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Lee & Associates Founder Bill Lee Passes Away at 78

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Bill Lee, Founder of Lee & Associates

LOS ANGELES — Lee & Associates has announced that its founder, Bill Lee, has passed away at 78 years old after a long battle with cancer and cancer-related complications.

Lee founded Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in 1979 in Orange County, Calif. Now, the company boasts 65 locations across North America and employs more than 1,300 people.

Revolutionary for its time, Lee designed the Lee & Associates model to facilitate collaboration and investment across offices, with one key element being that Lee & Associates agents have the ability to make an investment into the growth of the company, according to the company.

Additionally, Lee strategically designed Lee & Associates to operate in smaller components to allow the company capital to operate more efficiently than other existing methods at the time; also, allowing agents the opportunity to maximize their deals in terms of commission dollars.

“On this difficult day, I stand in tremendous appreciation with the thousands of real estate professionals and their families that have been so positively impacted by the company Bill created and the unique structure that has served us for over 41 years,” says Jeffrey Rinkov, CEO of Lee & Associates. “Bill fostered and maintained incredibly close personal and business relationships with Lee & Associates professionals, including his abundant support in our efforts to continue the growth of our company in his entrepreneurial vision.”

Over the course of his career, Lee represented some of the largest companies in the world, served as a market leader in the industry and earned SIOR designation in 1977. (SIOR is a leading professional industrial and office real estate brokerage association.)

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