Epic Systems founder and CEO Judy Faulkner is No. 6 on the 2017 Forbes list of richest self-made women, logging a $2.5 billion net worth.
Faulkner built the electronic healthcare record company from scratch, starting in a Madison, Wis. basement in 1979 with a $70,000 investment. The company moved to its current location in Verona, Wis. in 2005.
Today, she employs more 9,500 people on a sprawling and ever so artsy and whimsical campus. Among the many theme-park-like features are a slide to get from one section of the building to another and a also what appears to be a “stairway to heaven.”
All the quirky campus touches aside, Faulkner runs a very serious enterprise, supplying multi-million dollar EHR systems to some of the most prestigious healthcare organizations in the country. Among them are Kaiser Permanente, Cleveland Clinic, UPMC and Partners HealthCare.
Faulkner has pledged to give away her fortune via the “Giving Pledge,” a promise also made by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, among others.
On this most recent Forbes list, Faulkner is listed a few notches down from fellow Madison, Wis. self-made woman Diane Hendricks, who took the No. 2 slot, with a net worth of $4.9 billion. Apparently, there’s more money to be made in roofing than in EHRs. Oprah took the No. 3 spot.
However, Faulkner placed well ahead of celebrities such as Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Beyoncé, Madonna and Judge Judy.