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Laura and Victor in Florence
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Bradley and Kara 'rule the show at Laura's house'
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Phil at work at Intuit Support
While I was young I never imagined these milestones in my life: earning an accounting degree, becoming a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and author, being included in the Top 10 list of QuickBooks ProAdvisors and living in North Texas. I never even thought about the opportunity that my husband, Victor would also be a QuickBooks Advanced Certified ProAdvisor, that our oldest son Mark would work for QuickBooks integrated applications and that our youngest son, Phillip would work for Intuit in support. Never in my wildest dreams did I dream this big!
Instead, I dreamed of becoming an artist. My elementary school teachers helped to foster this interest by writing letters to my parents or telling them about my natural gift for expressing myself was though art. I entered many coloring contests those early years and won several.
I attended college during my last year of high school. High school occupied the morning hours and in the afternoon I went to college. I loved the college life, so much so that I choose to live in the college apartments. Financially, not the best move as my parents lived just minutes from the college, but this experience would have a lasting impact on my life.
One of my college roommates was from New York City and she shared with me that families back East would hire college kids to watch their children, they were called Nannies. I was smitten by the idea of travel and so I left Utah for the suburbs of New York City. My mother told me there was nothing holding me back and that while she was worried she knew that I would be ok. I continued my creativity by taking photography classes that were held in Central Park in Manhattan as well as beach front painting with watercolors class offered in Connecticut. It was a very expressive time of my life.
You are probably wondering when the QuickBooks software became my profession by choice. It was a long, long, long time ago. It was year 1986 and I went to work for a friend in my church doing bookkeeping. One day he brought in a boxed software named Quicken. I was smitten. I loved learning the software as much as creating art but in a different way.
Years later I would buy my first computer, spending $3,000 for a floppy drive machine. Best financial investment I ever made. I was fascinated with how software worked and read everything I could find on the subject. When QuickBooks arrived, it was just natural for me to buy it and learn it. In fact, I have used each and every version of both QuickBooks and Quicken.
Representing QuickBooks software has been profitable since the introduction of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program and being recognized as certified in the software. I credit the ProAdvisor Program with helping many business owners find me for help with their software as we moved our family from Connecticut to South Florida and finally to North Texas.
Shortly after the inception of the ProAdvisor Program and certification I prepared a flyer and business card using the new logo and headed out to the CPA Society convention at the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center. I pulled into the large covered parking garage and then had a bit of a panic attack. How could I do this? Walk up to complete strangers looking for more bookkeeping work? As I entered the trade show floor, whose booth do you think was placed at the entrance?
A sense of calm came over me, as I approached the small Intuit booth and exclaimed, “Thank you for giving us a logo and certification; it has totally improved my opportunities”. Well, he couldn’t write my name down fast enough. Later I would learn that my flyer and business cards were pinned up on the office walls of the ProAdvisor group at Intuit. Those early years included quotes from me being placed on the back of mailing advertisements, or being featured in articles in the Accounting Today magazine. My dad, also an accountant, has one of those articles hanging today on his office wall.
There have been so many wonderful opportunities and friends made as a result of that chance meeting at the Intuit booth, some of the most memorable include:
- Chosen to be a member of the founding Customer Advisory Council
- Attending the Intuit Investors Meeting, and having Scott Cook sit down next to me during that meeting
- Accompanying the Intuit media group on the press tour in New York
- Taking calls with the Tucson, Arizona accountant support team
- Attending the Intuit employee awards ceremony in Tucson, Arizona
- Being introduced as a ProAdvisor at the first (and maybe last) Intuit Development Network conference
- Writing for Intuit technical documentation on competing software solutions
- Presenting the What’s New in QuickBooks fall tour for many years
While QuickBooks occupies my working hours (and sometimes my sleeping hour dreams!), there are many other interests that I have. I love teaching any subject. For many years I have taught the 7-8 year old children at church. Truly, this is my calling in life. I love these children and they show me every Sunday how much they love me.
Each summer I join my siblings for camping in Oregon, Washington or Utah. I love the fresh air, the freedom from technology and time spent with family. While camping I get to be the resident photographer, taking hundreds of pictures for my scrapbook making sisters.
Our family loves our pet dogs. We were given a Cocker Spaniel before our children were born and have for 28 years had one or two Cocker’s in our family. Currently we have a puppy Bradley, a 1 and ½ year old Cocker Spaniel and new to our family is Kara. Kara is our first rescue puppy and is a mixed breed dog. She is very smart, gets along well with Bradley but likes to bark so we are hoping to train her to speak on demand and to hush when asked.
I continue to seek out art and creativity. We enjoyed a wonderful trip to Italy a few years back and I was overwhelmed with the amazing art that I was surrounded by. We are planning a trip to Spain and Portugal (where Victor is from) but not until this replaced knee of mine starts working better.
My life, as well as yours, has been an interesting turn of events for sure. You just never know what opportunities are out there when you are willing to learn something new and share it with others and, most importantly, not be afraid to dream big.