Davette Lynne Hrabak was born at the Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls and raised in Phillips. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire with a comprehensive major in accounting and business administration. After graduation, she worked for an accounting firm in Park Falls for a number of years. Once the owner retired, she opened her CPA office at 164 South Lake Avenue in Phillips on October 6, 1997, providing various accounting services to individuals and businesses, such as (but not limited to) tax return preparation, business start-up services, bookkeeping, payroll, and consulting.
Davette said she moved back to the area after completing college because much of her family lives in Phillips, plus it is a friendly, beautiful place to live. There is a spirit of pride in our community that also drew her back. Plus, the pace of life is more comfortable. “In our area, rush hour traffic is waiting a couple minutes to pull out onto the highway,” she said, noting that Phillips is a less stressful place to live than large cities and the commutes are shorter while filled with beautiful scenery.
She said she appreciated growing up here where classmates got to know one another and teachers could take time with each student. “You did not get lost in a crowd of huge classes,” Davette added.
Her wish for young people growing up in this area would be that they realized the value of an adult life in Price County. “The cost of living is more economical, and the area is ripe for growth,” Davette stated. “There are many opportunities for people to start a small business and grow it. I would like to see more people that have grown up in Price County stay in Price County.” When she was in grade school, she said she would hear people discuss how a person cannot make a living here, and she wishes that idea would get turned around to a more positive one. “To me, that is one of the saddest things to hear. Our area has so much to offer, and for us to stay in existence here, we need to grow. I hear people say there are no good jobs here, but I look at it differently; I see a need for a lot of jobs and occupations. I see many opportunities. If people are taught to look outside the box, if they are taught to brainstorm what our area may be lacking in services and retail, that information provides great insights into what our area needs.” She feels that 95 percent or more of occupations can be held in our area, but we need to have people arrive and stay to accomplish such growth. “I think most of the problem is fear,” she remarked. “Most of us have heard the quote, ‘All we have to fear is fear itself.’ Fear is exactly what parents feel for their kids worried about them finding a job, and what all individuals feel when they are going to launch a business, but we all need to remember that fear in this way stops us from meeting our fullest potentials. We cannot let fear drive us; we need to nurture and grow our area.”
Luckily for Davette, she knew what drove her since she was a little girl. “I always enjoyed math and wanted to stay in the area. When I was about 12 or 13, I learned about accounting and decided that an accountant was what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I did just that.”
Davette said the two most common questions she gets asked during tax season are about her lion statues and the professional letters behind her name.
As for the lion statues, she added those over five years ago when she decided she wanted something decorative outside of her office that would also go with her marketing slogan, “When it comes to taxes, save the lion’s share; enter between the lions to get this special care." “I feel the lions represent pride, strength, courage, and endurance, all traits that are evident in accounting and in our community, as well,” Davette stated. Once she located the lions she wanted, all she needed were pedestals for them to stand on, and those were made with the extra bricks left over from when the front of her office was bricked. Once the lions were in place, her dental hygienist asked her if she had named them, and on the spur of the moment Davette decided they were named Debit and Credit, named after t-accounts, the basic building block of double entry accounting. “Kids and adults love the statues,” Davette shared. “They walk by with a smile and some adults and children alike will pat their heads as they pass by.” On one 4th of July, she noticed that some parade watchers had put hats on them during the parade, and one day her sister, Lynne, noticed someone had placed a stick in Debit’s mouth for him to “chew” on. Davette often notices little kids all about them, getting a picture taken by their parents. She encourages anyone who would like to share their photo to post it on her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/davettelynnehrabak
As for the professional “alphabet soup” behind her name, CPA, CFE, CBM, ATA, ATP, ABA, ECS, CGMA stand for Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Business Manager, Accredited Tax Adviser, Accredited Tax Preparer, Accredited Business Accountant, Elder Care Specialist, and Chartered Global Managerial Accountant.
Davette said that one of her most notable hobbies is genealogy. She enjoys tracing her family lines, because “there are so many stories and so many eras that people lived in, which makes it all the more interesting.” She said it would be difficult to choose which ancestor she would like to meet but decided that since she loves tracing a mystery and discovering more generations, she would have to choose someone from one of the lines where she is at a roadblock so that person could provide more information and she could solve yet another family mystery.
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