Meet the Team: Chonburi Lee, Project Manager & Business Consultant

At BTM Global, we believe our work is about more than technology. It’s about our people and our relationships with clients and colleagues. We hope this “Meet the Team” series gives you a better understanding of the personalities and passions that make up BTM Global!

As a project manager and consultant for our Mavenlink business offerings, Chonburi Lee is one of the newest team members at BTM Global! Read on to learn why he’s a self-described tech junkie, why he believes culture eats strategy for lunch, and how his work with the Hmong community around COVID awareness has changed lives.

What are your responsibilities at BTM Global?
As a project manager, my focus is on building solutions for our clients’ needs by connecting them to Mavenlink, an outstanding resource management tool. I work with clients and BTM business consultants to integrate resource management solutions and help establish best practices for them.

What excites you about your work?
What is there not to be excited about?!

I am embarking on professional development in a new field – one that greatly interests me – and where I will be continuously building new relationships and designing solutions. I enjoy the challenges of it and find it gratifying to help people reach their objectives.

Technology is always changing and its possibilities are endless. I love seeing what new gadget will come out next or how a new technology will change the way we do things. It’s exciting to see how technology has shaped entire industries, and now be a part of that change.

I’m not just watching the boat sail away; I get to be on the boat!

Why did you decide to join the BTM team?
I believe in working smarter, not harder. I see BTM as an organization that embodies this value not only internally, but also through the services it offers. Products like Mavenlink, Oracle, and NetSuite are all designed to enable smarter work for clients.

I am also a bit of a tech junkie. I am intrigued by all the possibilities that technology presents. As a part of the BTM Global team, I can mesh my personal interests in technology solutions with my professional background in project management.

What do you wish others in the industry knew about BTM?
I worked in corporate America and then in a non-profit before BTM. The most striking difference between BTM and any of my previous jobs is the culture.

I believe that culture eats strategy for lunch; no matter how great your approach is, the true potential of it can never be realized if your culture doesn’t support it. One of BTM’s values is giving all its employees the freedom, responsibility, and accountability of being an adult.

When you think about it, not many companies can give its employees all three. I think this is the foundation of the culture at BTM; leadership leads by example. We work hard whilst finding enjoyment in our work and building friendships.

You often hear about companies where everyone wants to get their foot in the door because the company is so awesome. BTM is one of those companies.

Tell us about your life outside of work.
My wife jokes that we used to have a zoo! At one point, we had various types of pet birds, chameleons, a frog, two dogs, saltwater fish tank and kids! Although we never capitalized on our “zoo,” we got a lot of enjoyment out of it!

I’ve since reduced my parenting to just kids and some pigeons. I’m a father of four children, ages 9, 8, 6 and 5 months old. My wife and I are high school sweethearts. Our family enjoys being active and outdoors; we love fishing, swimming and camping.

Aside from that, I enjoy community work. I am a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee for the city of Maplewood. I also serve as treasurer on the board of directors for New Millennium Academy in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

Beyond that, I used to be a radio show host for a small radio station. I still enjoy doing that type of work, and I’ve transitioned to podcasting. I also used to be a TV show host for a small local station and I’m still invited to host on occasion. I have emceed for over a decade at various functions, but my favorite is emceeing pageants. I like seeing the differing talents and perspectives that the contestants bring.

Tell us about your work around COVID and helping inform the Hmong community in the Twin Cities (and beyond) about the virus and vaccines.
Many Hmong business owners speak English as a second language (if they speak it at all), and many have businesses that are not established enough to withstand the challenges that COVID presents.

Consequently, many of these owners are struggling. There are a number of local and federal aid programs available, but a substantial proportion of them are first come, first serve. Unfortunately, funds get exhausted quickly. When you’re a struggling small business that doesn’t have the knowledge, access, or resources to get that aid, you’re bound to struggle and sink.

Language is one of the primary barriers when it comes to getting assistance. In my previous line of work, and as a volunteer, I helped translate written material from English to Hmong, I did public service announcements using social media, I distributed fliers and information in-person, and had I frequent conversations with business owners who needed help but didn’t know where to turn.

When the COVID vaccines first became available, communities of color had difficulty accessing them. The language barrier contributed to confusion about who was eligible and when they could get a vaccine.

As the state rolled out more resources and started targeting communities of color, I was very proactive in distributing vaccination clinic information to the community weekly and even daily. I used my podcast platform.

I’ve since heard from listeners that their elderly parents were able to get vaccinated because of the information they heard from my podcast. That is extremely rewarding.

If you’d like to connect with Chonburi, you can find him here on LinkedIn.