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Local entrepreneur Phil Drake to speak on campus about success

Western Carolina University’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series will welcome Phil Drake, an entrepreneur and software pioneer, to discuss business, philanthropy and other topics Wednesday, April 24, in the conference room of Blue Ridge Hall.

Drake will be joined on stage by Edward Lopez, director of WCU’s Center for the Study of Free Enterprise, for a conversation about entrepreneurship, investing and an American success story ― his own.

The 5:30 p.m. event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

In 1977, Drake began developing tax software, becoming a pioneer in electronic tax filing, and went on to become founder of Drake Enterprises, a group of 18 businesses based in Western North Carolina that employ hundreds of local residents in fields as varied as accounting, retail, aviation, family entertainment, construction and fiber optics. He also is known as a community leader, serving on the board of the National Christian Foundation in Atlanta and previously on the WCU Board of Trustees.

“Phil Drake is a pillar of the community who has a great story to share,” Lopez said. “We’re excited to be hosting him for this big night.”

The event is sponsored by WCU’s Center for the Study of Free Enterprise. To register or learn more about the event, go to

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