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Robert E. Lee III

Tools for Success

Monday, September 26

Tools for Success: Franchising for Beginners 

Robert E. Lee III, Principal of Touchstone Hospitality Management (THM), is a seasoned and respected leader in the business and hospitality community with over 30 years of multifaceted experience. 

Touchstone Hospitality, LLC was founded in 2009, as a full-service foodservice and hospitality management & consulting company.  Touchstone Hospitality, LLC formerly a multi-unit owner/operator of Tim Horton’s Café and Bake Shops is currently a franchise partner owner/operator of Donatos Pizza - John Glenn Columbus International Airport – the first Donatos airport location in the nation. Robert was named Donatos Franchise Partner of the Year in 2017, and in 2018, opened a second Donatos location inside John Glenn Columbus International Airport. In 2021, Robert became a joint venture partner with global restaurateur HMSHost at John Glenn.

Prior to founding Touchstone, his leadership positions in the hospitality industry included:

  • Capital Club, General Manager
  • Brownstone on Main, General Manager/Operating Partner
  • The Lofts Hotel, General Manager
  • Crown Plaza Hotel, Director of Food and Beverage
  • Columbus State Community College, Hospitality Program Adjunct Instructor
  • Linden Café, Owner/Operator

In 2018, Robert became an independent certified coach, trainer, and speaker by Maxwell Leadership (The John Maxwell Team) specializing in professional growth and leadership development for individuals and organizations.

Lee is an alumnus of United Way’s Project Diversity, Leadership Columbus and the African American Leadership Academy.  He is a previous board member of the Africentric Personal Development Shop and currently serves on the board of directors for Jazz Arts Group  and is the Columbus Local Alliance Vice Chair of the Ohio Restaurant Association.

Other awards and accolades Lee has received include: 

  • Ohio Restaurant Association, Ambassador Award 
  • Greater Columbus Helping Hands, Ambassador for Employment 
  • Columbus Urban League, Community Service Award
  • Columbus Black Achievement Awards, EE Ward Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Who’s Who in Black Columbus  
  • Columbus Chapter National Black MBA, Entrepreneur of the Year 
  • Business First, Forty Under 40

Originally, from Detroit, Lee resides in east Columbus with his entrepreneur wife, Dawn Tyler Lee and their 2 pups – Chiqui and Charli – both rescues from Puerto Rico.

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