December 2010

Against the odds

Against the odds 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars

Roofing contractor Brent Lee built a new life in the U.S. after growing up poor in South Korea

by Krista Berns
1 person has posted a comment

Brent Jihoon Lee was born in South Korea and grew up in a poor area. Living in the countryside on the outskirts of Seoul, he didn't see a car until he was 7 years old. His first job involved walking up to the peak of a mountain to get spring water, walking back down and selling it.

On average, one out of 25 people in the area where he grew up went to college. When Lee, an only child, moved to the U.S. at age 15, he didn't know the English alphabet—let alone the English language.

Lee (middle row, third from the right) with J & K Home Improvement employees

Now, about 20 years later, Lee owns his own company, J & K Home Improvement, in Rolling Meadows, Ill. The company, which has been in business for six years, remodels about 350 homes per year and has a sales volume between $2.5...

To read the article in its entirety, please log in or register (registration is free).

Log in or register for FREE access to this article and other Professional Roofing online content.

Not a user?

Register now for free access
  • Full access to every article
  • Online Web exclusive information
  • Photo gallery
  • Breaking news
  • Online classified ads

Already a user?

Log in now

User name:



Login help
Click here to have your user name and password emailed to you.

Comments (1) Login to post a comment or rating

Posted by karenreisdorf on 12/2/2010, User rating 
5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars
Report Abuse
Very inspiring article! Well written!