Sharon Lechter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sharon L. Lechter
Born (1954-01-12) January 12, 1954 (age 60)
Alma mater Florida State University
Occupation CPA, author, businesswoman, investor, educator, international speaker, philanthropist
Spouse(s) Michael Lechter
Children Phillip, Shelly, & Rick

Sharon L. Lechter (born January 12, 1954) is an American accountant, Chartered Global Management Accountant, author, businesswoman, investor, international speaker, financial literacy activist and philanthropist. Sharon Lechter is also the founder and CEO of Pay Your Family First, a financial education organization.

In 2009 Sharon was appointed to the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission as a national spokesperson on the topic of financial literacy. In January 2008, Lechter was appointed to the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy[1] to serve a two-year term. It is the council's responsibility to keep the American public financially competent and competitive. The Council served both President Bush and President Obama advising them on the need for financial literacy education.

Sharon has been developing new technologies, programs and products to bring education into children’s lives for over 20 years. 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 1997 Sharon co-authored the international bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad, along with 14 other books in the Rich Dad series and was CEO of the Rich Dad company for over 10 years. In 2008 she was asked by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to join a new book project. Her bestselling books, Think and Grow Rich-Three Feet from Gold and Outwitting the Devil were both written in cooperation with the Napoleon Hill Foundation. Sharon’s most recent book project is Save Wisely, Spend Happily, and was released in cooperation with the American Institute of CPAs. Current projects in development with Napoleon Hill Foundation include Think and Grown Rich For Women and Think and Grow Rich for Kids.

Lechter's financial literacy board game ThriveTime for Teens, is a national award winner 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. Sharon is recognized globally as an expert on the topics of financial education for children and entrepreneurship.

Sharon is a member of 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. In 2013 Sharon received the designation of AICPA Financial Literacy Champion. Sharon is also an Instructor for Thunderbird School of Global Management for both its Artemis Program and its partnership with the U.S. Department of State and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program. Sharon was also integral in the passage of Arizona SB1449 in June of 2013, a bill that requires financial literacy concepts to permanently be incorporated into economics standards and created a separate statue for those concepts.

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. 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 honored by National Bank of Arizona with the 2013 Woman of the Year award and Arizona Business Magazine as one of the 50 most Influential Women in Arizona Business.

[2]


Personal life[edit]

Sharon Lechter graduated from Florida State University with an Accounting degree and Magna Cum Laude honors. Shortly after, she began her career in the ranks of a Big Eight accounting firm. Before she and her husband Michael met Robert Kiyosaki and formed the Rich Dad companies, Sharon held various management positions with computer, insurance and publishing companies while maintaining her credentials as a professional CPA. Sharon met her husband Michael Lechter in 1980.

After co-founding the Rich Dad companies, Lechter spent 11 years on the managerial board. In June 2007, Lechter resigned from the managerial board of the Rich Dad companies to further pursue her passion with children's education and financial literacy.

"Our current educational system has not been able to keep pace with the global and technological changes in the world today," Lechter said. "Money is a life skill. We must teach our young people the skills - both scholastic and financial - that they need to not only survive, but to thrive in the world."

Today, she is actively engaged in several business ventures, curriculum, councils and media opportunities to advance financial literacy across the nation.

Michael Lechter[edit]

Michael A. Lechter is an intellectual property lawyer, President and CEO of Tech Press, author, investor and entrepreneur. Michael has been practicing law as a patent attorney since the early 1970s.[3] Among his other duties, Michael is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University, counsel to the international law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP and former Rich Dad Advisor.

He is the author of several books including Protecting Your #1 Asset, Creating Fortunes from Your Ideas, An Intellectual Property Handbook, OPM: How to Attract Other People's Money for Your Investments - The Ultimate Leverage, editor of Successful Patents and Patenting for Engineers and Scientists and contributing author to the Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Licensing Best Practices: The LESI Guide To Strategic Issues and Contemporary Realities.

Michael maintains a column at Inc.com[4] where he gives practical advice on a variety of different topics from protecting your assets to intellectual property.

