Austin, TX

America’s 6th richest self-made woman lives in Austin, Texas


Multi-billionaire Austin, Texas resident Thai Lee has landed on the coveted Forbes list of the wealthiest self-made women in the country.

Landing a spot on this list is no easy feat. The names feature celebrities, artists, and moguls of various industries.

Lee is no exception to this exceptional list and has a staggering net worth of $4.1 billion dollars. She is considered the 6th richest self-made woman in the country.

The Forbes article about the wealthiest self-made women in America notes that the, "U.S. stock market this spring pushed down the combined net worth of the nation’s richest self-made women to $111 billion, a 6% drop from last year; it also helped lower the admission cutoff to Forbes’ eighth annual list of these trailblazers to $215 million, down from $225 million a year ago. Thirty-eight of the 100 on this list are worth less than in 2021, but 51 are richer, including seven newcomers and seven who return to the ranks after having previously fallen off. Among the notable new faces: movie star Sandra Bullock, recurring Shark Tank judge Emma Grede and Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori."

Who is Thai Lee?

Lee is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IT provider SHI International, which has 15,000 customers including Boeing and AT&T. The company does $12.3 billion in sales. Thai wasn't always an American native. She was born in Bangkok and ended up growing up in South Korea. She moved to the United States for high school.

She went on to attend Amherst College and received her Bachelor of Arts/Science. She then received her Master of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. In fact, Thai's father was a well-known economist and the first Korean to graduate from Amherst College.

Before becoming the CEO of SHI International, she spent time working with Procter & Gamble and American Express.

Interestingly enough, Lee's ex-husband herself paid only around $1 million for a software reseller in the 1980s which was the predecessor to SHI International.

A fun fact about Lee is that she majored in both biology and economics, in part because her English was less than perfect and she wanted to avoid writing and speaking in class.

SHI International's website shares a little bit about who they are as a company and what they stand for:

"Today's SHI International is 5,000 ridiculously helpful, talented and diverse teammates working together and proving that a global solutions provider can have the focus, agility, scale and expertise to meet the unique business and IT needs of your organization, every day.

More than 15,000 corporate, enterprise, government and academic organizations rely on SHI to support their transformation, collaboration, security and optimization needs. Three decades of private ownership and consistent, organic growth (through neither merger nor acquisition) have allowed for constant reinvestment into our business to ensure SHI delivers custom, cutting-edge IT solutions backed with world-class customer support.

Headquartered in Somerset, NJ and with major operations centers in Austin, TX, Milton Keynes, UK and a growing local presence around the world, SHI finished 2021 with more than $12 billion in annual revenue."

Austin residents, have you ever met Lee? Do you think she deserves to be on this list? Let us know in the comments!

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