The 2010 AWIB Entrepreneurial Leadership Award Winner
STG International, Inc. (STGi), is a $148+ million firm specializing in providing Human Capital Management, Head Start Program Support and Healthcare Support Services to the federal government. Founded in 1997, STG International has a workforce of 1,700 employees across 37 states and offers a diverse array of services to federal and DoD clients from coast to coast.
Michelle was born in Taiwan and came to the U.S. in 1982 to pursue a Master's Degree in Library Science at Texas Woman's University. Although Michelle originally intended to return to Taiwan following her graduation, she settled in the D.C. metropolitan area and began a career in federal libraries while raising her young family. Prior to founding STG International, Michelle held several key leadership roles at large consulting firms for more than 15 years. In 1997, Michelle left an established career as an executive at a government contracting firm to launch her own company. That first year, Michelle worked alone in an office out of her family’s basement and primarily focused on providing library support services.
Since its humble beginnings, STGi has experienced tremendous growth and has been recognized by a number of different sources, including the Washington Post, which listed STGi as one of the fastest growing businesses providing support to the government. Throughout the growth of her company, Michelle has remained true to her aspiration to provide exceptional service, working closely with clients to hear their needs, determine the best way to identify solutions, and to accomplish their goals.
At the company’s corporate office, Michelle’s door is always open to everyone and she holds quarterly office soirées to applaud the success of her employees, to welcome new employees, and to have the opportunity to talk with her nearly 100 corporate employees.
Michelle S. Lee has received many awards over the span of her career. In 2006, Michelle was recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of 25 “Women Who Mean Business.” The Minority Enterprise Executive Council honored her with its Powerful Minority Women in Business Award in 2008. In 2009, Michelle was selected among 22 local business leaders as one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists.
Michelle is equally committed to community. She is honored to sit on the board for both the Washington Hospital Center Foundation, the largest private hospital in our nation’s capital, and for ServiceSource Network, a non-profit organization that provides job training and support services to individuals with disabilities. Michelle also currently serves as an inaugural member of George Mason University’s Library Advisory Board; this allows her to stay involved with the happenings of the local university and encourage the direction of the university’s libraries.
Michelle credits her ambition and success to her father, who motivated her to achieve and dream big and not let her gender hold her back. Michelle’s advice to entrepreneurs is, “Persevere and follow through – if you stick with your original goal and continue to refine it to ensure relevance you need to then follow through into completion. Your word is your trademark.”
Michelle currently resides in McLean, Virginia, with her husband, Dr. Daniel Chou, her college sweetheart, and their three daughters.