Charles and Marie Briner love the wonderful people of the Park Cities community and knew it was where they wanted to plant their roots. Charles grew up in Lake Highlands playing soccer and was a Lake Highlands HS Bellboy, the equivalent of a HPHS Scotsman. Marie, originally from Grand Prairie, was a varsity cheerleader and voted “Most Vivacious” in high school. Also an athlete, she placed three times in the US Gymnastics Federation state competition and was a 5A All District varsity soccer player. She continued to play competitive soccer after children, until her fourth knee surgery resulting from soccer injuries forced her retirement. Charles and Marie were college sweethearts, having been set up on a double date as teenagers at Texas Tech. Charles went on to receive his MBA from U.T. Austin, and Marie received her law degree from SMU where she was inducted into the national honorary Order of the Barristers and was named SMU’s Excellence in Advocacy recipient for her graduating class. Charles has been involved with Private Equity since 2003 and is founder and owner of Briner Capital. Marie owns Briner Family Law Group which offers a range of family law services including divorce, child custody, adoptions and marital agreements for her clients. The Briners have three children – Noel, Chloe and Noble – who have attended HPISD schools since kindergarten. “We’re so proud of who our kids have become so far in  their young lives,” shared Marie. Noel was a cum laude HPHS 2021 graduate and AP Scholar with Distinction. “She absolutely loved her first year at Texas A&M. She is switching her degree from neuroscience to business…. with a minor in neuroscience…as she narrows in on what career she wants to pursue,” Marie continued. Noel was recently presented as a La Fiesta Duchess at the Gala on June 11th and has loved being able to spend some time with special HP friends this summer. Chloe is a 2022 graduate of HPHS and is thrilled to be Texas A&M bound, following in the footsteps of her sister. Both were HPHS varsity cheerleaders, FCA Presidents, and members of several honor societies. Chloe was an NCA All American cheerleader, HPHS Ambassador, and AP  Scholar with Honor. She is a DCC lifeguard this summer, and still babysits neighborhood kids. Charles explained, “She is interested in real estate, but would lighten up a screen. So, Marie and I are rooting for broadcast journalism!” Noble is looking forward to entering his freshman year at HPHS. He loves hanging out with his friends and all sports, especially football. Noble recently finished up a week-long hike in Philmont, NM with local HPPC Boy Scout Troop 82 and is hoping to obtain his Eagle Scout, a rank Charles also received, by December. He is working at Armour Up this summer – his second summer as a volunteer instead of a participant. “It will be fun to have Noble in high school this fall,” added Marie. “We’ll get to watch a lot more of the games instead of so much of the cheerleaders.” All three Briner children participated in sports and youth programs through the Park Cities Moody Family YMCA. “This was another wonderful opportunity to create the lasting friendships and memories of our kids growing up in such a family and community-focused neighborhood,” said Charles. “Marie coached some of the neighborhood kids in soccer, and I coached them in volleyball, football and T-Ball.” Marie added, “Our kids were fortunate enough to be surrounded by a community that is strong in their faith. Allthree have participated in numerous local bible study groups including Core group, WOW and Crave at HPUMC and HP KLIFE who residents will see meeting throughout the neighborhood at places like the Hillcrest Chick-fil-A and the HP Village Starbucks. There is also Ascent, The Porch, Breakaway, FCA, Roots, and Armour Up. We love that people in the neighborhood stand firm in their faith while also being humble and so generous.” The Briners enjoy giving back, and they have instilled a love of service in their children as well. When the Briner children were small, they would regularly make goody bags of their own toys to give to children in  need. They have participated in volunteer opportunities through their church, HPHS cheer, and school organizations. And Charles had the ultimate privilege of being able to gift his bone marrow twice to help save the life of a leukemia patient through Be the Match. As a family, they continue their spirit of giving when traveling by participating in programs like Feeding Los Cabos Kids, an organization that offers lunch to impoverished children in Cabo San Lucas.
To say the Briners love to travel would be an understatement. They have traveled all over the world, including taking Noble to the jungles of Belize when he was just six months old, and all of the kids cage diving among the great white sharks in South Africa. The risks and adventures of traveling are not worrisome to the Briners. Marie said she remembers saying to herself before jumping off the cliff to hang glide in Rio de Janeiro, “Hey, there are worse ways to die!” She adds, “We once got an unbelievable deal on a five-day cruise down the Nile in Egypt when we were a young married couple. We knew there were snipers shooting people on Nile cruises back then, but we thought ‘Really, what are the odds that that would ACTUALLY happen to us!?’” Traditions close to home are important to the family, and they love all holidays. For more than 15 years, they hosted a pre-party before the annual lighting of  Highland Park’s famous pecan tree. “We would squeeze in hundreds of moms, dads, and kids in our home before we all walked down to watch the tree-lighting,” they shared. “A favorite memory was when school was canceled the next day due to a snowstorm, and the event became a spontaneous school-night kid sleepover.” In addition, the July 4th parade and fireworks are a family favorite, and they say they love the Halloween activities in the neighborhood. The Briners thoroughly enjoy their Highland Park neighborhood, though the journey to their current home was not an easy one. After being set to close on a home down the street, the plaster ceiling collapsed on the day of closing. Unsure of what to do and looking for options, they stumbled upon their current home for rent. The owners, not ready to sell at that point, rented the downstairs then-duplex to the Briners. They moved in with 4-month-old Noel, and when Chloe was born, they finally convinced the owners to sell to them, assuring them that they would follow through on their promise of giving the home tender loving care. “We followed through on that promise in 2015 and local, beloved architect, Wilson Fuqua, spearheaded the renovation of the Fooshee and Cheek home,” shared Marie. “We have special touches in our home with the addition of favorite Bible verses on multiple beams behind the walls and a cross in the flagstone on the front porch.” Charles and Marie remain friends with the Bagwells, their former upstairs neighbors, who now live just down the street. “When we were living downstairs from the Bagwells and the kids would get too loud, we would say, ‘Be quiet! You’re going to wake up the Bagwells!’,” laughed Marie. “We still joke when they are loud that they will ‘wake the Bagwells’. They are special to our family, and David Bagwell even took Charles to pick out the Texas Oak we planted in our front yard.” When asked what they love about their community, they shared, “We know that we are so blessed to live in this community. It’s just a beautiful place with beautiful people, inside and out. We are both from the Dallas area and knew that Highland Park was where we wanted to raise our kids. The schools were a big part of that, but it was much more than that to us. We wanted to raise our kids in a place where they could be surrounded by a group of families who would support them, love them, and set good examples for them.”