2015 Gift of Wisdom Award Winner

Congratulations to Sharon (Yates) Lechter, recipient of the Women for Florida State University’s 2015 Gift of Wisdom Award. Lechter, who holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Florida State, exemplifies the values of community, leadership and philanthropy that are at the heart of The Women for Florida State University's culture.

Lechter tirelessly engages women in activities that promote their personal, professional and financial well-being, and by doing so, she better positions women to effect positive global change starting in their local communities. She has been blazing a trail for women since she accepted a position with Coopers and Lybrand early in her career as a certified public accountant. She was one of only a few women hired by the company at the time.

Lechter is the co-author of a number of best-selling books related to personal development, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, including the international blockbuster “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and 15 other books in the Rich Dad series. She partnered with the Napoleon Hill Foundation to release two national best-sellers: “Think and Grow Rich—Three Feet from Gold” and “Outwitting the Devil.” In 2014, Lechter released “Think and Grow Rich for Women,” which features case studies of women who have been influential not only because of their success but also because of their dedicated service to their communities.

In 2008, President George W. Bush appointed Lechter to the first President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. She served both President Bush and President Obama in that position. As founder and CEO of Pay Your Family First, she has developed a number of programs to benefit women, children and families.

A committed philanthropist, Lechter gives back to communities that have a global impact as both a volunteer and a benefactor. She is a member of the Business Advisory Board for EmpowHER, a company focused on women’s health issues. She also serves on the national board of the Women Presidents’ Organization and the national board of Childhelp, an organization founded to prevent and treat child abuse.

Within her own community, Sharon was integral in the passage of Arizona Senate bill 1449, a bill that requires financial literacy concepts to be permanently incorporated into standard economics curricula in Arizona schools.

In her nomination letter of Ms. Lechter, Angela Totman shared, “Sharon epitomizes the qualities that represent a woman of giving and wisdom. Her passionate dedication to her profession, as well as her commitment to women and communities, has created a legacy that women all over the globe carry with them.”

A photo of Sharon Lechter wearing a red jacket, smiling, standing with a man wearing a gray suit
Sharon Lechter