Broker Check

7 Questions with Vinnie Lewis

This week we sat down with Vinnie Lewis, our Director of Business Development, to discuss his decision to join CFG after a successful career in the ski industry. Check out the interview below:

What was your first job?

After graduating from The College of New Jersey I went to Mount Snow in Vermont to spend some time, for lack of a better term, as a ski bum. I spent my days parking cars, operating the lifts, and sneaking in runs whenever I could. I loved the culture of living and working in a ski town. Little did I know, this is the industry where I would spend much of my career.

Tell me about your career in the ski industry!

Well, after a while, I worked my way up to become the Marketing and Events Director at Mount Snow. In this role, I was able to do some pretty fun things. I operated events like the Winter Dew Tour and brought in ones such as the Tough Mudder, which was (obviously) a blast.  I met my wife during the Tough Mudder (no we were not participants, just spectators) so it's obviously my favorite event of all time.

After some time at Mount Snow, I was offered a position to become the General Manager of Boston Mills/Brandywine (BMBW) Ski Resort, a small mountain (okay, hill) in Ohio. During my time there, I had 1,000 people working under me... Let’s just say it was a stressful, time-consuming job.

How did you make the switch from the ski industry to CFG?

After I decided to make a career change I sought advice from many family and friends.  But it was one fateful day that proved the old saying that timing is everything.  I was visiting a friend who owned a boat yard on a lake in Vermont.  Sitting lakeside at the tiki bar I ran into someone whose path I hadn’t crossed in years, Rick St. Jean (CFG’s CEO).  Rick helped me see that I could make the impact on peoples' lives that I was seeking by helping them find financial peace of mind.  That certainly wasn’t the last meeting we had at the lake.

What is it that brought you to CFG?

Helping people has always been a passion of mine.  I know it wasn’t changing the world, but I loved putting a smile on our customers' faces and seeing the great experiences they had at the ski resort.  You build great relationships that extend beyond anyone’s time on the slopes. 

When I was ready to make a career change I asked myself what I was missing in my life that would be a game changer... financial security was at the top of the list.  If I could help provide that to others, I knew it would be the path that I was looking for. An impactful career rather than a mundane job.

Being that my wife and I were going to make a significant geographical move away from our support structure, the workplace culture at CFG was an essential factor in my decision making process.  I’m proud to say I work at CFG because of the great people here who make my life better, both personally and professionally.

How do you approach your role as Director of Business Development?

In my role, I spend a lot of time talking with people about what it’s like at CFG, whether you are changing careers as I did, or are looking to move from an existing firm because of how we can help take your practice to the next level. I try to be as transparent as possible with people. This is a tough industry, there’s no avoiding that. But it's the best business to be in if you are good at it.  I am always trying to put myself in the candidates shoes to make sure they have the desire that it takes to help others.  It’s easy to do when you really believe in your purpose.

What motivates you?

My family has always been my number one. I guess you could say I’m not motivated to be successful in the more traditional sense - the big house, fancy cars, etc. I work as hard as I do so that I can have incredible experiences and memories. That’s what matters most.

In my day to day life I find myself motivated by financial planning success stories as well. Time and time again I get to see firsthand the impact of a successful financial plan carried out - there’s nothing quite like it.

What are some of your passions outside of the workplace?

As mentioned before, my family. They will always be my number one. My daughter is two now and so active.  I want to encourage her to try as many things as possible whether it be sports, music, dance, etc.  My parents were always at my games and I look forward to being there to support her the same way.

I also enjoy giving back to the community through my involvement with the New England Center for Homeless Veterans. I have a passion for history and I’ve always enjoyed listening to stories and chatting with veterans.

Although I’m no longer in the ski industry, we still head to Vermont often so I get my mountain fix. We ski in the winter and play around on the lake in the summer - there's no place more peaceful than the Green Mountains!