Children[edit]

Sharon and Michael have three children together, Phillip, Shelly and William, and reside in Arizona. Sharon and Michael's youngest son, William, joined the U.S. Marines in the summer of 2007 and died in December 2012. Phillip Lechter and his business partner Troy own Community First Financial,[5] a mortgage brokering company in Scottsdale, Ariz. In addition to his mortgage company, Phillip is also a real estate investor and educator with an investment portfolio that includes 11 residential rental units and a retail business.[6] In the fall of 2000, Phillip began working as an “apprentice” to his mom which later developed into his position as the Chief Communications Officer for the Rich Dad Company.[6] Recently Phillip Lechter has become an Instructor at Nouveau Riche University teaching a class on Negotiations for Real Estate.[6][7]

Cherry Creek Lodge[edit]

Cherry Creek Lodge Backside.JPG

The Lechters own a dude ranch in Young, Ariz. that is available for vacations, special eventshunting lodge and corporate group retreats. Cherry Creek Lodge sits amidst the pristine hills and trees of the Tonto National Forest and offers a variety of activities to guests including hunting, fishing, archery, horse-back riding and ATV rentals. Cherry Creek Lodge started hosting guests in early 2008.

Pay Your Family First[edit]

In 2007 Lechter created Pay Your Family First, "a company dedicated to empowering children and families to build prosperous futures through financial literacy education."[8] The company is the umbrella organization for a number of Lechter's newest brands and products including YOUTHpreneur and ThriveTime for Teens.

YOUTHpreneur[edit]

YOUTHpreneur launched in 2008 to "ignite the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, today!" YOUTHpreneur is a brand of products and services under the Pay Your Family First company. The brand features a business kit designed to teach children the basics of money management and how to operate an independent business. "My Biz Kit" includes both parent and youth guides, a resource guide, a tote bag, calculator, stationary, business cards and more. YOUTHpreneur also sells a branded gumball machine designed to be used as a "starter business" for those not looking to go out and create their own.

ThriveTime for Teens[edit]

ThriveTime for Teens is a board game under the Pay Your Family First company. The game is designed to teach teenage children financial skills by placing them in real life money and life decisions such as buying a car, giving to charity, using credit cards, buying or starting a business and more. Players have 15 game-time hours per game week of "BIZtime" in which they must decide what new activities or part-time work they will engage in. Players advance through the game with "Thrive Score."[9] Thrive Score increases by making financially good decisions and decreases with bad ones. Players receive game sheets[10] with income, expenditures, assets and liabilities to total their progress.

Three Feet from Gold[edit]

On October 6, 2009, Lechter's newest title, Think and Grow Rich: Three Feet from Gold hit book stands nationwide. The narrative follows the story of a young writer who interviews many of today's business leaders and other influential figures about the importance of persistence in obtaining your goals. The book advocates finding your own Success Formula,[11] choosing good counsel and above all: never giving up.

The Rich Dad Companies[edit]

Sharon Lechter has co-authored over a dozen different books under the Rich Dad brand with Robert Kiyosaki and coordinated or edited another 10 with the Rich Dad companies. She is one of three founding partners of the series of companies that fall under the Rich Dad brand with Robert Kiyosaki and Kim Kiyosaki. Robert Kiyosaki once said of Sharon Lechter that,

“Sharon is one of the few natural entrepreneurs I have ever met. In The Rich Dad Company, I am the horn and Sharon is the engine."[12]

At the Rich Dad companies Sharon claimed credit for developing several board games, audio cassettes, seminars, CDs and interactive Web sites. She claims to be the co-inventor of the Cashflow for Kids board game and spearheaded the launch of Rich Dad's interactive Web site for kids. However, the companies' most well-known work is their very first book and the #1 New York Times bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

In 2012, Robert Kiyosaki is re-releasing all Rich Dad books, removing Sharon Lechter's name as co-author and putting his picture on all covers.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad[edit]

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (2000)

