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“It’s been a great journey!” Theron enthusiastically proclaims when he’s asked about his life. If there’s one takeaway from Theron Nelsen’s career and lifelong service in aid of others—from coaching to being an optometrist to owning his own business and helping others build theirs—it’s that it truly has been a great journey. There’s no better way to describe it.

More than anything, Theron is incredibly proud of the relationships he has fostered over the years, and he’s happy that he’s been able to share such a remarkable legacy with his three children, nine grandchildren, and now hopefully with his great-granddaughter. He’s fond of saying that he’s in a people business, and he’s found that building meaningful relationships has been the most rewarding aspect of his life and career.

When Theron first met his wife and partner—and admittedly, his better half—Darlene was just a sophomore at Defiance College in northwest Ohio. He was coaching football at the time, and he was almost immediately enthralled by her. She wasn’t just beautiful; she was also ambitious and kind-hearted. Darlene was studying to be a teacher, and she had a very clear vision of what she wanted her life to be. When she went on that first blind date with Theron, she unwittingly set her life on a path she never could have imagined for herself at the time.

Theron is fond of saying, “In life, there are forks in the road that you’ll come to every now and then, and what you decide determines the rest of your life.” The Nelsens have certainly come across several forks in the road over the course of their journey together. After Darlene graduated, she moved out to New York to pursue being a flight attendant. Meanwhile, Theron was pursuing his coaching dream elsewhere. Eventually, they were able to sync up again and move to Memphis, Tennessee together, where Theron headed down his next path toward being an optometrist.

Once he finished optometry school, the Nelsen family—now with two children in tow—moved back out west where Theron had grown up. Naturally, he was excited to return to the same sort of area he’d been raised in to grow his family and start his own optometry practice.

At this point, both Theron and Darlene had pursued their respective passions and had been very happy and fulfilled with what they had done. Even still, Theron dreamt of being involved with something where he could decide and determine his own worth.

That’s when he was presented with a remarkable opportunity to do just that. He was given the chance to pursue a dream and a passion finally that aligned with his values and his life goals. He knew that through building his own business and starting a legacy, he could have far more of an impact on people than he ever could as a professional football player or an optometrist or even as a U.S. congressman.

Through the business that he started with Darlene’s help and support, Theron Nelsen has managed to do precisely that. He has touched the lives of thousands upon thousands of people. He’s helped them to build their own businesses and take control of their lives. He and Darlene have mentored and coached so many couples and families, and they’re incredibly proud of the legacy that they’ve built together.