Kelly Smith's job is to get people excited.
The 20-year-old from Lincolnton is one of about 30 sign-wavers who brave the elements and help advertise for Liberty Tax Service during the peak season.
"It's easy - after two ginsengs, a Red Bull and some music," she said. "You need a lot of energy."
Her boss, Jeff Terraglio, described her as an all-around girl. He operates three of the tax-preparation chains in the area.
"She's crazy, but crazy is a compliment in the sign-waver business," he said. "She's very enthusiastic. Our wavers are the No. 1 reason people come in."
Smith, who does the walking billboard gig for fun, also works for the company as a receptionist and helps with its business-to-business marketing. She plans to attend tax school in the fall and come back as a sign-waver next year for a chance to become "America's Next Lady Liberty."
"This is not a contest; it's a job search," founder and CEO John Hewitt said in a recent press release that announced this year's nationwide search. "For one special person, it'll be the dream job of a lifetime."
It is Smith's goal to land the job next year.
If she gets it, she will be the company's official nationwide spokesperson. The position comes with a $50,000 salaried, one-year employment contract with full benefits. Her duties would range from social marketing and press interviews to supporting community events and franchisee recruitment. The job is open to women and men 21 and older.
The East Lincoln High School graduate works at the Denver and Lincolnton offices, so you may have seen her parading around.
"I always make eye contact and try to make them feel like an individual," Smith said. "Their reactions feed into what I do. I shake my hips, wink, blow kisses - people start honking their horns. Of course I make an impact."
Fellow sign-waver Donna Dennis, 50, worked with Smith during her first day on the job.
"I know she's young, and she can sure cut a rug over there," she said. "I'm doing all I can to keep up with these young ones. My daughter would be proud."
The company always is on the look out for people to fill the shoes of Lady Liberty and attract attention in a shiny, polyester turquoise sash and crown.
The seasonal, part-time job has helped employ nearly 90 people over the last three years. Terraglio's Liberty Tax stores in Denver, Lincolnton and Mocksville employ 10 wavers at each location but are always on the lookout for more.
The job runs from mid-January to mid-April. Wavers work a four-hour shift between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dedicated wavers can earn upwards of $1,500, working 20-24 hours a week.
"We're just hard-working Americans trying to make a dollar," Dennis said. "With the slow economy this is a good job to have."
And it's fun.
"Our mission statement is 'set the standard, improve each day and have fun,'" Smith said. "And who doesn't like to get paid to have fun?"