Leading by Example
Lee Culpepper: UnidosUS CBA Member & President’s Council Donor
Lee Culpepper first connected with UnidosUS—then the National Council of La Raza—in the late 1990s when he was working as Senior VP of Government Affairs and Public Policy for the National Restaurant Association. Working on immigration-related issues, Lee came to meet UnidosUS staff also working on immigration reform efforts. “I was impressed with how the organization represented the community,” he says.
A few years later, Lee joined Walmart and soon realized there was a history of a deep relationship between his employer and UnidosUS. Subsequently, he helped oversee that relationship for Walmart and, in 2013, he became the company’s principal representative on UnidosUS’s Corporate Board of Advisors (CBA).
Before long, Lee made a deeper-level commitment to personally invest in UnidosUS, becoming a President’s Council donor. “What I see in UnidosUS is an organization that helps Latinos achieve the American Dream. And that’s inspiring to me; it makes me want to give and be a part of that,” he says.
“[Joining the CBA] was exciting for me, to be able to become more involved and aware of the programs and good work UnidosUS was doing across the country,” Lee says. “As I learned more, it made me want to personally contribute in a more significant manner.”
Recognizing UnidosUS’s breadth of work, Lee notes that the organization’s health-related efforts in particular have resonated with him. “The work around vaccinations, testing, and information to assist the community in learning more about COVID-19 has been critically important,” he says.
And, of course, Lee is proud of Walmart’s support of UnidosUS’s health initiative Comprando Rico y Sano, which promotes wellness, nutrition, and healthy eating via community health worker programs implemented by Affiliates in Latino communities across the country.
In his current role as VP of Public Affairs, Lee focuses on Walmart’s relationship with the Latino community. “We are looking at how we can help each other and work together to support the community,” he says. Lee adds that, having worked with UnidosUS over these many years, the value he gets from being involved is immeasurable.
As a demonstration of the trust and partnership between UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía and Lee, she has appointed Lee to be the incoming chair of the CBA, effective March 2022. Since 1982, UnidosUS has benefitted from the expertise of this group of senior executives from key Fortune 100 corporations. At the same time, UnidosUS has shared with the CBA our expertise and insights to inform, guide, and advance the interests of Hispanic Americans through their corporate initiatives. Lee will succeed David L. Cohen, formerly of Comcast and now the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.
Like Lee, many of our CBA members also stand by UnidosUS’s work and personally contribute to the mission of UnidosUS including Angie Garcia Lathrop Family, Sandra Phillip Rogers, Johannes Evenblij, Donna Epps, Ruben Barrales, Lupe De La Cruz, III, Georgette Dixon, Jose “Pepe” Estrada, Brian Hall, Harry Dalessio, Jacquelyn M. Puente, and Christian Ruiz. As corporate representatives, we are truly grateful for their commitment to UnidosUS and proud to earn their personal investment as individual donors.