In what is either a sincere attempt to add the knowledge and expertise of a self-made female billionaire to his inner circle – or a calculated move to appear to be more diverse, Donald Trump has announced Diane Hendricks will join his 13-person economic advisory team.
It was in early August that Donald Trump released the names of the members of his team. One quick look at the list and it became quickly apparent that the all-male team, comprised of Wall Street moguls, fellow billionaires, and one professional poker player (not a joke) might not exactly give voters the impression the Trump campaign was hoping for.
Even if the intent was just to use her as a ploy to seem more politically correct, Hendricks will nevertheless be a valuable member of the economic advisory team. The daughter of two dairy farmers is the richest self-made woman in the country, with a net worth of $5.3 billion – and her wealth is growing.
She and her husband, the late Ken Hendricks, started their own company, in 1982. Hendricks sold custom homes, and Ken was a roofing contractor – together, the two of them went into business. Their roofing supply company, ABC Supply, became a massive success, making over $4.6 billion in revenue in 2013 alone.
Not only did Hendricks help build ABC Supply over the decades, but she was able to keep the business going, despite a number of personal and professional crises.
Her husband, Ken Hendricks, died suddenly in a freak accident in 2007, leaving the company, and his seven children, under the sole care of his wife. She was soon faced with a number of offers from others to buy out the company. The offers must have been tempting, as the 2008 financial crisis loomed, but Hendricks didn't waver. She kept the company, and has been overseeing its continued growth ever since as Chairman and Co-founder.
Her tenacity and her keen eye for good business deals will likely serve Trump well, both during his campaign and if he makes all the way to the Oval Office.