A life-long education advocate, Sharon Lechter is the founder of Pay Your Family First, a financial education organization, and YOUTHpreneur, an innovative new way to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in our children.
In 2009 Sharon was appointed to the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission as a national spokesperson on the topic of financial literacy. In 2008 Sharon was appointed to the first President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. The Council served both President Bush and President Obama advising them on the need for financial literacy education.
Sharon is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, educator, international speaker, licensed CPA and mother. She has been a pioneer in developing new technologies, programs and products to bring education into children’s lives in ways that are innovative, challenging and fun, and remains committed to education – particularly financial literacy. 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.
In cooperation with the Women’s Presidents Organization, Sharon has held events across the country to teach young girls financial lessons through interactive games. In 2009 this event launched her new financial literacy board game THRIVE TIME for Teens, an innovative experiential and fun life and money reality game which has gained recognition with coveted awards including the GOLD Mom’s Choice Award, Creative Child Magazine’s 2010 Game of The Year, Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Product and a five-star rating from WTS Toy Reviews. Recognized as an expert on the topics of financial education for children and entrepreneurship, Sharon has been featured in top national media outlets including CNN, Forbes.com, MSN Money and The Chicago Tribune.
Sharon has authored Think and Grow Rich – Three Feet From Gold in cooperation with the Napoleon Hill Foundation and Greg Reid which was released in October 2009 and has ranked as a BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal best-seller. Sharon’s most recent book project is Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill-a manuscript hidden for over 70 years- updated by Lechter for the modern reader. Future projects with the Foundation include Think and Grow Rich titles for Women and Children.
Sharon is also known world-wide as the co-author of the international best-selling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the Rich Dad series of books. During her 10 years with the Rich Dad Company, it grew into an international powerhouse with over 20 books, board games, Web sites, CDs, audio cassettes and seminars. Rich Dad, Poor Dad was on The New York Times Best Sellers List for over six and a half years and is available in over 50 languages and sold in more than 108 countries. More than 27 million Rich Dad books have been sold around the world.
A committed philanthropist, Sharon also gives back to world communities as both a volunteer and benefactor. In October of 2009, Sharon received the Humanitarian Award from the Caring Institute. She continues to serve as a member of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, an eighteen-member group which works to increase awareness of the importance of financial literacy education, promote financial literacy efforts involving CPAs and serve as the primary spokespeople for the CPA profession’s financial literacy efforts, 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy and Feed the Pig.
She is a member of the Business Advisory Council for the Attorney General of the State of Arizona as well as the Business Advisory Board for EmpowHER, a company dedicated to women’s health issues. Sharon also serves on the national board of the Women Presidents’ Organization, and the national board of Childhelp, a national organization founded to prevent and treat child abuse. Sharon is also an Instructor for Thunderbird University in their Artemis Program.
In 2002, Childhelp honored Sharon and her husband, Michael, as recipients of the Spirit of the Children Award. 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.
Sharon graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from Florida State University with a degree in accounting, then joined the ranks of a Big Eight accounting firm. Sharon has held various management positions with computer, insurance, and publishing companies while maintaining her professional credentials as a Wisconsin CPA, and a member of the AICPA. For the last 20 years, she has been an entrepreneur dedicated to financial literacy.
Founder and CEO
Pay Your Family First
6611 N. 64th Place
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253