providing a place to get around, to creating a place to stay and now to enhancing how you live, GBC has been focused on providing the best services for our clients for 60 years and will continue to do so for generations to come.

Since 1961 the Griffin Brothers Companies has been a family-owned and operated organization that provides the best-in-class services to its customers and communities. For more information on the Griffin Brothers Companies, visit

Roger Barnes Retires After 28 Years.

Roger Barnes Retires After 28 Years.

For 28 years Roger Barnes has been serving our community with integrity, passion, leadership and a vision for what’s ahead. Our hearts are filled with both joy and sadness as Roger retires from his position at the North Mecklenburg Landfill.

While the North Meck team will miss his knowledge, dedication, inviting personality and reliability, we celebrate his many accomplishments and reflect on his 28 years of outstanding service.

It was Larry Griffin, Sr. who hired Roger and brought him into the Griffin Brothers family all those years ago. Little did we know the impact he would have and the friendships that would be formed.

“I knew from the first time I met Roger that he was meant to be part of our Griffin Brothers family. Over the years he has proven his dedication, gone above and beyond and has truly impacted his coworkers and our company for the better. We are grateful for his commitment to excellence over the past 28 years and wish we could have 28 more years with him. We hate to see him go, but know that his legacy will continue to be felt through our teams,” Larry Griffin, Sr. said.