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The Lee Company


We’re hiring an Innovation Center Director to build and lead a team that will develop new and innovative products for current and future markets, identify product needs for new markets, and innovate and optimize technology platforms to enhance existing products and production. Learn more about the position below.

Position: Innovation Center Director

Location: Westbrook, CT | Full Time

Company Overview:

The Lee Company is a global leader in the design and production of miniature, precision fluid control components for aerospace, medical equipment, scientific instruments, space, oil tool, and automotive industries. The Lee Company products are recognized worldwide for superior quality, reliability, and performance. The Lee Company’s unique capabilities in miniaturization and engineering keep the company at the forefront of fluid control technology and identify The Lee Company as a leading innovator in the field of fluid handling and control. Founded in 1948, The Lee Company occupies over one million sq. ft. of modern manufacturing and office space at three sites in Westbrook and Essex, Connecticut, and employs over 1,000 people.

Position Description:

The Lee Company Innovation Center is the hub for research and development, Intellectual Property management and corporate technology initiatives. The Director of the Innovation Center is responsible for building and leading a team that will develop new and innovative products for current and future markets, identify product needs for new markets, and innovate and optimize technology platforms to enhance existing products and production.  The Director and team will support those efforts by staying current with technology trends, working with our customer’s R&D personnel, exploring markets, and solving customers’ problems with innovative solutions.  All this will require working with teams of current product engineers, operations, sales, and marketing. The Director will oversee project schedules, products to be explored, and department budgets. The Director will be responsible for managing the patent, trademark, trade secret, and other Intellectual Property matters for the company.


  • Maintain an outward-facing perspective, meet with customers, and look ahead to understand what they are researching and where their products are heading.
  • Keep track of industry and technology trends and issues and attend key industry trade events.
  • Be responsible for new development and production technologies, especially where capital investment by individual product groups is impractical such as in Additive Manufacturing and AI.
  • Recruit and develop top engineering talent and lead a talented team that will execute on technology, delivery and drive pre-production innovation.
  • Manage the company’s intellectual property portfolio. File for new patents and protect company secrets including corporate formulas such as Lohm laws.
  • Establish department and individual objectives that are in line with business objectives and strategies.
  • Work with members of the senior management team to further department and company goals.
  • Work with the company Facilities Department for the major renovation of the 32,000 square foot Innovation Center, currently in process.
  • Analyze longer term customer requirements by working with sales and reviewing trip reports to discover potential new applications, products, and markets.
  • Manage the maintenance of company product history and formulae.


  • Must have 10+ years of experience leading an operational engineering team developing and launching successful products.
  • Will hold a BSME and/or MSME from a recognized, fully accredited program, ideally paired with experience in hydraulics and fluid control.  An MBA is an advantage.
  • Must be a strategic thinker who understands and anticipates customer needs along with market and technology trends to establish successful ongoing technology strategies and maintain the company’s technology lead over competitors.
  • Experience engaging senior management and working across the organization to gain support, challenge obstacles, identify actions and establish strategy and vision.
  • Management/supervisory experience in an R&D setting, with an open-minded approach, and exceptional social skills to foster innovation and effective teamwork.
  • Strong problem-solving to identify and solve issues in development.
  • Ability to travel to support innovation initiatives and collaboration.

Essential Qualifications:

The Innovation Center Director must possess both technological and business skills. The ability and desire to communicate with executives, customers, employees, and business partners is required. This key member of the leadership team must be capable of formulating innovation strategies for new product development that generates profitable revenue growth. High intellect, an inquisitive personality, ability to create and maintain an innovative high-performance environment are essential qualifications.


The Lee Company offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience together with opportunities for career growth in a private, well-managed company providing an attractive range of benefits including company-paid health insurance, generous profit sharing, tuition reimbursement, and daycare subsidy. The Lee Company is situated in southern New England in a rural, campus setting close to Long Island Sound.

Please submit resume and cover letter to

It is the policy of The Lee Company to provide equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, national origin, citizenship status, age, religion, medical condition, mental or physical disability, veteran status, military service, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, genetic information or any other class or characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.