(#44, 2016) CHAIR, CHINATOWN REVITALIZATION COMMITTEE & VANCOUVER CHINATOWN FOUNDATION
The Protector Oftentimes, the next generation of rich and powerful represents something of adiminished return. Not so in the case of the Lee family. The ospring of renowned Vancouver developer and philanthropist Robert Lee have become forces in their own right—perhaps none more so than daughter Carol.
The eldest of four, Lee is president and CEO of Linacare Cosmetherapy Inc., acompany she co-founded in 2003 and headquartered in the historic Lee family building on East Pender, where her grandfather once ran a dry goods store. It is in this neighbourhood that Lee has had her most signi cant impact—chairing the City of Vancouver’s Chinatown Revitalization Committee as well as the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, an organization she co-founded in 2012 to help buy and restore the area’s most historic buildings.
Andy Yan, an urban planner and director of SFU’s City Program, says that Lee has been an integral force in saving one of Vancouver’s most culturally signi cant neighbourhoods, which has been under recent threat from redevelopment. “Through her generosity, as well as social capital, she’s been able to start this process,” says Yan.
Lee’s is de nitely a quiet power, exercised mostly behind the scenes. In addition to bending the ears of Vancouver’s mayor and chief planner— and being an outspoken opponent to the controversial Beedie Group development at Keefer and Columbia—Lee has also recently extended her political in¡uence to Ottawa: she now sits on federal nance minister Bill Morneau’s Advisory Council for Economic Growth and serves on the Governor General’s Rideau Hall Foundation board.