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Christie Lee, CEO, Oil Chem Technologies, No. 38
When Christie Lee came to the U.S. from Taiwan in the 1970s, she had just $100 to her name and the companionship of her college sweetheart. She soon married and had a baby, but had to put off graduate school in order to make money to help support her new family. She eventually put herself through school, graduating magna cum laude and giving the valedictorian speech at the University of Art and Science of Oklahoma with a young child in tow. After gaining years of experience in the oil industry, she started Oil Chem Technologies, a company that develops chemical compounds to enhance oil recovery.