Bonar D. "B.D." Rodgers, 89, founder and chairman of the Charlotte, N.C.-based construction management firm that became one of the southeast's largest builders, died on Feb. 14 in that city.

He had remained active in managing Rodgers Builders Inc., the company he founded nearly 51 years ago with $5,000 he borrowed against a life-insurance policy.

No cause of death was announced.


Rodgers served with an engineering combat battalion during World War II and then earned a civil engineering degree from North Carolina State University. He worked for various firms as an engineer and contractor until founding his CM firm in 1963.

Since then, the company has grown into an industry heavyweight, ranking at No. 149 on ENR's list of the Top 400 Contractors, with $388.7 million in 2012 revenue, mostly in North Carolina and the Southeast. The firm rose from the No. 175 spot the previous year. It also ranked among ENR's Top 100 CM-at-Risk firms.

Rodgers was the 11th-largest firm among contractors ranked by ENR Southeast last year.

The company teamed with Hunt Construction Group and designer Populous to revamp the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte in preparation for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

"[Rodgers] was a 'builder' in the truest sense, with a passion for building relationships," said the firm in a statement.

Attorney James Allison, who represented Rodgers, says he "was a terrible client," noting Rodgers' personal efforts to work with clients to avoid legal disputes. "You could do a handshake deal with B.D." he says.

Rodgers was a past building division chair of the Carolinas chapter of the Associated General Contractors and served on his alma mater's board.