20 Under 40: Heath Cheek

Heath Cheek | 38

Bell Nunnally & Martin
Education: Baylor Law School

If you had told Heath Cheek in high school that he’d be recognized as one of
D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas,” representing a wide range of clients from start-up businesses to Fortune 500 companies, he wouldn’t have believed you. As a first-generation college student who grew up in the small town of Chillicothe, Heath is no stranger to hard work. In fact, his first job began at 8 years old when he would help his father and grandfather on the family farm. It helped develop his strong work ethic, as well as teach him that work isn’t nearly as hard when there’s an air conditioner running. His love of family has transferred over to his life in the Park Cities, where he and his wife Andrea are raising their two children, Charlotte and Gage. Living here has allowed Heath to give his children the small-town feel he grew up with combined with living in the fourth largest metropolitan area in America.

Q: What leadership skills were the most challenging for you to develop and why?
A: I’m an introvert, so socializing is not something that comes naturally to me. So since moving to Dallas, I’ve ended up joining a lot of organizations to force me into situations where I have to socialize and make connections that I normally would not make.

Q: If there was one thing that you could change or improve in the community, what would it be?
A: My philanthropic passion is raising money for scholarships for needy kids. I was a first-generation college graduate, and I would not have been able to achieve that without the generosity of scholarship donors. I want the door of opportunity to be open for every student in Dallas who is willing to put forward the effort to advance his or her education.

Did You Know?
I have a Corgi named Rosie.

Q: What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

A: I grew up on a farm in northwest Texas. I began working when I was 8 years old, helping my dad and grandfather with errands around the farm. Over the next 10 years, I worked on the farm each morning and after school taking care of cattle and getting farm equipment ready for the next day’s work. During the summer, I worked wheat harvest by operating a combine from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. each night and then driving a grain truck until past midnight. I chopped cotton and built fences in 110-degree heat, worked cattle on horseback, drove tractors for 14 hours a day, and did anything else that the season required.

This was my first job, and it taught me a sense of responsibility and work ethic that I would not have learned with any other upbringing. It also taught me that work isn’t nearly as hard when there’s air conditioning.

Q: Where do you see yourself and/or your career 10 years from now?

A: Recognized as one of the “Go To” litigators in the state with a busy practice involving interesting, high-stakes work for a group of great clients.

Q: What was your “lightbulb moment” that lead you to your career?

A: In high school, I got the opportunity to shadow a District Judge in Wichita Falls. Following him around, I got to observe the day-to-day life of dozens of attorneys who came in and out of his courtroom. I was instantly hooked. I started applying to college as a Pre-Law major and never deviated from that path.

Q: What do you love about the Park Cities or Preston Hollow community and why?

A: The Park Cities have such a small town feel that you wouldn’t normally expect in the heart of the 4th largest metropolitan area in America. My wife and I are both from small towns, so moving here is as close as we can get to that hometown feel in a giant city.

Q: What is your favorite local store?

A: Since I have a toddler, I have to answer Froggie’s

Q: Where is the best place in the Park Cities or Preston Hollow for a power lunch?

A: The Porch at Knox/Henderson.

Q: If we looked at your social media accounts, what would we learn about you?

A: That I have two ridiculously adorable children.

Q: If you could, what advice would you have for your teenage self and why?

A: Do not stress over things you cannot control.

Q: What, to date, has been your most impressive or rewarding accomplishment in both your professional and personal life?

A: Being a husband to my beautiful wife, Andrea and a father to Charlotte and Gage is the greatest reward anyone can ask for.

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