June 25, 2007

Relocating their business to downtown Delano

By Kelsey Linden
Staff Writer

A sigh of relief falls over Lecia Connors as tax season comes to its end.

Having just established her business in Delano, Connors feels pleased and happy to share the building with her husband, Ryan, and his own business.

As you walk into the office, the married couple is dispersed to opposite sides of the building, noting they have two separate companies.

Ryan, a life insurance agent, works with investments, annuities, the IRS, and finances.

As an enrolled agent, Lecia works with her client’s tax returns, trusts, and other small corporate tasks.

When asked why each desired to get involved in their fields, Ryan began by saying, “Mainly, I wanted to work along the same lines that Lecia was doing. It’s nice owning my own business. The harder you work, the better you’re going to do.”

After first meeting Lecia in 1997, Ryan graduated from Minnesota School of Business in 2000, and passed his exam to get his security license.

A graduate from Martin Luther College, Lecia worked 13 years as a tax preparer for John James in Maple Plain before recently taking over the company after James Mueller divided the corporation.

“After taking over the practice, I was worried that people wouldn’t stay, but they did,” Lecia said.

Unfortunately, the building in Maple Plain was just being sold the month of December, and plans for reconstruction were scheduled during the next few months – which were during tax season.

Remembering the chaos of that month, Lecia said, “It was sort of an untimely matter, because the tax season virtually starts the first week in January. It was December, and we needed a place to go.”

Both Lecia and Ryan feel very thankful to have found the location of Delano. Lecia was especially pleased with the results.

“I wondered if people were going to follow me to Delano, and sure enough, I’d say more than 90 percent did,” she said.

Lecia likes to spend extra time working with her clients “I do talk with most of them. I call them and make sure everything is okay,” she said. “Knowing what is going on and what are their plans for the future is very important. I spend a lot of time on some the most minor things because I’m such a perfectionist. I love saving people money.”

Most of the tax returns come in to Lecia the month of March, and times can sometimes be stressful.

“I wish there was more time,” she said. “I like to talk. Sometimes it drives me nuts because you run out of time.”

Ryan and Lecia have been close to the Delano community since 1997, when they first met, but what drew their attention to the town in the first place is the wholesome community.

“I like the small town,” Ryan said. “The school systems are good. It’s close enough to anything you need to get to, but it’s still the small town aspect.”

Raising a family with four children, the Connors wanted Drew 14, Seth 11, Britta 9, and John ‘Jack’ 3, to grow up in a smaller community.

“Family is extremely important,” Ryan said. “That why I like the opportunity for this career. There is a lot of freedom. I try to put the kids first. Overall, it’s been fantastic since we’ve been here.”

Even though the couple work on completely different avenues of the business, Ryan and Lecia are both excited to be working under the same roof.

“It’s advantageous,” Ryan said. “We are basically two separate entities. I do nothing with taxes and she does nothing with investments, but we do learn well from each other when we are together. This is the type of situation that I wanted. I basically run my own business, and it’s great because I can spend time with my kids. It was certainly time for this.”

Laughing to herself, Lecia jokingly asked her husband, “We get along marvelously, don’t we?”

Chuckling, he replied, “During tax season, I never see her because she’s got her face buried in the computer. When it hits April 1, and you’re staring at 200 returns, there’s only so much time in a day, so things do get very stressful for her.”

When it comes to stress on Ryan’s part, the greatest struggle that he is faced with is getting people to listen.

“It’s hard to get people to talk to me sometimes, but the industry as a whole has just changed so much over the years,” Ryan said. “About 90 percent of the people that I meet with, I can help, it’s just that they don’t give me the time.”

When it comes to advice about finances, Ryan strongly encouraged, “Start as soon as you can. The sooner you start planning, the better off you will be. Having been in this business, I wish I would have started with it earlier. It’s never too early to start learning. I philosophically believe in what I do. Protect what you have and start accumulating.”

Lecia noted, “The earlier you can start saving, the better. Do not get into credit card debt.”

With the success that the Connors have had, both feel indebted to Lecia’s secretary, Triva Epple.

When discussing Triva’s dedicated worth ethic, Lecia also said, “We have different personalities, but I believe we compliment each other well. She’s smart, intelligent, and she’s on the ball, so we can get things done in efficiently. We love her. She’s like a godsend.”

Blushing upon her compliments, Epple said, “Lecia is very good with people and she’s excellent at what she does. I really love working with them.”

“I think it’s very important to have a friendly work environment and I believe we have that here. I’ve never been happier,” Lecia concluded.

If you would like to contact Conner’s Tax and Bookkeeping, call (763) 972-4441. Feel free to gain an education on finances and New York Life Insurance. If interested, contact Ryan at (763) 242-4304.

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