InTents June/July 2019 - 8

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John J. Lee and Melynda Norman-Lee
both worked on structures at Canada's
Wonderland theme park in Toronto, but the
"Soaring Timbers" queue line covers shown
here were Melynda's project, from design to
installation. Photos by Matthew Plexman.

Specialty Fabrics

Perspective: Melynda Norman-Lee, J J L Events
JANUARY 2019

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Melynda Norman-Lee builds on a strong
foundation to keep customers involved
and stay focused on the big picture
for J J L Events Inc.

WORKING
INNOVATION

unique approaches

URBAN RENEWAL

the social fabric

WOMEN'S WORK

becoming an industry leader

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12/14/18 9:45 AM

EDITOR'S NOTE:
This is an excerpt from an article that
appeared in the January 2019 issue
of Specialty Fabrics Review magazine.
To read the full article, visit
www.specialtyfabricsreview.com.

8 intents

june-july 2019

W

hen I work on challenging projects I see the possibilities, not the
restrictions," says Melynda Norman-Lee,
event project manager for J J L Events,
Toronto, Ont., Canada. "I start visualizing
the final outcome when I first start talking with the client. If I haven't captured
that vision from the beginning, I won't be
able to do my job to the best of my ability-because I'd feel like I was playing
catch-up with all the other details."
Originally an IT manager, NormanLee's entry into the event industry came
in 2001 when John J. Lee launched J J L
Events with his son Jason Lee (NormanLee's husband). "My IT position was
downsized so I started out helping John's
wife, Julie, on the organizational side of the
business: doing things such as answering
phones, organizing invoicing and keeping
track of money," she says. "In addition to
having done project management in IT, I
had done a lot of volunteer work, so I had
experience with the event side of things,
and I'm naturally organized-but I didn't
really know anything about the industry."

Skill, effort, gratitude
Highly skilled in her own right, NormanLee's gratitude for John's influence is
ever-present as she brings events to life
for her clients. Now at the helm of the
business she co-owns with Jason since
John's death in 2016, she talks about all
he taught her. "John was an MFC (Master
Fabric Craftsman)-one of the first. He
brought the first Höcker [clearspan
structure] to Canada. He did a lot of
'firsts,'" she says. "In those early years,
when I was with John, I was helping.
So though I don't know the industry
from the ground up, I understand the
logistics of how to install a tent because
I've done it."
Norman-Lee also credits John for her
ability to envision how a project will
best be produced. "When I look at a
site, whether it's someone's backyard, a
college field or an oil refinery-I am able
to visualize the possibilities of what can
be done in the space they have," she says.
"That is something John excelled at, and
I picked that up from him."


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InTents June/July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents June/July 2019

InTents June/July 2019 - Cover1
InTents June/July 2019 - Cover2
InTents June/July 2019 - 1
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