Lee Derrough began his career with the Hunt family in 1967. He retired as president and CEO of Hunt Midwest Enterprises on December 31, 2009, after serving the Hunt Midwest organizations for over 35 years. During Derrough’s tenure, he led Hunt Midwest and its subsidiaries: Hunt Midwest Entertainment, owner of Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun (which was sold to Cedar Fair LP in 1995); Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development, developer of over 6,200 acres of commercial, industrial, retail and residential projects, including the 1,300-acre SubTropolis, the world’s largest underground business complex; and Hunt Midwest Mining, 50% owner of the region’s largest supplier of crushed limestone, Hunt Martin Materials, L.L.C. He served on the board of directors of Hunt Martin Materials until Hunt Midwest’s 50% partnership interest was sold to Martin Marietta in 2014 as part of a focused growth strategy to reallocate resources to continue the expansion of real estate activities.
In 1967, Lee joined the Kansas City Chiefs as promotions director. When the Worlds of Fun theme park opened in 1972, Lee became the director of marketing. He was named general manager of the park in 1974 and president in 1982. Promoted to president of Hunt Midwest Enterprises, Inc. in 1985, he was named president and CEO in 1995.
Lee has worked for the Hunt family for over 48 years and continues to serve on the board of directors of the Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, chairman of the board of Hunt Midwest Enterprises, and Union Station Kansas City, where he serves as vice chairman. He also is involved in the Kansas City Presidents’ Organization and the World Presidents’ Organization.
Lee is a past member of The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the advisory board of Commerce Bank of Kansas City, the board of directors and executive committee of The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, the board of directors and officer of the Starlight Theatre Association, and chairman of the Kansas City, Missouri Bond Financial Advisory Committee. He has held the chairman of the board position for the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri and the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Kansas City. He was also a past co-chairman of the Bacchus Foundation.
He is a past board member and chairman of the audit committee of publicly traded Cedar Fair, L.P., one of the largest regional amusement park operators in the world, and also served as president and treasurer of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. He was a co-founder and served as secretary of the Travel Federation of Missouri and a past commissioner for the Missouri Division of Tourism, appointed by then Governor Kit Bond.
Other business and community organizations Lee was involved in included the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Clay County Economic Development Council and the North Kansas City Business Council. In 2010, Lee was awarded the Kevin K. Nunnink Leadership Award presented by Integra Realty Resources and the Lewis White Real Estate Center at the UMKC Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, the Brick by Brick Award from the Kansas City Industrial Council, and the James C. Denneny Spirit Award presented by the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City. He was awarded the Northland Neighborhoods Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 and the Look North Award presented by the Clay County Economic Development Council in 2005 for his outstanding contribution to the economic development and quality of life in Clay County, Mo. He also is a recipient of the Phi Kappa Psi Man of the Year Award from his college fraternity. Lee has been inducted into the Man of the Month Club honoring Kansas City civic leaders.
Lee is a graduate of the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He and his wife Beth live in Kansas City, Missouri.
Hunt Midwest is a full-service real estate development company with a focus on industrial, commercial, retail, mission critical, multifamily, senior living and residential real estate.
Hunt Midwest is a Kansas City-based, privately held company owned by the Lamar Hunt family. The Hunt family business is a diverse portfolio of entities involved in real estate, sports/media, energy/resources, private equity and investments. Marquee entities include the Kansas City Chiefs, Hunt Midwest, Hunt Southwest, FC Dallas Soccer Club, Toyota Stadium, Chicago Bulls and United Center.