Cheri Lewis, 40
President and founder, The Closing Company
Attorney Cheri Lewis had an idea: you shouldn’t have to hire an expensive lawyer to do real estate closings. She didn’t think attorneys were doing such a good job anyway.
Eight years ago, when she started The Closing Company, Lewis was not warmly welcomed by local attorneys. She attributes her “somewhat hostile” reception more to the fact that she was taking business from them than that she was a woman.
Once a local attorney asked her to reach in his pocket for candy and wanted a kiss on the cheek, an experience she calls “degrading” and “inappropriate,” although today she laughs about it. Now that her business includes offices in Charlottesville, Staunton, Greene County, and Fluvanna, no one’s asking Lewis to reach in his pocket for candy.
Lewis doesn’t consider herself a feminist. “The era I grew up in taught me I had the same opportunities as men,” she explains. Her advice to a young woman starting out: “Go with your gut instinct, and don’t listen to anyone if you think you’re right."
The hardest part of her job is attracting and retaining personnel to give clients outstanding service. And while Lewis occasionally misses practicing law, she finds satisfaction in handling real estate settlements.
“You’re involved in such an important aspect of people’s lives,” she says.Read more on: The Closing Company