Top 20 Professionals: Tom-E-Lee -- KXRA / Z99
Tom-E-Lee grew up in the Twin Cities. In high school he developed a Sober Ride program for students and served as a police liaison. For many years, he served his church as acolyte director and assistant to the priest.
He attended Inver Hills Community College and Brown College, where he graduated with honors with a degree in broadcasting.
He worked in radio broadcasting at stations throughout the South and Midwest before moving to Alexandria in 2005. He has worked for KXRA-Z99 since then. While many people know him through his time on-air with the radio station, others know him for his magic tricks.
According to nominator LaTresse Snead, performing magic has been a passion of Lee's since childhood. In February, he and a partner opened the Misfits of Magic in Alexandria, where they sell magic supplies, host parties, teach and give shows. They also perform at other venues.
Lee has volunteered emcee services and filled other volunteer roles for local nonprofit agencies, including American Cancer Society, Awake the Lakes, Demo Derby, Jingle Bells telethon, Special Olympics and the Polar Plunge, Light up Alexandria and many community benefits.
"Tommy is always trying to bring a smile to the faces of children, the elderly, disadvantaged and anyone in need of a boost," noted nominator Mary Ann Maameri. "In addition to his boisterous appearance, he has a compassionate heart and a real concern about society."