ACCE Executive Committee Member Lee Found Dead

Published Tuesday, April 5, 2011 1:00 pm

ACCE Executive Committee member Shelia O. Lee, CCE, IOM, president and CEO of the Lawton-Ft. Sill (OK) Chamber, was found dead at her home Monday morning.  Her husband was also found dead.  Police are investigating the incident as a murder-suicide.

Shelia assumed duties as president of the Lawton Chamber in October. She had been with the chamber since 1996, initially as events and tourism coordinator, then as vice president for conventions and tourism and executive vice president.

She was a highly respected and much loved figure in the chamber of commerce community.  In addition to her service on the ACCE Executive Committee, Shelia was chair-elect of the U.S. Chamber Institute Board of Regents and a board member of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives.

The shocking news of her untimely death has elicited an outpouring of tributes from her friends and colleagues across the country.  Here are few comments from fellow ACCE board members:

“I have met many people in my life and I can say without question that there have been few finer than Shelia.  I will never forget her smile, her laugh, the joy her children brought her and her love for her community.  May we all find ways to remember her in that joy, while mourning the profound loss her death represents.”
    - Tom Baldrige, CCE, President, Lancaster (PA) Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“This news has rocked the Chamber world. Shelia was loved and admired by all her peers. Her contribution to our world was significant.”
    - Casey Steinbacher, CCE, President and CEO, Greater Durham (NC) Chamber of Commerce

“Shelia Lee would light up the room when she walked in. I will miss that and her friendship.”
    - Jack Camper, CCE, President and CEO, Tucson (AZ) Metro Chamber of Commerce

“A situation like this reminds us of how fragile our lives are and how fragile the lives of our co-workers and colleagues are.  Let’s remember Shelia as someone who represented her chamber and our profession extremely well.  I’m going to miss her.”
    - David Adkisson, CCE, President and CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

For reaction to Shelia’s death from chamber and community leaders, follow these links:

Several efforts are underway to support the Lawton-Ft. Sill Chamber through this devastating period, and a scholarship fund in Shelia’s memory is planned. ACCE will also offer an appropriate opportunity to celebrate Shelia’s life and work at the upcoming Annual Convention in Los Angeles this August. 



When you're good, God calls you back to him. When you're really really good, He calls you back early. Sheila will forever be remembered as an incredibly optimistic and encouraging person. She lit up every room she was in. I was blessed to know her. Lawton is blessed to have had an angel like Sheila in a position where she could impact so many people. Thank you, Sheila. Mission accomplished.
~ Kyle J. Sexton, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, Salem Oregon
Posted by Kyle J. Sexton on April 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm
Sheila was a great friend and colleague. I met her while serving on the ACCE Board and spent some quality times with her. She was a classy lady and loved by all who knew her. What a loss for her community and for her friends. I will miss her smile, her wit, her wisdom, and her friendship. Prayers for her family and community.
Posted by Cathy Burwell on April 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm
I worked with Shelia at the Lawton Chamber of Commerce back in the 90's. While I lived there I spent time with her and her husband James. She was always happy, chearful, & positive. She would always make you feel better even when you were having the worst day. I know she will be greatly missed by all who knew her. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family, work family, friends, & all who knew her through the chamber.
Posted by Kristi Hunter OKC, OK on April 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm
Shelia has played an important part in my career development as a Chamber President. Her energy and enthusiasm in the classroom as an instructor made it easy to learn. She always made time away from the IOM classroom to share her experience and knowledge. She was a true friend in this profession who deeply cared about her peers. I already miss her, and my thoughts and prayers are with her family , her chamber and the community who is suffering from this tremendous loss.

Bill Lee
Gallup, NM
Posted by Bill Lee on April 6, 2011 at 3:46 pm

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