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Carol Lee, owner of Chinatown BBQ in Vancouver is chair of Vancouver Chinatown Foundation and co-founder and CEO of Linacare Cosmetherapy.BEN NELMS

For this feature, Globe BC borrows from Marcel Proust (and other media that have popularized the French author’s questionnaire) as a way to get to know important people around the province.

Here is Carol Lee, chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation. She is also the owner of Chinatown BBQ and co-founder and CEO of Linacare Cosmetherapy.

What is your greatest fear?

That I won’t have the chance to achieve all that I want to accomplish in my lifetime

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I would come back as myself but with the opportunity to do things differently.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My father, Bob Lee, and John McArthur, my mentor and my dean at Harvard Business School.

If you could live anywhere in Vancouver, where would it be?

Where I live now, but I could be just as happy living pretty much anywhere in Vancouver.

What restaurant have you eaten at the most?

Chinatown BBQ!

If you could be a fictional character for one day, who would it be?

Dorothy from the The Wizard of Oz. She followed her dream and found that over the rainbow there is hope.

What is the best present you’ve ever been given?

My parents gave me unconditional love and instilled in me a belief that anything is possible.

What is the greatest issue facing Vancouver?

Most people would say housing (not enough and too expensive) and I would not disagree with that. But I think a greater fundamental issue is the lack of a comprehensive economic strategy that transcends the normal election cycle.

When and where were you happiest?

I am more satisfied today than I have ever been because of the work that I am doing and the potential that it will lead to even greater and better things.

What is the best book you’ve read this year?

The Universe Within by Neil Turok

Bike, walk or drive?

Walk and drive

If a time machine took you back to depute before Vancouver City Council in 1975, what would you tell them?

I would tell city council that it is their responsibility to commit to developing and implementing a comprehensive economic and social strategy for the long term to deal with housing, transportation, the economy, the environment and social issues such as poverty that must extend beyond the normal election cycle.

Least favourite holiday

Who doesn’t love holidays? The only bad holidays are the ones that you didn’t get to celebrate.

The trait in others that you most despise

A lack of integrity.

Your own personal trait that you most despise

I am a procrastinator (I missed the deadline for this article!).

An object you still own from your childhood

A small children’s Bible that was given to me by Mrs. Wilson, my Sunday school teacher at the Chinese Presbyterian Church in Chinatown

What was your first paying job?

A waitress at Troll’s restaurant.

Dog or cat?


If you had $1-million to give to a charity, what cause would you select?

That question is easy … the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I assume that this is not a trick question, so I must say world peace.

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