Liberty Tax Service is a national corporation that specializes in preparing and filing taxes for individuals and businesses. The company was established in 1997, and there are currently over 4,300 Liberty Tax Service offices operating in the United States and Canada. There are 18 Liberty Tax Service offices located within 25 miles of downtown Louisville, KY and several of those offices are owned by African-American businessman Marcus Warren.
In an effort to promote the Liberty Tax brand while also promoting goodwill throughout the community – Liberty Tax Service of greater Louisville decided to hold its first ever annual “Miss Lady Liberty” beauty pageant to select a spokesperson for the company. The pageant was held in Petersburg Park in Louisville, KY on September 26, 2015 and female Kentucky residents – ages 18-25 – were encouraged to register for a chance to compete.
The pageant was structured around an anti-bullying theme and the contestants were judged on their appearance and performances in three specific categories: Talent & Performance, Evening Gown and Question & Answer. Louisville native – Angie Thompson – scored high in every category but her anti-bullying rendition of rapper Kurtis Blow’s 1980 hit “The Breaks” helped soar her to victory.
Thompson is a graduate of Valley High School in Louisville and currently attends McKendree University where she’s majoring in Business Administration. She’s been an accountant for the last six years and has worked at Liberty Tax Service as a tax preparer for the past three years. During one of Liberty Tax Services monthly employee meetings – she was notified about the Miss Lady Liberty beauty pageant and decided to enter the contest.
“I am the first Miss Lady Liberty. They [Liberty Tax Service] had a pageant back in September and basically my duties are to promote the business but I took it a step further – so I go out and do volunteer work. My favorite part about my job is going to events and putting crowns on the little kids. One time I went to an event at Shawnee Park and I had my crown on. I started talking to this little girl and when she walked away I heard her say that she was a princess. I had a moment because that really meant something to me.” – Angie Thompson
Thompson’s reign as “Miss Lady Liberty” is a 12-month term that will end in September 2016 – at which time she will have the honor of crowning the next pageant winner. Her duties include positively promoting the brand by attending scheduled events – dressed in Miss Lady Liberty attire – as an ambassador of goodwill.
“I’m the face of the company and I’m a double threat because I also do taxes. If I go out and I meet people and they have a tax question – I don’t have to refer them to anybody because I do taxes as well – so it works. It’s kind of like the perfect fit.” – Angie Thompson
Fully embracing the opportunity – Thompson goes above the call of duty by regularly attending festivals and events that are not scheduled by Liberty Tax Service. She often spends her lunch break from work reading books to children at local elementary schools. Thompson has also been working with local comedians to help her create a series of Liberty Tax Service video skits – addressing popular myths associated with filing and preparing taxes.
“Last year I posted a lot of myths online of what people think they can do on their taxes but they actually can’t – so I’m really just bringing that to video but I want to incorporate humor into it as well because that’s what spreads it around faster.” – Angie Thompson
Thompson’s natural nurturing demeanor is exhibited throughout every facet of her life. Following graduation from high school she moved to Cincinnati to attend college. She was living there for four years and had become gainfully employed but relocated back to Louisville to take care of her grandfather after her grandmother passed away.
“I lived in Cincinnati for about four years and then my grandmother passed away here [Louisville] so I moved back to take care of my granddad. So I literally gave up everything. I had my own apartment – I lived literally a block away from the school and 10 minutes from work, so I had it all worked out – but I had to do what I had to do for my family.” – Angie Thompson
She often brings her younger sisters and cousins to the events she attends to show them what giving back to their community actually looks like. Thompson is also very passionate about self-empowerment and reinforces that ideology with almost everyone she meets. Whenever she discovers that someone is having a bad day – she immediately encourages them to focus on the positives in their lives.
“My little cousins laugh at me because I make them do affirmations. If they are feeling down or in a bad mood – we’re looking in the mirror and we’re empowering ourselves. They feel weird doing it but they feel better afterwards.” – Angie Thompson
Thompson is scheduled to earn her degree in Business Administration in December and has plans of starting her own book-keeping service. Since winning the Miss Lady Liberty pageant she has also become interested in marketing – so she may incorporate that into her career portfolio as well.
Her outlook on life is always positive and she embraces being a role model to people living in the same at-risk-communities that she grew up in. It is not uncommon to see her throughout the city of Louisville wearing her Miss Lady Liberty ribbon and crown because it’s a constant reminder to herself and the public that you do not have to be a product of your environment.
“When I won the pageant I did not want to take my crown off. I couldn’t believe that me – a little black girl from the West End – just won a pageant and is now the face of a company. I kept wondering how did this happen. I didn’t want to take it off and luckily that was my birthday weekend so I wore it every day that week.” – Angie Thompson
If you happen to see Angie Thompson in your community wearing her ribbon and crown – just know that she is on a mission to make that community a better place.