Chonburi has dedicated the greater portion of his life thus far to carrying out his civic duties taking great pride in the democratic process, respecting the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others, staying informed on issues and participating in the local community. He sits as an active member of the Maplewood Multicultural Advisory Committee. In the past, he has served on local collaboratives aimed to create equitable opportunities for small business, participated in committees evaluating economic multiplication, and facilitated the distribution of state and federal dollars to small businesses struggling through the pandemic.
Chonburi finds value, necessity, and obligation in social innovation. Often times communities plateau at doing well but cannot rise to greatness because the perspectives and input at the drawing board focus on the majority. Chonburi is a social innovator – he wants to bring attention to the nuances in the community that makes it great. He wants the concept of diversity and inclusion to be integrated on all levels of city governance. He aspires for all the differing ways of identifying diversity to be considered whether it be the color of your skin, your social or economic status, or your academic status.
His passion is derived from experience. Chonburi had humble beginnings having grown up in Frogtown, Saint Paul. He graduated from Arlington High School, attended Hamline University for his undergraduate degree in Communications, and pursued professional degrees at Metropolitan State University where he earned master’s degrees in Business Administration and Management Information Systems. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies, has been a small business owner, and has worked for local for-profit and non-profit organizations. Chonburi is an IT Project Manager by trade. He will bring his skills in managing competing priorities, resource allocation, and problem solving to the council.
Chonburi has faced the struggles of embarking on his journey to higher education, owning a business, joining the workforce, and participating in governance with limited means and limited resources but has persevered each time. As a father of four and son to aging parents, Chonburi’s vision is to elevate Maplewood to greatness – to transform Maplewood into the city where families want their children to grow up, elderly want to retire, and where businesses can thrive.
"Maplewood was the kind of neighborhood I aspired to live in as a kid; it was and remains a highly desirable city for growing families."
- Chonburi Lee
To increase diversity on the Maplewood City Council for a more inclusive approach at city governance