If you have followed our blog recently, you know we do a regular feature we call our Spotlight Special that focuses on local businesses who have some deals or events planned. We can also use this to profile a local product or person we think makes Syracuse and Central New York special. In this case, we wanted to introduce you to our very first VI-cheaP member to join our site and her name is Courtney M. Hills Attorney at Law.
In the past, the posts have been about profiling their events, specials or business and I just break it down for you. This time since I consider Courtney a friend, we wanted to try something different so I did this in an interview format. So below you will find 5 questions I asked her and her responses that explain why we wanted her to be a VI-cheaP member and when and why you should reach out for her services. Hereeeeee's Courtney!
1. Could you take a few minutes and introduce yourself and tell us a little more about your background and what you do?
My name is Courtney Hills, and I am an attorney with an office located in Manlius, NY. I have practiced law for more than ten years. I concentrate my practice in the representation of village and town legislative, planning, zoning, and assessment review boards, as well as the representation of buyers, sellers, developers, and lenders with both commercial and residential real estate transactions.
I am a 2001 graduate of Syracuse University colleges of Human Services and Health Professions and Arts and Sciences. I received a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in child and family studies. Prior to and while attending law school, I worked as a social worker in the healthcare field. I received my Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 2006.
2. As a real estate attorney, at what point should I contact you if I am pursuing a real estate transaction? What other services do you provide?
With respect to residential real estate transactions, you will want to contact me once you have a fully executed purchase offer. If realtors are involved, they typically handle the forwarding of the contract to me. This is something that should be done right away because most residential real estate contracts used here in Onondaga County only have a 3-day attorney review period written into them. Commercial real estate transactions on the other hand are more involved and your attorney should be involved in the contract writing and negotiation process from the beginning.
Being a municipal attorney I also have extensive experience with land use and zoning issues. I can assist homeowners who are seeking variances from their local city, town or village zoning ordinances for projects such as pools, sheds, fences, decks, and the like. I can also assist developers with much larger projects, such as apartments, commercial businesses, and the like.
3. Do you have any local businesses you really love or local sports teams you enjoy rooting for? Any local places you love to visit?
I am a fan of SU basketball. I like meeting friends out to watch the games or attending games at the Dome. As far as local places are concerned, I’m pretty much a fan of all things Italian! But my (current) absolute favorite is Delmonico’s!
4. Are there any organizations, charities or local activities that you take part in?
I am an advocate for women’s health issues and women’s empowerment, and I try to align myself with organizations that focus on the education and funding for such issues. A couple of local organizations I support are Hope for Heather and Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer.
Hope for Heather is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to raise funds in support of ovarian cancer research, to promote education and awareness, and to help provide comfort to women and their families devastated by cancer.
Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer is an unconventional initiative to promote awareness, early detection, and advocacy with a special focus on how the disease impacts younger people.
In addition, I have recently become involved with the Rescue Mission, which organization provides those in need with food, housing and employment in Central New York.
Another passion of mine is advocating for safer and more regulated personal care products. No beauty products (i.e., lotions, sunscreens, cosmetics, shampoos, etc.) require FDA approval before going to market. In fact the last time Congress passed a major law regulating cosmetics was in 1938 and currently the number of potentially harmful cosmetic ingredients banned or restricted in the U.S. is a mere 30. Meanwhile our neighbors – the European Union have banned or regulated the use of over 1,300 ingredients known to be harmful and Canada has banned or regulated over 600. I am an advocate for the Personal Care Products Safety Act which was just introduced and would give the FDA additional authority to regulate the safety of beauty products, and I have aligned myself with Beautycounter, a company that not only provides safer products but has been actively involved in informing and educating our lawmakers regarding this issue and has been lobbying Congress for the passage of this bill.
5. I want to say thank you for your time and your support of Cuse Cheap. This is your space to say anything you would like people to know about you or your business. Is there anything you would like to add and where can they find you on the internet?
I have a website at www.courtneyhills.com where you can find my contact information and helpful blogs regarding both real estate and municipal related matters.
I would like to thank Courtney for her time, her support and her friendship. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook if you would like to follow her and support her as she supports us and the community. And don't forget to check out her website which also features that blog she mentions in her closing statement.