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Lee Close has been a resident of Spartanburg since 1979 when he moved his young family from Raleigh, N.C. to accept a position with Milliken Research Corporation. He holds a Bachelors degree from UNC – Chapel Hill in Chemistry, and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State in Polymer Chemistry. Over a 34-year career with Milliken as chemist, Director of Development, and Business Development manager, Lee was privileged to work with some incredible people and travel to five continents. Along the way, he accumulated a portfolio of 13 US Patents and two peer-reviewed publications.
After retiring from Milliken in late 2013 and with a bit of energy left, Lee accepted the role of Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg. Working with an exceptionally talented staff and Board of Directors, Habitat Spartanburg is on a growth trajectory from an average of 5 homes per year to the current 7, and with a target of 10 homes per year. Additionally, Habitat is seeking opportunities to offer home repairs and weatherization services. Affordable housing is one of the key needs of the Spartanburg community and the fulfilment of the Habitat mission to offer safe, decent, and affordable homes to families who would not otherwise be qualified to receive a mortgage loan helps to partially meet that need.
Lee has been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Spartanburg since 1982 and is a past-President. He is a Ruling Elder at First Presbyterian Church, has served as chair of Worship and Strategic Planning, and is currently serving as Clerk of Session. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Charles Lea Center for nine years, with two years as President. The best of life is that he has been married to Gloria for 43 years, is the father to two wonderful adult children (Rebekah and Grant), father-in-law to two fine people (Joel and Mary Grace) and grandfather (Pop) to the most amazing five people on the planet – James, Jane, Caroline, Grant, and Mary.