A Star in Star City
Brett Marston conveys the confidence of a man who has it all—the
easy smile, the athletic frame, the marriage to his college sweetheart,
the corner office.
As the chair of Gentry Locke’s construction law practice, he has won scores of
significant verdicts and settlements for his clients. And after 23 years, he’s still
thrilled every time the phone rings.
“No two cases are alike,” he says. “You might be filing a mechanic’s lien, a
lawsuit, a Freedom of Information Act request; making an insurance claim,
asking for mediation, getting a case brought to mediation—all of those things
are on the menu. It’s not a science project; it’s an art project in trying to figure
out how to creatively solve each problem with all those variables flying around.
That’s what makes it fun.”
The view from his corner office—on the ninth floor of Roanoke’s Sun Trust
building—sweeps across downtown to the slump-shouldered Blue Ridge
Mountains. Atop Mill Mountain is the 88-foot glowing star that gives Roanoke its
“Star City” nickname. When Marston was growing up, 70 miles to the east in the
tiny town of Red House, Roanoke was “the big city.”
“I knew of Roanoke,” Marston says, “because it was where the radio and TV
stations came in from.”
BY BILL GLOSE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF CRAVOTTA
Growing up on a tobacco farm, Brett Marston learned
the value of hard work. Now he reaps the rewards