By Larry Kisielewski
Go ahead, take a swing. You’ll probably miss. But, even if you did connect, you won’t do much damage. This dude can roll with a punch, both athletically and in life. I would like you to meet our March Getting to Know You subject, Lewis Baldwin II.
Lew is a lifelong Erieite. He graduated from St. Luke grade school and Cathedral Prep where he lettered in football and baseball and boxed (where he first learned to roll with a punch). He earned degrees from Mercyhurst College (now University) in 1993 in both education and business. Upon graduation, he was snapped up by Champion Bolt, where he was their computer specialist until 2000. The good thing for Champion was that their stock went public; the bad thing is that they then moved to Chicago, leving Lewis and 50 other employees without a job.
It ended up being another example of Lewis being able to roll with a punch. He’d always had an interest in real estate, and he had a computer consulting business he ran in the evenings, so he spent the next four years observing and learning the ropes before starting his present business – The Baldwin Real Estate Group.
Lewis’ group took off and firmly established itself in the Erie property market. Along with five partner-advisors, an administrative assistant, and a handyman, Lewis has expanded his business to include statewide holdings in Erie and Pittsburgh, and as far away as Philadelphia.
Parents, Lewis I, a retired barber, and Betty, a retired school teacher, are rightfully proud of their only child who has made a name for himself around town. He was recently re-elected to the board of the 1,600 landlords’ Board of Apartment Associates of NW PA. In his spare time, Lewis also teached Landlord 101 courses at night at the Apartment Associates Building on West. 38th Street in Erie.
In addition to his business and peripherals, Lewis is a dedicated workout fanatic. He is not, however, quite as big a man as he once was. He has dropped 30+ pounds from his used-to-be weight of 215. But I don’t mean to imply this was just extra weight. After college, Lew got into bodybuilding/power lifting and has 405-pound bench presses and 500-pound squats on his resume. These are impressive numbers, but they are not easy on the joints as one approaches 40.
With urging and cajoling from good friend and collaborator, Joe Dobrich, Lewis again rolled with the punch and switched from weights to aerobic workouts. He prefers running. Averaging anywhere from 25 to 50 miles per week. But his swim lessons at age 7-10 keep him in the water. He got a great deal on a used Trek to make him a cyclist. And, he got some tips from Joe to get him on cross-country skis. Lew has done the Quad for the last three or four years and is pictured on the front of their current application.
He still lifts, but mostly for toning and not for competition or mass. He has aspirations to join Craig Latimer for his cross-state bike trip and hopes to compete in his first triathlon this year. He’s rolled with the punches all his life, and now you know Lewis Baldwin II
Dream vacation – Hawaii (Ironman tri??)
Hobby- Coin Collecting
Music – Classical/country/rap/metal
TV- Houseflip, Pawn Stars
You’d be surprised to know – He has a 3,000-item comic books collection, including a four-figure Batman issue.
Motto – inspire others
Most famous people met – Mean Joe Greene, Jim Brown, James Caan, Mike Ditka, Dylan McDermott
Charity – Juvenile Diabetes
Sports teams - Chicago Bears, Bulls & Cubs
Pet Peeve – inconsiderate smokers
Memorable Run I – coming in third in his first race, the 2005 Dave Teubert Memorial Run (his fiancé, Lisa Heugel, came in first overall in the walk)
Memorable Run II – his first Turkey Trot. With a blizzard in the forecast, he and Joe Dobrich bought Yak-Traks online. They were delivered overnight.
Final words – Don’t wish it was easier. Wish you were better.
Getting To Know You is reprinted with permission from the March 2014 Erie Runners Club newsletter.