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2014 Forty Under 40: Tavonna Harris Askew

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
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askew_tavonna_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Declaration: Askew remembers being a determined child. “One day, I just announced that I was going to be a lawyer, wife and mother. I had no idea how hard that would be.”

Crime time: Fascinated by “LA Law,” she set out to be a criminal lawyer. After earning her law degree from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, she worked in the juvenile and domestic violence divisions of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and served as special assistant corporation counsel and public access counselor for Indianapolis. “I was all about being a criminal lawyer and wasn’t open to the other options. When I let myself be open, I realized there was a great big, wonderful world out there.” Working with municipal corporations led her to Health and Hospital. “Growing up, I actually went to Wishard so, for me, it’s coming full circle.”

AGE 37
Hometown: Indianapolis

Family: husband, Charles; daughters Kennedy, 5, and Chandler, 3; stepsons Deldric, 19, and Terrance, 16

Perspective: “My two little girls are still at that stage where, when you come home, whether it’s five hours or five days, they run to the door and they give you hugs and they give you kisses. A lot of times, I’m still reeling from what happened in the day, but they help me to erase it all. It’s been wonderful. My extended family has always been in my corner.”

Boards: While in law school, she became involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She remains involved and is still close with her little sister even though she aged out of the program. She’s also on the board of Reach for Youth and is very involved with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. For 2014, she’s been selected for the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana board.

Kicking back: “Growing up, I thought cruises were for old and boring retirees. Now we love to cruise. To lay on the deck. To see the beautiful blue sky … ”

Favorite spot at H&H’s new Eskenazi Health campus: “It makes my husband a little nervous, but my favorite place is the maternity ward.”•
 

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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