We all make a difference. This thought comes to mind with the unexpected and untimely passing of Warren Lee from stroke at age 50. The former CEO of NeoNova, Lee and his team spun off the DSL service from Nortel. This team had developed the multi-megabit modem service; allowing independent telcos to offer DSL services for the first time. NeoNova continued to be a pioneer in that space, becoming a managed services provider for telcos throughout the country.
As such, Warren and his family could be found at most industry events. Warren’s presentations were always informative, thought-provoking and entertaining. He pushed independent telco leaders to look at their operations and marketing through the lens of a modern-day customer and business. In short, Warren’s innovative thinking was grounded in reality and reflected the needs of his audience.
He was one of those rare people who understood technology to a bit and byte level, while having a practical knowledge of business that was concerned about profit and loss. To this end, his last venture was all about helping telcos improve their operational efficiency. Lee saw opportunity for his customers, amidst the challenges of a changing marketplace and regulatory environment. It was fun to catch up with him several months ago and see the excitement on his face as he explained his new project. Sadly for the industry, he won’t be here to lead that effort.
While the loss to the industry is great, the loss to his family is immeasurable. Clearly, Lee had a great passion for his colleagues, but his love for family and his faith shone through in everything he did. He brought his family to industry events; which was always kind of humorous, as he often would have to get two hotel rooms to fit all five kids. He was very proud of his kids and it was clear that he and his wife, Patrice, were giving them the foundation necessary to be exemplary citizens.
Warren made a difference; not only with his kids, but all the people in the industry whom he directly and indirectly touched.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that remembrances may be made to:
The Warren Lee Scholarship Fund
Serra Catholic High School
200 Hershey Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132