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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. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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