Hae Un Lee, chairman, CEO and founder of Lee’s Discount Liquor, was honored during the Las Vegas Business Academy’s second annual scholarship fundraising dinner recently at Red Rock Resort.
The local businessman was described as a true example of living the American dream. Lee, a graduate of Dong Guk University in Seoul, South Korea, immigrated to Las Vegas in 1980. He opened his first store here in 1981; his retail chain now includes 16 stores and employs nearly 160 people.
Lee is active in the local Asian community and has received many awards and honors. Lee and his wife, Sun Ja, have contributed more than $200,000 to support local children’s charities.
The Las Vegas Business Academy, founded by Rino Armeni, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to postgraduate education. The academy is committed to providing selected college students financial aid and mentoring resources to become future Las Vegas leaders. The Academy also offers chances to enroll in specialized programs at renowned international universities.
At the reception, two students, Tasha Schwikert of Las Vegas and Matthew Sheahan of New York, were introduced and discussed their personalized step-above education. Both are UNLV students. Schwikert is in the law school; Sheahan is pursuing a master’s degree in hotel administration.
The evening continued with an outdoor dine-around dinner at Red Rock’s Cherry pool and nightclub, where chefs from our city’s best restaurants prepared specialties. Dishes offered included deep-fried short ribs with honey mustard by Hachi; prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella by Capital Grille; New York Caesar salad, penne pasta and lobster ravioli by Bonanno’s; brined pork chop with apple and red cabbage by T-Bones Chophouse; and cake pops, toffee popcorn and chocolate mousse by Sugar Factory.
The evening concluded with a concert by two-time Grammy Award winner Darius Rucker.
Among the 330 partygoers were the Lee family; Diana and Kevin Orrock; Courtney and Chad Orrock; Nancy and Jack Weinstein; Frank Rigley; Marie-Claire Armeni; Paola Armeni Androvandi; Ira Sternberg; Rebecca Howell; Deborah Howell; Joe Haro; Kirk Hendrick; Chastity Trudo and John Fors.