Bill Lee




By Turney Stevens, Dean


His life changed in an instant.

One moment, Bill Lee was on top of the world. He was the president of one of Nashville’s fastest-growing, privately held companies. He was the husband of a beautiful and vivacious wife, father of four picture-perfect children. It all seemed too good to be true, straight from Central Casting.

The next moment, his wife was fatally injured in an equestrian accident. She never recovered and Bill Lee found himself at the church, on the day of her services, asking God how he could possibly go on.

Just months later, one of those four children for whom he was suddenly forced to be both dad and mom was very seriously injured in a near-fatal automobile accident. She survived but Bill’s world continued shaken to its foundations.

Today, faith has proven to be triumphant. Bill Lee is remarried. Those children are either adults or rapidly approaching adulthood. The youngest is now attending proms, a long way away from the four year old that lost her mother.  Bill is remarried, happily, to Maria, another very beautiful woman.  Bill’s business has grown to $100 million in revenues, although it also went through its own very difficult period of business adversity. It has now emerged again in solid condition.

Our guest this week on the season premiere of Conversations with the Dean is Nashville’s Bill Lee, now CEO of The Lee Company. Perhaps no business in Nashville advertises more and is therefore more prominent in its brand identity.   It is a remarkable business in that it is now in its third generation of family leadership, a feat few family businesses can equal. Under Bill’s leadership since 1992, the company has grown from $20 million in revenues to today’s $100 million.

Bill is a graduate of the mechanical engineering program at Auburn University and a resident of Franklin. He has served on numerous boards locally and nationally, including as chairman of the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.

He is a friend and a personal hero of mine. You will want to watch this week’s program to learn how, for Bill Lee, adversity loses and faith wins.