Lee Simon graduated from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration with a concentration in foodservice and hospitality design. His hospitality operational experience, which officially began at the age of fourteen, includes roles in the back-of-house, front-of-house, and management.
He has spent more than two decades as a renowned commercial kitchen designer, with past projects on five continents covering a wide range of facility types and market segments. His combined operational and design experience are utilized to guide his clients towards new and innovative equipment and design solutions that will help them both save money and make money. During his many years leading complex projects and overseeing a design/build team, he honed his skills as a seasoned project manager, capable of successfully navigating efforts through the inevitable road blocks that arise.
Simon initiated his new product development efforts in 2003. Since that time, he has had multiple patents allowed and has helped several manufacturers behind the scenes with their development of new equipment solutions – two of which have received Kitchen Innovation awards from the National Restaurant Association.
He has focused greatly on issues related to food safety. He first received his ServSafe certification from the National Restaurant Association in 1996, and soon after became a certified instructor for the program, having conducted numerous food safety seminars.
Simon worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management – a facility he designed – for several years, teaching a course entitled Hospitality Facilities Planning and Design. Additionally, he was a regular guest lecturer at his alma mater, Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
In June of 2002, Lee began publishing a syndicated column entitled Drawing Conclusions, which was featured in over two dozen publications worldwide. More than forty installments were published. In addition, Lee's insight and perspective has been sought by major industry publications for the development of additional articles related to hospitality design.
In May of 2006, Lee published his first book: The Restaurant Dream? The book offers an inside look at restaurant development, from concept to reality. Based on his own restaurant development experience, subjects ranging from menu development and shareholder's agreements to design and construction are covered. All of the proceeds from this book have been donated to Action Against Hunger, a charitable organization with forces deployed worldwide.
Simon is a proud husband and father. He enjoys family time, cycling, hosting house concerts, studying Tai Chi (Chen), skiing, and hiking in the mountains of Colorado.