Owner and Chairman
Lee R. Anderson Sr. is owner and chairman of APi Group Inc., the holding company for more than 40 independent fire protection, and industrial and specialty construction companies, headquartered in New Brighton, Minn., and operates from national and international locations. The fire protection and alarm division is the largest such company in Canada and the second largest such company in the U.S.
Anderson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a bachelor's in civil engineering in 1961. Assigned to Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Anderson was responsible for materials procurement and construction services and was promoted to first lieutenant. He envisioned a career in the military but returned to work in the family business after his father's heart attack.
Anderson is a director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.; Pan O'Gold "Country Hearth" Baking Co.; and a member of the Minnesota Executive Organization, the Chief Executives Organization and the World Presidents Organization.
He is also a lifetime trustee at Breck School and a trustee of the Naples Children & Education Foundation. His other board service includes the Board of Governors of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, the Naples Wine Festival, and the Board of the Foundation for Wild Sheep. Additionally, he is a Heritage Member of Ducks Unlimited, a regular member of the Boone & Crockett Club, a Golden Club member of the U. S. Sportsmen's Alliance and a member of the "Thomas Jefferson Society" which represents the highest level of giving at West Point.
In April 2002, Anderson received the John F. Cade Award for entrepreneurial excellence from the John M. Morrison Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas. He also received the L. B. Hartz Professional Achievement Award from Minnesota State University Moorhead College of Business and Industry.
In 2005, Anderson earned an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of St. Thomas, and in 2008 he was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. In 2009, Anderson earned the national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the real estate, hospitality and construction category. In the spring of 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson earned the Minnesota's Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award from the Minnesota chapter of the American Fundraising Professionals; and was honored for significant contributions to Catholic education with the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award. In 2011, Anderson was awarded the Donor of the Year Award from the National Association of Athletic Development Directors.
For all of his philanthropy, one topic is dear to his heart: U.S. veterans. Anderson ensures his company, APi Group Inc., creates employment opportunities for U.S. veterans and wounded warriors. In 2011, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson gifted $2.5 million to build the Lee and Penny Anderson Defenders Lodge in Palo Alto, Calif. Once built the defenders lodge will provide short-term housing for veterans whom receive medical treatment at the Veterans Affairs Health Care System. In 2011, during the first national event recognizing companies that have gone above and beyond to support U.S. veterans and their families, the Lee Anderson Veterans Center was revealed in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Anderson had gifted seed money to fund the Hiring Our Heroes initiative to support the first three years of the program.
In 2013, Anderson was honored with the Distinguished Graduate Award by the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was honored for distinguished service, excellence, integrity, spirit and character, and for keeping with the U.S. Military motto: "Duty, Honor, Country." In 2013, Anderson was also awarded the Joel Labovitz Lifetime Achievement Award with his real estate partner, Robert Link. The award was presented by the University of Minnesota's Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial School of Business for a lifetime of entrepreneurial success. In mid-September 2013, Anderson was awarded the Eisenhower Distinguished Citizen Award from the Army Distaff Foundation. The award is presented annually to an individual or entity who has demonstrated leadership and outstanding public service for the American military family.