Originally self-published by TechPress, Inc. before being picked up by Warner Books and becoming a bestseller, the story line follows anecdotal advice and lessons Robert Kiyosaki learned from his "two fathers" growing up in Hawaii. Robert's "rich dad" (his best friend's father) and his "poor dad" (his biological father) offer very different advice on how to live his life and earn a living. The anecdotal comparison of his "rich dad" and "poor dad" provide the basis for the book and later brand. His "poor dad" was the superintendent of the Hawaii State Department of Education and a well-educated man. However, Kiyosaki demonstrates that because he followed the traditional path of "get a good education to get a good job" he was constantly in debt later in life and had very little real net worth. In opposition to this is his "rich dad" who never even finished the 8th grade but became "the richest man in Hawaii" by investing his smaller income in a few good money producing investments. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is designed to challenge the way in which most people view money and how to make money work for you, instead of working for your money.

The rest of the Rich Dad books enforce these basic principles and ideas but elaborate on them within specific groups, time frames or opportunities.

Rich Dad Series[edit]

Warner Bros./Hachette Publishing - Sharon Lechter as co-author with Robert Kiyosaki

  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad (1997)
  • Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant (1998)
  • Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing (2000)
  • Rich Dad’s Rich Kid Smart Kid (2001)
  • Rich Dad’s Retire Young Retire Rich (2001)
  • Rich Dad’s Prophecy (2002)
  • Rich Dad’s Success Stories (2003)
  • Rich Dad’s Guide to Becoming Rich Without Cutting Up Your Credit Cards (2003)
  • Rich Dad’s Who Took My Money (2004)
  • Rich Dad’s Before You Quit Your Job (2005)

Sharon Lechter as author with co-author Garrett Sutton

  • Rich Dad’s Real Estate Advantages (2006)

Little Brown/Hachette Publishing - Sharon Lechter as co-author with Robert Kiyosaki

  • Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens (2004)
  • Escape the Rat Race (2005)

VideoPlus - Sharon Lechter as co-author with Robert Kiyosaki

  • The Business School For People Who Like Helping People (2001)

Rich Publishing - Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki with Sharon Lechter and Meredith McIver as co-authors

  • Why We Want You to be Rich (2006)
  • Rich Woman (2006) - Kim Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Advisor Series[edit]

Warner Bros./Hachette

  • Sales Dogs (2001)
  • Own Your Own Corporation (2001)
  • Protecting Your #1 Asset (2001)
  • How to Buy and Sell a Business (2003)
  • OPM – Other People’s Money (2004)
  • The ABC’s of Real Estate Investing (2004)
  • The ABC’s of Getting Out of Debt (2004)
  • The ABC’s of Writing Winning Business Plans (2005)
  • The ABC’s of Building a Business Team That Wins (2006)

Cashflow for Kids[edit]

Lechter takes credit for adapting Rich Dad's Cashflow 101 board game for children. Cashflow for Kids, designed for children ages 5 to 9, aims to teach the very basic principles and concepts of investing and making money.

The game is broken into two stages, the "rat race" and "the fast track." Kids must first raise their income above their expenses before they can escape the first stage of the game. In the second stage they must achieve the "dream" goal of $50,000 in monthly cash flow with the first to reach this goal declared the winner.

Kids learn hands on and by themselves how to invest and the difference between an asset and a liability. In place of "score cards" there are financial statements. Kids can see first hand what their money is going into.

Rich Kid, Smart Kid[edit]

Rich Kid Smart Kid is the online, animated version of Cashflow for Kids. Lechter was a driving force behind developing the concepts for the site. The same principles and lessons found in the board game are applied at this free online Web site. Animated characters help kids "escape the rat race" and learn how to maximize profit in several different and repeatable exercises.

The Web site caters to children of all ages with four different areas for four different age groups; K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. In addition there is a section and breakdown for teachers and parents as well as news of personal kid success stories.

