Diane Hendricks has been ranked as the 2016 top self-made woman billionaire by Forbes. The 69 year old widow mother of seven was found to have a real time wealth of up to $4.9 billion (Ksh. 494 billion). She holds a high school diploma.
She is the co-founder and chair person of the ABC Supply, a roofing company which she co-founded with her husband Kenneth in 1982. “We brought distribution to the nation, to every roofer out there — not just the big guy but the little guy, the guys in between, the girls in between,” Hendricks says of ABC Supply.
Her company grew rapidly, fueled by a string of acquisitions. When her husband died in 2007, Diane Hendricks soldiered on and rejected offers of buyouts, weathering the storm of the financial crisis before buying rival Bradco Supply in 2010.
Sales more than doubled in the past decade to nearly $6 billion in 2015 (Ksh. 605 billion). With over 600 stores and 9,600 employees, ABC Supply which is based in Beloit, Wis is aiming to increase sales by up to another billion this year.
The daughter of dairy farmers, Diane Hendricks still goes to the office every day (“All my friends work here”) and is an ardent supporter of blue-collar causes, such as technical education for high school students.