Christopher Lee (Politician)
Christopher Lee (Politician)
|Born||April 1, 1964|
Christopher Lee (born April 1, 1964) is an American entrepreneur, politician, and philanthropist. He currently serves as a board member of the Patrick P. Lee Foundation, the Treasurer of the Osprey Cove Master Association, and a partner at WNY Holdings LLC, a property development company.
Lee has over three decades of experience in the real estate, finance, and business management industry. He specializes in contract negotiation, business development, strategic planning, real estate, marketing, and finance.
Lee is also a highly influential former politician, who served for two years as the Republican member of the United States House of Representatives for New York’s 26th congressional district, located outside Buffalo, New York.
Early life and education
Lee was born in Kenmore, New York, on April 1, 1964, and grew up in Tonawanda, New York, in a politically active family. His sister was the director of the regional affairs for former Governor George Pataki in western New York, and his father was the finance chairman for multiple campaigns for former Rep. Jack Quinn.
Lee acquired his undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance at the University of Rochester (UR) in New York in 1987 and an MBA in International Business from Chapman University in Orange, California, in 1997. At Rochester, he was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.
After graduating from UR, Lee moved to California and started working at the Microtek Laboratory. After seven years, he returned to New York and began working for Enidine, Inc., a company founded by his father. Lee assumed various roles there, including the Pacific Rim sales manager, international sales and marketing director, and general manager. During his tenure at this firm, the company grew from a small machine shop in western New York into a global enterprise.
In 2003, Lee started working as Automation Group President of International Motion Control (IMC) of Erie County. He oversaw IMC’s acquisition of a solenoid valve business Evolutionary Concepts Inc and also managed the company until 2007 when the ITT Corporation bought it for $395 million.
Lee was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2008, representing New York's 26th congressional district (near Buffalo, New York), and was re-elected in 2010. He received 76% of the vote in the district and was endorsed by retiring Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds and all seven Republican county chairman in the district. In the election year, when the party was looking for self-funded candidates, Lee won the endorsement of state GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik. During his time in office, Lee voted to extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program and backed the Student Internet Safety Act, which protects children from online predators. He also voted to compensate 9/11 first responders, modernize the country's food safety system, and reauthorize the America Competes Act. He also received $29.7 million in federal funds for his district, which is more than any other Democratic member in the area.
In 2010, Lee offered a comprehensive strategy to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States in 2010 as part of his efforts to help the unemployed. Student loan relief was part of the idea, as traded reform would open up new markets. He put pressure on online travel agents in December of the same year to comply with legislation that compels websites to display when regional airlines are operating any part of a flight.
Lee also served on the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Republican Economic Group. In these capacities, he assisted the organization in lowering individual tax rates, lowering small business tax liabilities, and assisting the unemployed.
In 2011, Lee became a partner at WNY Holdings LLC, a leading property development company with facilities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Since then, the property development company has had great success in real estate development in the SouthEastern United States with over $20 million in annual sales.
As of 2021, Lee serves on the board of the Patrick P. Lee Foundation, promoting cancer and mental illness awareness, education, prevention, and research. He was also an active board member of Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, supporting the fight against cancer.
Lee resides in Clarence with his wife Michele Lee and their young son. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, running, and skiing.
- "CQ Politics | Endorsement Pits Money vs. Support in Western New York". web.archive.org. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- "Restructuring may to lead to IMC expansion". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- "Board of Directors". web.archive.org. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- "The Buffalo News: Latest Local News: Reynolds endorses Lee, takes swipe at Collins". web.archive.org. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- "Chris Lee on the Issues". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- "Lee leads lawmakers in earmarks for area - City & Region - The Buffalo News". web.archive.org. 6 April 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- "Chris Lee on Budget & Economy". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- Reports, Staff. "POLITICS: GOP chairmen pick Lee for Reynolds' seat". Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- "CONGRESS: Lee kicks off campaign for 26th District » Local News » Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online". web.archive.org. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- "Chris Lee on Tax Reform". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- "Lee presses two travel agencies on compliance - Washington - The Buffalo News". web.archive.org. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2021.