National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced Sharon Lechter as the winner of its fourth annual Women’s Financial Group (WFG) Woman of the Year Award. The award, designed to honor outstanding professional women throughout metropolitan Phoenix, was presented to Lechter during a ceremony last week.

Lechter is a local businesswoman, investor and financial literary activist whose philanthropic work has helped establish, educate and train professional women in the Valley. Lechter is the founder and CEO of “Pay Your Family First,” a money management program aimed to increase financial literacy among youth. She also is the co-author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” a financial self-help book that has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide.

“As host to the Women’s Financial Group, National Bank of Arizona continues to demonstrate its dedication to building a stronger community for us all,” Lechter said. “I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen as the 2013 Woman of the Year and pledge my continued support of the bank’s efforts to encourage and ignite results driven collaboration among the fabulous women of Arizona.”

Woman of the Year Award finalists included Dena Patton and Stella Shanovich. Patton is the co-founder and president of “The Girls Rule Foundation,” has sat on the board of NAWBO and regularly coaches women on entrepreneurship, confidence and building business. Shanovich is a partner at Grant Thornton where she spearheaded “Women at Grant Thornton,” an in-house networking and leadership organization for professional women.

“At NB|AZ we take great pride in supporting local professional women who are making a positive impact in their communities,” said Deborah Bateman, executive vice president, director of wealth strategies of National Bank of Arizona. “We received many nominations for women qualified for this prestigious award and are honored to recognize Sharon Lechter as our 2013 Woman of the Year.”

All nominations for the Woman of the Year Award were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of industry leaders and the National Bank of Arizona Women’s Financial Group Advisory Council.

For more information about NB|AZ and the Woman of the Year award, please visit