Following His Passions - An HSNT Board Member Spotlight
Some people grow up knowing exactly what they want to do for a career. Others might try several different things before finding what clicks with them. And people like Lee Brown, one of HSNT’s newest board members, find their enjoyment not in the destination, but in the journey.
“I always had a passion for helping people, and I seemed to have a knack for biology – and I think to stemmed from a junior high teacher I had,” says Lee. “I decided that’s what I wanted to do, so I went into medicine and medical technology.”
Lee’s journey started in the Texas panhandle, where he was born and raised and learned the art of working on a farm. He knew how to drive a tractor, how to ride a horse, but he also knew that wasn’t what he wanted to do for a living. After finding his knack for biology, he took that with him to Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, where he got his undergraduate degree in medical technology. In the years after college, Lee hopped from job to job, getting a feel for the medical field and what opportunities were out there. He had an internship at a hospital in Amarillo, ran a lab at a Baylor Scott & White clinic in Waco, and worked with the American Red Cross for several years.
“There’s a point where you see these people that have been in the medical technology profession for a long time, and they stay for a very long time, and so the upward mobility in the Red Cross wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So, I started looking out in industry jobs, and that’s when I joined Abbott.”
Abbott Laboratories is where Lee’s journey ultimately led him to stay at for 25 years. Lee found that he had a place he could really grow and learn - and that’s exactly what he did. Starting in sales, Lee worked his way up to be the Director of Global Training and Development. However, after years of traveling and moving around, Lee felt the need to settle down a bit. Right now, Lee lives in Argyle with his wife, Jennifer, and has two children: a 30-year-old daughter, and a 33-year-old son with a 2-year-old of his own. With his children grown and out of the house, Lee wasn’t concerned about being away from home anymore, but he did feel a need to slow down and invest in his local community.
“As I worked at Abbott, I found that my passion there was training and development, so [when I left Abbott in 2018] I joined a small consulting firm out of Chicago. It’s a very small team, way different than the 100k employees Abbott has. Part of my job in this new position is business development…so I’m very passionate about helping people reach their goals.”
This change to a smaller, more focused career gave Lee the breathing room he needed to look into how best he could serve his community. And one day, at a Denton Prayer Breakfast last year, he found his answer.
Slowing Down, but Not Letting Up
“This is the fourth year I’ve served on the Denton Prayer Breakfast…. [Longtime HSNT supporter] Susan Passariello and I were co-chairs together, and I got to know her pretty well, and she said ‘Hey, I got something you might like.’ And that was my introduction to HSNT.”
Lee was recruited to the board after that, but his time on the board has been less than typical due to the changes brought on by COVID-19. However, Lee hasn’t let that deter him from diving in and figuring out how best he can serve HSNT.
“Part of the reason I joined was to expand my learning…but another part of it was my experience in healthcare might provide some insights with things – my experience with clinical laboratories and healthcare. One reason I retired from Abbott was that I was gone all week traveling and I couldn’t get myself involved in the community like I wanted to. This was an opportunity to do that, because I think the mission that we have here at HSNT is so critical and there’s such a huge need for it.”
HSNT benefits greatly from having board members with direct experience in the medical field, and Lee’s unique background in the business side of medicine and medical technology will prove to be invaluable as time goes on. Medicine is always advancing, and we look forward to seeing how Lee’s perspective helps HSNT in our mission to improve the quality of life for all North Texans.