Timothy S Y Lam had a wide range of interests; cooking, wines, entertaining, model trains, antiques, oil painting, photography, carpentry, wood sign carving, and so much more. Whichever the interest, he pursued it all the way. Tim visited every continent. Having been on 71 cruises and countless journeys, he was an adventurer. Through his travels from the Arctic to Antarctica and everywhere in between, he found one thing to be true; genuine and warm hospitality can truly make a difference.
After a lifetime of exploration, Tim passed away in March 2012. In the same month of Tim’s passing, the Timothy S Y Lam Foundation (TSYLF) registered with the IRS and the State of Nevada. In lieu of flowers, family and friends were asked to donate to a scholarship fund. More money than expected was given. It was decided to establish a Board of Trustees to give research grants and fund educational programs in addition to education scholarships. In May 2014, TSYLF was officially designated a nonprofit private foundation as described in sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a) by the IRS (EIN 45-4735106).
In 2012 and 2013, $2,500 in scholarships and grants were made by TSYLF—but the board wished to do more. The Board of Trustees hired a part-time Foundation Manager in July 2014. In just a few short months, TSYLF has grown partnerships with the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE), the Events Industry Council (EIC), and The International School of Hospitality (TISOH).
The following years, the Foundation experienced exponential growth. In 2016, a Foundation Director was hired. The Board of Trustees were expended to its current form. Scholarships awarded number over 80. Key associations that have received support include the EIC, Les Clefs d'Or, the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the National Association for Catering & Events (NACE),the Wedding International Professionals Association (WIPA), the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Association (NHLA), the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association (SNHCA), the National Concierge Association (NCA) and others.
The Foundation works to grow its giving programs; foster relationships with individuals, educational institutions, professional associations and companies in the hospitality industry; and find new avenues of funding and fundraising. The foundation Board of Trustees and the Foundation Director want to ensure the continuation of Timothy S Y Lam’s legacy by supporting the professional development and academic advancement of the hospitality industry.
Board of Trustees
Ellen P M Yeh Lam, Foundation President
Godfrey Tan-Torres, Foundation Secretary
Business Development Manager, Freeman
Chase Taylor Cobb, Foundation Treasurer
General Manager, Neiman Marcus Cafe Las Vegas
Joshua Jones DMCP, Board Trustee
Regional President, Hosts Las Vegas and Hosts So. California
Carmen Boscolo, Board Trustee
VP Sales & Client Services
Shelley Sampson CPCE, Board Trustee
Timothy See Yiu Lam was born on June 10, 1938, in Hong Kong to Dr. Lam Chi Fung and Mrs. Lam Chan Chik Ting as the youngest of nine (six brothers and two sisters). Tim followed his family to Macau when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, and enrolled in Pui Ching Kindergarten. Upon returning to the Colony after WWII, he graduated from Pui To Middle School before finishing high school at La Salle College. In 1956, Tim sailed on the SS President Wilson for San Francisco and spent the next four years earning a BS in Mathematics at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He received his degree during the same commencement ceremony Tim’s brother Sam received his MD degree from Wake Forest Medical School while their father delivered the commencement speech. After three and a half years at the University of Oklahoma, Tim received another BS and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was awarded the Machinery’s Achievement Award for Scholastic Excellence in Machine Design (1963).
Tim then returned to Hong Kong and subsequently served as Chief Engineer, Plant Manager and Director of the Chiap Hua Flashlights Ltd. At the company, Tim designed and created the world’s first stainless steel flashlight. In 1983, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Citation in Business by Wake Forest University. During the period of the difficult conversion to the metric system for the vast manufacturing circles in Hong Kong, Tim spent many years as the Chairman of the Hong Kong Government’s Metrication Committee. Later on he served as the Honorary Consul of Nicaragua until his 1995 immigration to the US with his family. Wake Forest University invited Tim to serve on their Board of Visitors for two terms (1996-2000, and 2000-2004).
Tim is the author of the limited edition book titled “Some Essential Facts on French Wines,” the published authoritative volume “Tang Ceramics: Changsha Kilns,” and more recently, the “Lam Family Tree.”
Tim is a lover of life. His interests were wide ranging; cooking, wines, model trains, antiques, oil painting, photography, carpentry, wood sign carving, and so much more. Whichever the interest, he pursued them all the way. Tim feels that in his wood carving, the final product is hidden inside a nondescript block of wood. Life is also like this. The fine and precious part of daily life is that it is up to us to strip away the superfluous, like the chiseling of wood, to reveal and be rewarded with the beauty of the finest. He could never sit still. Tim has visited every continent. Having been on 71 cruises and countless journeys, he was the adventurer. Through his travels from the Arctic down to Antarctica, there is only one commonly true element, that a genuine and warm smile can truly make a difference.
The love of his life is Ellen. The perfect couple they made. Through happy times, difficult times, rowdy times, quiet times, they made memories to cherish forever.
Timmy and Marcus. Luckier kids, this world has never seen. Brought up with care and love, they always carry a little bit of Tim’s essence wherever they go.
A Life worth Living
Tim has touched and enriched the lives of so many. The world is a better place thanks to his huge heart, many passions, and enthusiasm for life.
The Secret to a Lifetime of Happiness
Tim’s father taught him to always try to improve oneself by setting goals that are ultimately reachable. When a goal is reached, the satisfaction and happiness that ensues drives one to set another realistic goal. Those who set their goals in life too high will always risk disappointment.