Don Lee started his entrepreneurial career at age 14 to support his interest in cars via Lee’s GoFast Supply in Austin, Texas. He then moved to California with his car to attend college and eventually graduated.
Don first applied his technical abilities at National Semiconductor in manufacturing engineering. With Quantor, a public computer peripherals company, Don had responsibilities for product management, international sales, plant management and divisional P&L. When Quantor was acquired by National Semiconductor, Don resumed his entrepreneurial career by founding and selling a U.S. distribution company for a German customer and a company to successfully compete with NCR in micrographic consumables. With his wife he then owned and grew a multi-store retail tool business, Tools-R-Us, based on the remains of a franchise operation, and eventually sold it to a public company.
In 1992, Don was recruited to become Vice President of David Powell Executive Search. Donald A. Lee Executive Search was founded in 1996. Clients for this retained search practice have included public companies: Applied Materials, Adaptec, Mercury Interactive, ActivIdentity, Lam Research, Bell Microproducts, Electroglas, ON Semiconductor. Venture backed startups have ranged from Alien Technologies in RFID to Silicon Spice (acquired by Broadcom), NanoGram in nano materials and NetScreen (acquired by Juniper Networks). Venture clients have included: NEA, CMEA, Jack Carsten!, Nth Power, Sevin Rosen, Mobius Ventures, Blueprint Ventures, Worldview Technology Partners, Sigma Partners, Gemini Israel Fund, Pitango Venture Capital. Don has founded or been an early stage investor in companies that have included web-enabled commerce applications, embedded systems and optical switching. He founded and served as CEO and Chairman of Portola Sciences, a cancer research company based on science licensed from Purdue. Don is a limited partner in Halo Fund I and was a limited partner with Aspen Ventures.
Active involvement in the community is important to Don. He has been President of the Association for Corporate Growth Silicon Valley Chapter. He has served on the boards for YMCA’s in East Palo Alto, Mid-Peninsula and Santa Clara Valley, the Portola Valley Schools Foundation and other organizations.