Lou practices law in the areas of economic development, land use and zoning, serving the needs of clients ranging from private individuals to large businesses and institutions. He tackles corporate law issues, representing foreign and domestic companies establishing or expanding operations in the Western North Carolina region, providing legal counsel with respect to corporate structure, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic plans, utilizing his network of commercial relationships and offering his political acumen. He served on the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors from 2011-2022, including as its Chair from 2015-2018, and has served on numerous boards in Asheville, Buncombe County, and the Western North Carolina region. He was an Asheville City Council member from 1983-1989 and the City of Asheville’s Mayor from 1985-1989. He received a BA in History from Wake Forest University, a JD from the University of North Carolina Law School, and an MBA from the University of Virginia Graduate School of Business Administration. In 2020, UNC Asheville awarded Lou with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.