Jason Lee: Shining a Light
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN JOSE — As a former real estate broker, Jason Lee knows a thing or two about the importance of reading the fine print in a contract. In fact, it was his expert eye for the particulars that largely inspired his shift to a career in the solar industry. “While working as a real estate broker, I started looking more closely at the solar business, which seemed to be full of opportunity,” he explains. “In particular, solar leasing sounded like something that could really benefit homeowners. However, as I began looking at a contract, I was amazed at how bad it was—almost as bad as a subprime mortgage loan! This motivated me even more to get into the solar business and push things in the other direction. There are real benefits to solar if you pursue it the right way, and my goal has always been to help homeowners do just that.”
Today, as general manager of Solar System, Inc., Jason says his favorite part of his job is educating homeowners. “In real estate, clients have representatives to watch out for their interests, but this isn’t the case in the solar industry, which puts homeowners at risk of being taken advantage of. That’s why I enjoy educating my clients and explaining the differences between the real savings of ownership versus leasing.”
A resident of San Jose (where he lives with his wife and business partner, Angie), Jason expresses his appreciation for the cutting-edge character of California’s third largest city. “San Jose has become a major hub for high-tech, which makes it the perfect place for someone like me who is passionate about clean energy technology.”
When asked how he spends his time outside of work, Jason says free time is in short supply these days. “Solar is a complex business, and since our company is still fairly young, there’s still a lot of work to be done before I can relax.” When he does get a break, Jason enjoys reading, keeping up with politics and hanging out with his son, Brenden, and daughter, Adriennne, both of whom are currently attending college.
In regard to his professional career, Jason adheres to a “customers first” philosophy. “When I worked in real estate, fiduciary duty to my clients was a point of emphasis, and that’s something I’ve brought with me to the solar industry,” he explains. “As a company that serves the public, we recognize the need to put our clients’ interests before our own. In doing so, we aim to bring value to both our individual clients and our community as a whole.”
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I’ve always wanted to go to Europe, but I think I’d actually like to travel around the United States first and visit some of the beautiful places in this country.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Work on my presentation for educating consumers about solar.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio, because it keeps my mind engaged even when I’m driving.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Seattle Seahawks.