AVON PARK — Renee Bennett, founder of Management Experts Inc., started her business in 1994. The company specializes in business planning and development, strategic planning, taxation, accounting, administration and investment planning.
Bennett was raised in Avon Park. She moved here from Sonoma, California with her family when she was 2 years old.
Renee and her husband, Doug, have one son, William D. Bennett, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her parents, E. J. and Annette Stewart of Avon Park, had several local businesses and her grandparents owned and operated a sawmill in northwest Florida in the early 1900s.
Bennett’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with honors, magna cum laude, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Webber College. Upon graduation she was invited to join the college as a part-time adjunct instructor for the final class of the master’s program. During this period she assisted those seeking a master’s degree in performing real world consulting jobs through practicum projects at Webber.
As impressive as Bennett’s academic achievements are, her character is perhaps her greatest gift.
Bennett’s business basically grew out of a need. Individuals and businesses were being taken advantage of by unscrupulous tax preparers who were cheating them and the government. This was causing large IRS debts on those who had no way to pay the debt themselves.
Because of these kinds of situations, Bennett started a simple tax office to try to help do taxes right for the common person. Most were agriculture laborers being swindled by bad service providers trying to take advantage of their lack of education. Bennett soon learned that being cheated was a serious problem throughout the “Fast Tax” industry.
“There were so many hard working people needing good honest service, so they kept coming to us for help,” Bennett said in her bio. “This bloomed into basically helping in any way we could and spread way beyond the individual to include many small and even some large businesses.”
“I have known Renée Bennett for over 20 years,” said Renee Green, CPA, and MEI employee. “I have worked with her off and on for 17 years. Renée is one of the most dedicated, caring, hard working women I know. She is dedicated to her clients and tries to do everything possible to help them. She is also very dedicated to her church, and her family.
“It was an honor for her to ask me to join her business. We work well together as a team along with the other staff members,” Green said. “We have a warm atmosphere in our office and we strive to help each other and our clients.
“Renée spends most of her free time working with her church and other church groups,” Green said. “Donating time and her expertise to help everyone, she is a giving and loving person.
“If you don’t know Renée, you need to. She is one of a kind. A great lady, business woman, Christian and friend. I thank God for sending her to me,” Green said.
“Renee Bennett is a great person, she is an awesome person,” said Jason Kopta, pastor at His For Life Ministries. “Our family has known her for many years. She helped us get our ministry started in 2010. She serves on the board there as secretary.
“She’s the kind of person that always sees the best in everybody and in every situation,” Kopta said.
“I’ve heard her tell many stories about people coming into her office, just so distraught. They didn’t know which way to turn. They were ready for a breakdown, but walked out of her office with a break through,” he said.
“She is very quick to listen,” Kopta said. “Slow to speak and slow to give an answer. When she starts to speak and give an answer, she brings a calmness to the situation. I’ve seen her do that many times. She’s always looking for a place to help and a place to give a hand up.
“She does a lot of volunteering,” Kopta said. “With His For Life Ministries, she goes out to the prison every Monday and teaches a betterment class and finances to the inmates at Avon Park Correctional Institution.
“She’s always giving back into the community,” he said. “She is always wanting to give someone a future. Anybody that is hurting, in trouble, you’ll find Renee Bennett there.”