Lee Ziglar, 21, has spent about two years living in Charlotte, where he is a senior at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. There, he majors in business administration with a concentration in talent management and a minor in communications. As a student leader, he’s headed up the campus LGBT student organization, SPECTRUM. In May he was elected the youngest-ever board member of the Charlotte Business Guild. He is the organization’s secretary and works to organize its Aspiring Professionals Initiative. Lee was voted by readers as the Best LGBT Young Adult Leader in our 2014 QList — Best of LGBT Charlotte. Our interview below has been edited for clarity and brevity.
You’re 21 and you’ve been at UNC-Charlotte for two years. But, you’re a senior. How’d that happen?
I went to an early college and got my associates degree the same time as my high school diploma. That sent me a head in credit hours, but I’ve still got another year and half left.
Did you like the early college program?
I would not change it for the world. It gave me new opportunities to meet people on a higher academic level and build more personal connections. It was a smaller school. My graduating class only had 42 people and I knew everyone’s first and last names.
Were you out in high school?
I had always had this feeling, but being from Davie County, it was a very small-town conservative area. It’s something that never really crossed my mind until I came to UNC-Charlotte. About five months into my first year at UNC-Charlotte, that’s when I came out.
What do you want to do when you graduate?
I love strategic planning and looking at the big picture. I love customer relationships and diversity. My overall goal in life would be to become a chief diversity officer, looking at how diverse a company’s employees are, the company itselt and the clientele and really try to build strategic decision based off that.
Seems like you’re a perfect match for the Charlotte Business Guid, then.
The guild really just fell right into my lap. I met Chad Sevearance, the guild’s president, through town hall meetings at the LGBT center. I told him about some of the financial troubles and situations that UNC-Charlotte SPECTRUM was having. Being on a university campus, we don’t really get much outside funds. I was trying to build connections and relationships in the community to build that financial support. I started going to guild events and I saw that it could be a benefit for me and I could also bring a collegiate and younger voice to the table. I try to help bring in younger people to events and get them to become members of the guild.
What kind of things do you do for fun?
I just love going out and hanging out with friends, especially in the LGBT community. There’s always something going on with events and fundraising and just networking. Also, I just love to relax and watch Netflix and hang out with my boyfriend.
What would be your idea of the most perfect vacation?
Believe it or not, I would love to go to Disney World. I’ve never been before. I actually have the same birthday as Walt Disney. I would love to go to Animal Kingdom and stay in the Animal Kingdom Lodge and wake up and be able to look out my window and see a giraffe or zebra.
Do you love the mountains or beach?
Hands down, I prefer the beach.
Coffee or tea?
I am more of a coffee person. I absolutely hate tea. Even sweet iced tea. Everyone gets on to me. They say I must not really be from the South. But, it just runs in my family. None of us like tea. I’ve tried it and given it a shot and everyone seems to think they can make their personal tea and their tea is the best thing in the world. It’s just so bitter to me. : :