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Globetrotting Lewis always knew his career direction.

Although he began his career in accounting, Cushman & Wakefield's Eric B. Lewis, always had a sense that real estate was his inevitable career path.

"I was always fascinated by real estate, in that every property potentially combined operations, marketing, finance, design and construction and you really can almost look at every property as a separate company," the senior director and industry leader in the hospitality and gaming arm said recently.

Come 1987, Lewis switched over into real estate appraisal and began work for a small firm in New Jersey. For 14 years now, he has been at C&W, where he has been a consistent "Top Five" producing professional for the past five years, making him a national name in the hospitality and gaming industry.

He has worked on major hospitality assignments across North America: hotels, motels, resorts, conference centers, timeshare developments and condominium hotels, and has his worked with such high-profile clients as Bear Stearns, Credits Suisse First Boston, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Host Marriott, UBS, Barclays and M&T Bank.

He also sits on the board of directors of the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the Appraisal Institute and is a certified general real estate appraiser in Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Phew! You might add. That's a mouthful and a handful, but it doesn't stop there. He is also the proud and dedicated father of three "handful, but fun" girls--the oldest still in her teens.

And as industrious as he is at C&W, he still manages to find plenty of time for his wife and kids and on average takes them on three family vacations each year, usually splitting time between skiing and the beach.

A solid sportsman, he takes to the dirt track on triathlon bike rides and retains fond memories scoring winning touch downs in high school or simply trouncing the competition in wrestling championships.

"I generally like to stay in shape and to have the counter balance of the office by blowing off steam in the in the gym or taking a swim in the lake," he said.

An avid fisherman as well, he often drops anchor for a day of deep-sea fishing off the Long Island or Florida coasts, one of his favorite places to visit in the world and, as a veteran of the hospitality and gaming profession he has seen a lot.

He sees the synergy in sports and hospitality. "I enjoy competition and mixing it up. I try to prepare and perform as best I can given the time I have and that carries over into our business here, which is fairly competitive, but it is a good thing and keeps the juices flowing," he said.

One of the hottest places he's seen is also one of the hottest venues in the emerging condo-hotel market--Hawaii, which he said, with an improving Japanese economy, has meant that the Pacific archipelago is emerging as among the top three leaders enjoying the condo-conversion phenomena, New York and Washington, D.C. being the other two.

Hotel-condo conversions figure strongly in his portfolio of properties and he said that the trend that has picked up in recent years looks like it will continue for the next few years.

"All signs point to a strong period of demand growth from 2008 to 2011. I think the basics are in place for the market to continue in a very strong fashion for anywhere from two to five years, barring any significant event risk like terrorism or a pandemic," he said.
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Title Annotation:PROFILE OF THE WEEK: Eric B. Lewis, Senior director, Hospitality & Gaming Valuation Cushman & Wakefield
Author:Flynn, Gerard
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 21, 2006
Words:590
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