Javan admits he didn’t grow up dreaming of being a tax attorney. While spending countless hours shooting baskets in his driveway, playing point guard for the Saint Augustine Saints, throwing a tennis ball against the side of the house, or pitching for the Blue Jays, he dreamed of being the next NBA or MLB star. That is not to say that Javan had no exposure to taxation as a child. He knew the sales tax rate was higher in Toledo, than in his hometown of Napoleon, Ohio. And, as one of six children, he admired his mother’s unrelenting pursuit of tax deductions to save even the most modest of sums.
Growing up in rural Ohio, Javan spent much of his time outdoors with his neighbors and siblings. “We spent a lot of time playing in the creek and the woods, sledding, picking mulberries, selling lemonade, and playing a lot of sports, including home-run derby and basketball.” Javan says, “In the summer, we listened to the Detroit Tigers on the radio, and in the fall, we watched Notre Dame football.”
Javan attributes his sense of humor to his father. Javan says, “I think my Dad may have actually invented dad jokes. He had an endless stock of jokes and never stopped using them.” “One of his favorites was asking me if two people we knew – one with a first name the same as the other’s last name – were related.” Javan recalls, “Once, after I carelessly mentioned that I enjoyed mowing the lawn, my Dad had me sign and date a piece of paper stating that I liked mowing the lawn (the future lawyer in me should have known better as my Dad tried to hold me to my words on more than one occasion).”
Javan says his parents instilled in him a strong work ethic. Javan’s Mom encouraged him to hold a paper-route for many years and Javan says one of his Dad’s rules was, “If you’re not going to do it right the first time, don’t do it at all.”
Javan also credits his parents for his love of learning, reading, and collecting books. “My Mom collected used books by the hundreds. If all the copies of a book were out at the library, kids at school would borrow a copy from my Mom. And when we were on vacation, the first thing my Dad did every morning was buy a newspaper – a tradition I plan to carry on as long as newspapers are still around.”
While his parents always supported him in his athletic pursuits, Javan admits that they really wanted him to focus on doing well in school. “At some point, I realized my math skills were better than my three-pointer and fastball.” With Javan’s determination and his parent’s support, Javan went to college at the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in finance and football. Javan’s love of Notre Dame is surpassed only by his love for his family.
After Notre Dame, and a brief stint in Chicago, Javan returned to Ohio to attend the University of Cincinnati College of Law. There, he discovered a love for tax law (really) and a fellow classmate, Megan.
Growing up in a big family, Javan always dreamed of having a big family of his own. Javan shares that he and his wife Megan, a former attorney turned Montessori teacher, went through a long battle with infertility. After years of uncertainty and hoping, Javan received a call he says he will never forget. “Megan called me and said, ‘You are going to be a dad.’ That was one of the best moments of my life.” Now, Javan, Megan and their three children (including a set of boy-girl twins) live in Madeira where they can be found shooting baskets, hitting baseballs, playing football, and riding bikes. Javan says, “I am very fortunate.”
Javan is a member of Graydon’s corporate and tax practice groups. He also teaches tax courses at the University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business.
Javan is excited to be part of a firm that’s dedicated to a culture of entrepreneurship and community involvement. “Graydon is giving back in so many ways: opening its offices to the community, partnering with start-ups, and supporting many charitable causes and endeavors. It’s great to be part of Graydon.”
Javan focuses his practice in the areas of tax law and corporate law.
Javan counsels business and individual clients on sophisticated federal, state, and local tax matters. He also represents clients in tax controversies before the Internal Revenue Service, the Ohio Department of Taxation, and other state and local taxing authorities.
Javan counsels business clients on a wide variety of transactional matters including business formations, corporate governance, contract negotiations, restructurings, mergers, acquisitions, and business exits.
Javan is an Adjunct Instructor in the University of Cincinnati College of Business where he teaches tax courses.