WHO IS COL. NELSON 'BRONS' LAUVER?
This curious little boy, from a town of 800, commands a national stage with grit and humor that is impossible to ignore.
His Keynote clients range from NASA to Parent Groups, from Presidential Libraries to Education Conferences.
Nelson Lauver (also writes as Brons Nelson) is a natural storyteller with an unparalleled ability to connect with their hearts, make people laugh, and challenge perceptions.
For over 25 years, Brons (by being himself) has inspired audiences from every walk of life, in over 100 countries.
Today, it's hard to imagine he was functionally illiterate until age 29 (a result of unidentified dyslexia). Yet, his early life struggles, failures, achievements, but mostly the tragic loss of his education, provides the wisdom and capacity to move audiences.
The Story Behind The American Storyteller
Brons laughs, "I aced kindergarten and first-grade." But after that, two-syllable words were introduced, and things went sideways…"
Nelson Lauver fell through the cracks of educational. The system was ill-prepared to deal with a student who couldn't learn like the rest. His school years were a no-win situation of conflict and unspeakable punishments. He knew he was different from everyone else, but didn't know why.
Socially promoted, he graduated last in his class of 104, receiving a diploma he struggled to read. Nelson resigned himself to joining the ranks of millions of Americans who hide the shame of functional illiteracy.
A Gifted Mind At Work
He started his first business at age 14, buying and selling scrap metal.
"I soon experienced cash flow problems, so I went to Dad, who didn't extend credit but advice. He explained that I was a businessman now and should conduct myself as such. He suggested I shine my shoes, put on a suit, and ask George-the-Banker for a loan. I was able to repay it in 16 days; it made George smile."
There were ups and downs; Lauver hired employees to handle anything that involved reading and writing.
At age 22 he bankrolled his brother in a classic car company. At about the same time, Nelson took over his family's failing roller skating rink bringing it to break-even, and taking a salary. A year later, he started a heating oil brokerage company and ultimately added a painting business in 1987.
What Brons didn't realize at the time was that the mystery in his brain also served him well as a natural problem solver.
During his school years, trying to defeat the boredom and anxiety of not being able to learn with the rest, Nelson made daily life in his small hometown a classroom. He was an "honor student" in learning every tidbit that went on in the lives of the colorful residents. Nelson unwittingly honed his listening and verbal skills to remarkable levels. Carefully studying his father and the three other members of the McAlisterville "Rat Pack," Nelson mastered the Art of Storytelling.
As the years went on, Nelson became quick on his feet. His problem-solving skills grew through trial-and-error, as did his ability to develop workarounds. Chiefly among them was the daily pressure of hiding his inability to read and write.
One Life Changed and Millions More Benefit
"I love sharing the "parking lot" story with audiences. They just get it. It becomes crystal clear in their hearts as well as their minds. We can all make an incredible difference in the world."
In the summer of 1992, Nelson was painting parking lot lines when a gentleman asked him to write down directions. Nelson's difficulty was apparent. After years of secrets and personal shame, he finally admitted the truth to a stranger. The man mentioned the word "dyslexia" and gave the painter an hour of his time, some good advice, and encouragement.
Testing identified Nelson Lauver as a person with a dyslexic mind and an astonishing IQ. It was the beginning of a personal journey that his teachers would have never imagined.
From Line Painter To Word Painter
After 18 months of tutoring, he was reading but still needed help with his writing. His tutor suggested that he buy a word processor to compensate. Nelson began typing stories out of his head about everyday people from his small town.
He began audio recording the stories as he embarked on a new career as a narrator and voice-over artist. Nelson's education outside of school paid off, and people started taking notice. The characters of Nelson's hometown and his ability to "flesh them out" set him apart as a writer and voice-over artist. As his narration career blossomed, Nelson became the voice for dozens of national and regional brands. He received the National Communicator Award for his work as a documentary film narrator.
The American Storyteller Radio Journal – The Rockwell of Radio
Nelson turned his stories into a nationally syndicated radio feature that ran daily on more than 150 radio stations from 2001 until he placed the show on hiatus in 2010 to complete his memoir. Fans loved his comfortable delivery and ability to connect with listeners.
Affectionately dubbed "The Rockwell of Radio," Nelson authored and narrated over 300 short stories for AST. Most of these stories are now available to listen to and download.
2011 marked the release of Nelson's memoir, Most UnLikely to Succeed– an inspirational story of determination against seemingly insurmountable odds. It was named Outstanding Book Of The Year, from a field of 5000 entries, by the Independent Publishers Association.
In 2018, Governor Tom Wolf seated Lauver on Pennsylvania's Board of Vocational Rehabilitation, the very same agency the parking lot line painter reached out to for help as a younger man.
Colonel Nelson "Brons" Lauver is the founder and CEO of the non-profit, Different-not-Defective Inc.