The Real 50 over 50 | Cheryl Borland

About me

Cheryl L. Borland is Of Counsel at Griesing Mazzeo Law, LLC, a Member of the Firm’s Transactional practice group, and is Chair of the Firm’s Trusts & Estates practice group.

Cheryl has 30 years of experience as corporate counsel advising closely-held companies throughout the full life cycle of their businesses. She guides clients through their business formations, especially around compliance with principles of corporate governance, choice of entity, and drafting entity formation documents.

She devotes much of her practice to helping small- and women-owned businesses navigate the legal system and launch their companies, including obtaining and leveraging appropriate certifications as Women Business Enterprises (WBEs), Small Business Enterprises (SBEs), Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), Veteran Businesses Enterprises (VBEs) and the like.

Cheryl also handles mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances by negotiating terms and drafting ancillary documents needed to complete the transaction.

In addition, Cheryl works with clients on business succession plans by coordinating estate planning for owners of single or multiple business ventures.

Cheryl received her Juris Doctor from Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of School of Law and her Bachelor of Science from Northern Kentucky University.

What do you do and why do you do it?

I am a business and transactional attorney with a non-traditional route. My firm is a woman-owned and women-run law firm. We are a certified WBENC company and are a member of NAMWOLF. I am very active in my local region of WBENC – WBEC-ORV, working with certified women-owned businesses and helping diverse-owned businesses become certified. I am also on the board of WBEC-ORV.

It is important for diverse owned business owners to have access in legal counsel that understand the issues faced by them and to have to toolbox to deal with unique issues of certification and how to protect it through growth and exit strategies. I consider myself to be a part to my clients – often acting as outside general counsel.

What changed for you after age 50?

I realized that I could take control of my practice and to create the type of practice that served both my clients as well as myself. I have achieved that elusive work-life balance.

What would you tell the 20 or 30-year-old YOU?

Follow your heart and your gut and take no shit. Be your own advocate and give yourself a little grace. You are not perfect but neither is anyone else.

What do you think you’ll tell yourself in retrospect at the end of your life?

You mattered, and you championed a huge segment of the business community by your work and your willingness to give and support other women. We must give to get. And how we do anything is how we do everything.

What impact do you think increased visibility can have on your business?

Visibility is key – it is not important how many people or connections I have, what is important at the end of the day in today’s business world is who knows me.

Who or what inspires you and why?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – but not for the obvious reasons.

She never took no for an answer and she blazed a very important path for women in the legal community. But more importantly, she did it with grace and elegance. I was recently sworn into the U. S. Supreme Court and had the opportunity to meet the Justices. I am so sad not to have had the opportunity to meet her.

Something else I’d like to share

I’ve reached the point of my career that it is important for me to give back and to support the next generation of female attorneys and female business owners.

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