Sharon Lechter has combined her expertise as a CPA and an international bestselling author with her unmatched passion for financial literacy and entrepreneurship to inspire change for individuals and businesses across the globe for over 30 years. Credited as the genius behind the Rich Dad brand, Sharon is currently partnered with the Napoleon Hill Foundation. As a driving force behind these two mega brands, Sharon has demonstrated her entrepreneurial vision and business expertise while empowering audiences with messages of hope and prosperity. Sharon is recognized globally as an expert on many topics, including personal finance, entrepreneurship, publishing and leadership, and has spoken to audiences all over the world, including Ghana, Uganda, UK, Japan, China, Brazil, Ireland and across the United States.
Global Leadership and Advocacy:
A pioneer in developing new technologies, programs and products Sharon has brought education into children’s lives in ways that are innovative, challenging and fun. In 1989 she joined forces with the inventor of the first electronic ‘talking book’ and helped him expand the electronic book industry to a multi-million dollar international market. Since 1992, she has dedicated her professional life and directed her entrepreneurial efforts in the creation and distribution of financial education books, games and other experiential learning products and programs. As the founder and CEO of Pay Your Family First, Sharon and her company have developed award winning tools that are currently utilized by parents and educators to inspire positive financial stewardship and the entrepreneurial spirit.
A member of the first President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy Sharon served both President Bush and President Obama, advising them on the need for financial literacy and was appointed to the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission as a national spokesperson on the topic of financial education. In 2013 she was instrumental in the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1449, requiring that financial literacy remain within economics standards and creating a separate statute for those concepts.
As CEO, Sharon led the Rich Dad Company and brand for over 10 years as it became an international phenomenon, coauthoring Rich Dad Poor Dad along with 14 other books in the Rich Dad Series. In 2008 she was asked by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to help re-energize the powerful teachings of Hill just as the international economy was faltering. Her bestselling books, Think and Grow Rich-Three Feet from Gold and Outwitting the Devil were both written in cooperation with the Foundation. A publishing powerhouse, Sharon’s most recent release is Think and Grow Rich for Women and she is currently in development of Think and Grow Rich for Kids projects. She has also authored Save Wisely, Spend Happily, in cooperation with the American Institute of CPAs. Under her leadership, this is the AICPA’s first consumer publication, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the AICPA.
A committed philanthropist, Sharon gives back to world communities as both a volunteer and benefactor. She is a member of numerous national boards, including EmpowHER, a company dedicated to women’s health issues and Childhelp, a national organization founded to prevent and treat child abuse. An Instructor for Thunderbird School of Global Management’s Project Artemis and the 10,000 Women program, created in partnership with the U.S. State Department and Goldman Sachs, Sharon has guided the development of women from emerging markets across the globe, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Haiti, South America and the South Pacific.
Honors and Awards
For her unparalleled commitment to community and professional excellence, Sharon’s honors include a 2002, Childhelp Spirit of the Children Award, which she shared with her husband Michael. In 2004, Sharon and Michael were recognized as an Arizona “Power Couple,” and Sharon was also named as a 2005 Woman of Distinction by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. She was honored with a 2012 Positively Powerful Women award for Philanthropic Leadership, by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of 2013’s 25 Dynamic Women in Business, and most recently selected by National Bank of Arizona as their 2013 Woman of the Year award in addition to be recognized by the Arizona Business Magazine as one of the 50 most Influential Women in Arizona Business.