Thoroughly educated and impeccably dressed, Lee Hernandez exudes business. Specializing in finance, strategy, and operations, he’s worked on Wall Street and lived on that street, too. Besides New York, Lee has resided in New Jersey and Washington D.C. Though he liked them both, a gleam of excitement lights up Lee’s eyes when he explains why he’s chosen to make the Reno/Sparks area his home.
“From off-roading to hiking to fishing, the quality of life that Northern Nevada affords is unmatched,” says Lee, and he is a firm believer in raising a family here, in the heart of the American West. Here’s why…
Originally from the Midwest, Lee pursued a BA in Economics and Government from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and received an MBA from Columbia University in New York City, New York, with a focus in Accounting and Finance. But Lee’s first introduction to Northern Nevada came in 2006 by way of his wife’s family, who live in the area.
By 2010, Lee, his wife, and their toddler son lived in Reno. But Lee and his wife decided to move back East in 2015 to focus on his career, and thought the Eastern seaboard would be the perfect spot to make serious professional strides. But after their move to Virginia, he and his family quickly realized how deeply they missed Nevada.
Lee’s preschool-aged son wished for the days when Lee would pick him up from daycare and they’d cast fishing poles into the crystal-clear swells of the Truckee River near Verdi. In Virginia, the Hernandez family drove two hours each way just to find suitable hiking and camping terrain. What a contrast to the Reno/Sparks area! Where a 15-minute drive lands you in verdant forests and within a short walk of pristine streams. Whether its hiking and off-roading, cycling or climbing in summer, snowshoeing, boarding or skiing in the winter, the region has it all when it comes to outdoor activities. So, after spending summer and winter breaks in Reno, he and his wife decided it was time to move back home!
Lee and his family made the move in 2017, and they still wake up every day with a sense of excitement and adventure. Instead of long commutes and hectic city streets, they’re greeted by towering snow-capped mountains, fresh mountain air, and endless outdoor opportunities. Lee and his wife drive Jeep Wranglers and off-road every chance they get, and he and his sons have resumed their after-school fishing trips.
What’s more, Lee has been pleasantly surprised by the rich career opportunities found in Northern Nevada. As he points out, “There’s so much potential in this area, and there’s so much momentum behind it in terms of the diverse industries here. There are tremendous opportunities to get in on the ground level, to be entrepreneurial, to innovate and grow a company in a specific industry while still having an amazing quality of life that you won’t find in New York, Manhattan, or Washington DC.”
And the Hernandez family plays host to a steady stream of friends and colleagues from the East Coast who’ve opted to spend summers and winters in the Reno/Sparks area. As Lee puts it, “It’s amazing to live and work in a place where other people come to vacation.”