The Town of Reading is known for its academics, sports, and local commerce. One of the things that makes a town different from a city is not only the lack of industrial parks or sky rises but its the local buzz and community that each of us holds every day. Tonight we recognize one single man who has made a huge impact in our Town of Reading.
Mandarin Reading, located off 128, has been apart of Reading since 1998. Mandarin’s General Manager, Robert Lee, has been with Mandarin since the year 2000. He has not only helped the business thrive economically, where Mandarin is a staple in Reading. But he has created an atmosphere, where every customer gets something more than just food.
I have worked at the restaurant for more than three years now, and I can say, without doubt, Robert is one of the nicest and most hard-working restaurant managers, if not workers, I have ever met. And it is a privilege and a joy to work with him. Robert has created relationships with his customers that are unmatched in any other business. He truly cares for his customers and will go out of his way to help. This dedication and love he expresses can be seen on any given day at the restaurant as customers will always ask for Robert, just to talk and have conversations. Almost every patron that leaves the establishment won’t go without giving Robert a handshake or a hug and compassionately saying “Thank you.”
In addition to the bonds that he has created with his customers, he has also made connections with his staff. He treats all of his workers like there part of the family. I, on many occasions, have Thanked him for letting me be apart of the Mandarin Reading family. The staff respects Robert, and will only say nice things about him. Many members of his staff commented to me while writing this speech that Robert “ is a role model for all entrepreneurs” and that “Roberts dedication is outstanding, and that is because his work, is his life”. Robert has created relations with his staff that are almost uncanny in the society that we live in today.
In 2012, Robert instituted Benefit Nights to support the organizations in town. Mandarin Reading supports local organizations that have an impact on our community. The word benefit means “an act of kindness; or good deed”. These benefit nights have thrived in our community, and have provided organizations a chance to focus on other parts of the organization other than finances. Mandarin Reading will give back over 20+% of profits on a benefit night.
For Education, Robert has done years of benefits nights, to support the Reading Scholarship Foundation and the Reading Education Foundation. Robert has supported Reading elementary schools, Middle Schools, and the high school. He has offered them a wide-range of Benefit nights from PTO to the Robotics club. Robert has supported almost every sports team, and club at the high school. And one of the most successful benefit programs has been with the RMHS Track team. It has one of the best records from the benefit nights. In five years raising over $2000.
In addition to supporting our Education and Sports clubs, he has helped organizations like EMARC, the Sturges Park Foundation, and the Burbank YMCA. He has helped several religious groups such as Church of The Good Shepherd, and the Annunciation of Virgin Mary. He’s supported Arts and Music groups such as Reading Symphony Orchestra, Colonial Chorus Players, Wakefield Theatre and Stoneham Theatre.
If it’s not enough to give back to our community Robert has reached out to places outside of Reading and Middlesex County such as Boston Wounded Veterans, American Cancer Society, and Infant HIV Prevention, just to name a few. There are dozens of other organizations that I did not mention. Over the last six years, Robert has donated over $20,000 to organizations across our community.
We as a community cannot thank Robert enough for what he has offered to us over the years. He has shown that hard-work and generosity can make a difference in our society. It shows that one man can make a huge impact in our community. So from all the customers, workers, and organizations who have worked with Robert, we give you a huge thank you and bless you for your dedication and generosity to our community. Thank you, Mr. Robert Lee.