John & Sarah

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John Culbertson

Managing Partner, Cardinal Real Estate Partners, LLC

John was born and raised in Charlotte. He attended 13 different schools, including earning a Master’s of Science Degree at the College of Charleston and his MBA from the McColl School of Business at Queens University.

With his father, Bob, serving as a CMS board member in the 1970s and his mother, Peggy, as the first woman chair of the Charlotte Planning Comission, John learned early on the value and importance of civic involvement.  He worked with the Harvey Gantt senatorial campaign and has been appointed by two governors to serve on statewide boards. Locally, John has served on the boards of the McColl Center for Art and Innovation, the Renaissance West Community and the Catawba Lands Conservancy.

As a veteran commercial real estate broker, John has developed a reputation as a fierce advocate for finding outside-the-box answers and opportunities to complex real estate challenges. Outgoing and persuasive, John prides himself on his extensive network of contacts. An independent broker, consultant and investor, John thrives when working on difficult deals, from selling coliseums to coal mines to relocating corporate headquarters. He has worked for several institutional real estate developers including Trammel Crow Company and Heitman. Currently he is a senior vice president with Brennan Investment Group, developing, acquiring and managing industrial properties. He also is managing partner of Cardinal Real Estate Partners.

John has spent most of his life in Charlotte, excluding the three years he lived in Colorado as a ski bum, and loves to promote his beloved city and state. He has been married to Leslie Armstrong Culbertson for 22 years and has three sons, McRae “Mac” (17), Luke (15) and Julian (10). He has a brother, Ewell Culbertson, and two sisters, Laura Thomas and the late Ruth Samuelson.

When not doing deals or spending time with his family, you will likely find John cycling in Northern Michigan or Linville or on the Booty Loop, running with the men of F3, or skiing the steeps of Alta.

As an entrepreneur and business owner, John is not afraid to take risks, including on the dance floor. Often the first one on and the last one off the dance floor at a wedding reception, John likes to think he’s a talented dancer, especially to Earth Wind and Fire. His formal dance training includes the Promenade of Charlotte, where as a middle schooler he was taught the fox trot and cha cha by the famed dance instructor, Bubba Gross.  He is delighted to participate in Dancing with the Stars in memory of his sister, Ruth, whom he says would have jumped at the chance to dance for a charity she believed in, and would have had an amazingly fun time doing so.

A few fun facts about John:

Avid cyclist who once had corporate sponsorships when competing in mountain bike races nationwide and who still averages 150 miles a week

Loves to write and authored a book and an award-winning blog

Returned to Charlotte from Colorado, where he met his wife, only when his then-fiance’s father said she couldn’t marry a ski bum

For years made hot sauce for friends as Christmas gifts called C4- Cranky Colby’s Christmas Condiment, hence he is often referred to as “Cranky” by the people who love him.


  1. David & Elizabeth: $320,273.00
  2. Patty & Juwan: $301,121.00
  3. Gene & Sarah: $296,446.00
  4. John & Sarah: $175,299.00
  5. Jennifer & Drew: $119,194.00
  6. Kandi & James: $102,535.00
Total Raised: $1,314,868.00

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Sarah Lapointe

Hometown: Bel Air, MD
Seasons with Charlotte Ballet: 3

Sarah began her training in MD at the age of two, attending Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts until age 14. She studied at Baltimore School for the Arts before attending a summer intensive at The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, where she was offered a full scholarship to train under the direction of Bo and Stephanie Spassoff. She competed in Youth America Grand Prix and World Ballet Competition where she earned numerous top honors and awards for her ballet technique and artistry at both the regional and international level. Sarah has attended summer intensives with Bolshoi Ballet Academy, The Rock School and the Chautauqua School of Dance, where, in 2014, she was awarded with the Artistic Director Award for Overall Excellence and Faculty Award for Technical Merit. After being awarded National YoungArts Foundation Dance Finalist (Ballet, 2015) and receiving a nomination for U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts semi-finalist, in April 2015 Sarah was a guest artist with The Washington Ballet in the history breaking performance of Swan Lake featuring Misty Copeland and Brooklyn Mack. At age eighteen, she began her professional career and joined Charlotte Ballet. In 2017, Sarah was named one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch”.

A few fun facts about Sarah:

Dancing Since: Age 2

Favorite ballet: George Balanchine’s Jewels, specifically the Rubies movement.

Favorite vacation spot: The beach

When I’m not dancing: I’m working on my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

Proceeds for ovarian cancer research at Levine Cancer Institute

In one way or another, cancer has impacted all of us. At Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute, providing care means focusing on the person, not just the disease. With more than 25 cancer care locations, they provide access to top-ranked physician expertise, groundbreaking clinical trials and the latest cancer treatments across the Carolinas.

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