Lawsuit[edit]

On October 12, 2007, Sharon Lechter filed suit against Rich Dad, Poor Dad co-author Robert Kiyosaki in Clark County, NV (Civil Case # 07-A-549886-C). On September 4, 2008 the Lechters and Kiyosakis reached a settlement in their lawsuit.[13]

The Rich Dad Philosophy[edit]

The main goal of Kiyosaki's anecdotal lessons in the Rich Dad series of books is to create financially literate and aware persons who can support themselves on their investments alone, rather than running the "rat race" and living paycheck to paycheck. To do this they advocate investments such as real estate and small businesses. They clearly define the difference between an asset and a liability. Kiyosaki defines "assets" as things that generate money, such as rental properties or businesses and "liabilities" as things that cost money, such as house payments, cars and so on. Financial leverage is also a key component towards becoming rich. Lechter advocates learning to take existing infrastructures and systems and applying them to your project.

Lechter stresses what she calls "financial literacy" as the means to obtaining wealth. She says that life skills are often best learned through experience and that there are important lessons not taught in school.

Lechter and Kiyosaki speak often of what they call "The Cashflow Quadrant," a conceptual tool that aims to describe how all the money in the world is earned. Depicted in a diagram, this concept entails four groupings, split with two lines (one vertical and one horizontal). In each of the four groups there is a letter representing a way in which an individual may earn income. The letters are as follows.

  • E: Employee — Working for someone else
  • S: Self-employed or Small business owner — Where a person owns his own job and is his own boss.
  • B: Business owner — Where a person owns a "system" of making money, rather than a job to make money.
  • I: Investor — Spending money in order to receive a larger payout in return.

For those on the left side of the divide ("E" and "S"), Lechter and Kiyosaki say that they may never obtain true wealth. Conversely, those on the right side of the divide ("B" and "I") are supposedly following the road to true wealth.

Financial Literacy[edit]

Sharon Lechter's true passion is financial literacy, especially for woman in business, children and families. During her time at the Rich Dad companies she worked to advance and develop a variety of media for children and teens including; Rich Dad, Poor Dad for Teens, Rich Kid Smart Kid Web site and the board game Cashflow for Kids.

In January, 2008, Sharon Lechter was appointed to the President’s Council on Financial Literacy[14] in a ceremony held in the Roosevelt room at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Lechter and the council, composed of 19 members from the business, faith and non-profit communities work to shape the course for a financially literate nation. The council is charged to gather information about financial literacy and its condition in the U.S., recommend improvements to national policies to the President and the Treasury secretary and "assist the American people in understanding and addressing financial matters."[15]

“We want people to own assets; we want people to be able to manage their assets,” said President Bush in his remarks. “We want people to understand basic financial concepts, and how credit cards work and how credit scores affect you, how you can benefit from a savings account or a bank account. That's what we want. And this group of citizens has taken the lead, and I thank them.”[16]

Members of the council include;

  • Charles R. Schwab, of California, and upon appointment, Designate Chair;
  • John Bryant, of California, and upon appointment, Designate Vice Chair;
  • Theodore Beck, of Colorado;
  • Theodore R. Daniels, of Maryland;
  • Cutler Dawson, of Virginia;
  • Robert F. Duvall, of New York;
  • Tahira Hira, of Iowa;
  • Jack E. Kosakowski, of Colorado;
  • Sharon L. Lechter, of Arizona;
  • Robert V. Lee III, of Florida;
  • Laura Levine, of the District of Columbia;

Community Awards & Recognitions[edit]

A committed philanthropist, Lechter also gives back to world communities as both a volunteer and benefactor. Her dedication to her principles, ideas and convictions has landed her numerous awards and placed her on several committees.

Committees[edit]

Recognitions[edit]

  • Spirit of the Children Award (2002) - Sharon and her husband Michael received this award for their support of Childhelp and their own efforts to curtail child abuse.
  • Arizona Power Couple (2004) - Sharon and Michael were recognized as an Arizona Power Couple for their influence in and around the state.
  • Woman of Distinction (2005) - The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America recognized Sharon with this award
  • Woman of the Year (2013)- National Bank of Arizona honored Sharon with this award [17]
  • Positively Powerful Woman Award for Philanthropic Leadership (2012) [18]

Sharon was also honored in 2013 by the Business Journal as one of their 25 Dynamic Women in Business and by AZ Business magazine as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

References[edit]

External links[edit]