Attracted by an advertisement in the classified section of the newspaper in 1995 with the message, "Franchises in Walmart, call 1-800-234-1040", Carl and Carrie Kelley began their business venture with Jackson Hewitt in tax season 1996 with a simple plan to run a business to produce just enough income to pay the overhead expenses for an office where they could conduct bookkeeping for their local franchised restaurant. Carrie had a degree and background in accounting having been the accountant for a private college and an assistant controller for a manufacturing company before opening and managing their Restaurant & Pub. Carl in law enforcement 16 years, had been a police officer in the public relations division and then a similar role with the Department of Justice as a Law Enforcement Coordinator and Victim/Witness Specialist. The combination of her accounting and his public relation skills they soon became deeply involved in Jackson Hewitt and embarked upon an incredible growth story taking them to being ranked among the top of approximately 700 Franchisees and being named the Franchisee of the Year in 2005.
They started with one office and one kiosk in Walmart in their home town of Muskogee, Oklahoma. They prepared four hundred ninety-eight tax returns after their first tax season in 1996. They quickly duplicated their success into other territories in the Oklahoma area and then continued their successful footprint into other states.
The expansion began with the purchase of Fort Walton Beach, FL area in 2000, Springfield, MO in 2002, with Fort Smith and Fayetteville, AR, Panama City Beach and Pensacola, FL. all added to the portfolio from 2002 up to 2012.
Now operating in Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, and Oklahoma with 99 locations during the 2014 tax season and over 45,000 tax returns per year, this team has grown to be the Second Largest Franchise in the Jackson Hewitt system.
Carl was named to the ICJHF (Independent Council of Jackson Hewitt Franchisees) Board of Directors in February of 2010 and his position as a board member will expire in April of 2016. Additionally, he served as President of the ICJHF from May 1, of 2010 to April 30 of 2014.