A family of visionaries offers Mitzi Nelson the encouragement she needs to succeed.
Many years ago, Robert and Freddie Nelson purchased a tract of land in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they hoped to build a home and raise their family. Robert was a small business owner with big dreams, but due to illness and other unforeseen circumstances, he had to close his business. His son, Walter, had worked with his dad and recognized the benefits of self-employment, so he set out to follow in his dad’s footsteps. He attended Hampton University and became one of the first African Americans to graduate with a degree in accounting. He became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and opened his own tax practice next to his childhood home.
Walter’s daughter, Mitzi, always dreamed of becoming a teacher. But, when she was a senior in high school, she decided to take an accounting class as an elective. It came very easy for her to understand the different aspects of accounting, and she really enjoyed the class. So much in fact that she decided she wanted to be an accountant, too. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of North Carolina Charlotte, and soon thereafter, became a CPA. She immediately went to work at her dad’s firm and has been preparing taxes by his side for more than 20 years. When her dad retires, Mitzi will become the sole owner of the accounting business they have grown together.
Drake Software is honored to be part of the Nelson family’s story. Walter and Mitzi have been using Drake’s tax preparation software for more than 20 years. According to Mitzi, “Drake makes preparing taxes simple. They offer everything you need without making you buy add-ons or worry about the fine print. It’s all-inclusive. You can’t beat that!”
Mitzi is also very pleased with Drake’s technical support. She says, “I always get the help I need right away. Their willingness to help is very refreshing.” Mitzi adds, ”Also, the fact that Drake offers all states has helped us grow our business because we can offer more services without a lot of extra expense on our part.”
Walter and Mitzi take advantage of Drake’s early-renewal discount pricing each year, which makes Drake an even better value for their business. They are loyal customers and feel Drake provides them the tools needed to offer services and products that satisfy their customers year after year.
Walter, his daughter Mitzi, and son Robert prepare all types of returns – personal, business, and non-profits – and provide bookkeeping and payroll services. They also offer workshops in their community where they teach others about small business ownership, the basics of taxes, and the secrets to tax deductions. And for those clients who maintain their tax records with accounting software, they offer software installation and setup support.
Mitzi is a morning person who, in her spare time, enjoys time on the golf course. In fact, she owns a driving range that’s located next door to the tax practice. After several of her golf-playing clients took advantage of the open land next door to the tax office to hit some practice balls after their appointments, Mitzi heard another opportunity knocking and opened a private driving range where she serves as owner, manager, and teaching professional.
In all her endeavors, Mitzi tries to be personable, make her clients feel at home, and works hard to earn their confidence. She is organized and detail oriented, which is important when managing multiple businesses. Her easy-going attitude helps her handle the stress of her many jobs.
Aside from her love of preparing taxes and playing golf, Mitzi also enjoys music. She is the director of music at her church, where she plays piano and keyboard and is the choir director for three different groups. Each year, the choirs have a concert at the end of April. So, even at a time when Mitzi is covered up with last-minute tax preparation, she’s also fine-tuning for a phenomenal choral performance.
The desire to be an entrepreneur was something Mitzi realized at an early age. She always admired the commitment her grandfather and her dad put into their businesses and that carried over to her work ethic as well. Her dad has always been a huge influence in her life. When asked about the secret to successful business ownership, Walter said, “That’s what a business takes – a vision and a dream. Once you have that dream, and you’re dedicated to that dream, you will accomplish it if you persevere.”
Mitzi also offered words of encouragement to anyone thinking of starting his or her own business. “Anything is possible if you put your mind to it and do the research,” she said. “You can’t let one little setback or stumbling block stop you.” She added, “When you see it in your mind and focus on that vision, you take a step and the Lord will take two for you. You keep going, and your dream will become a reality.”
Walter R Nelson CPA