Janathan L. Allen
We asked Janathan Allen, how she got started in her industry, what her big achievements have been, advice she has on how women can take the lead in a male corporate world, advice for women interested in climbing the corporate ladder and how she defines happiness. Scroll down for the full interview.
Who is Janathan Allen?
A Montana native, Ms. Allen brings international tax, accounting and finance knowledge to Allen Barron, Inc., and legal expertise to Janathan L. Allen, APC. Allen has worked with diverse groups of businesses, advising clients in legal, financial and tax arenas.
Beginning her career as a tax professional in the public accounting arena, she moved into the private sector as tax director for a biotech firm, Hybritech, Inc. She progressed to controller and then CFO/ Legal Counsel positions for a number of San Diego companies, taking one through an IPO, before becoming a partner in Allen Barron, Inc., and founding Janathan L. Allen, APC.
She continues to present CLE seminars throughout California to professionals on tax advantaged corporate structures and tax minimization as well as estate planning on behalf of the National Business Institute and Lorman Education Services. She has also taught accounting as well as individual and corporate tax at both the undergraduate and graduate college level at the University of Phoenix, Ms. Allen has been featured in San Diego’s Magazine’s Best Lawyers Edition and has appeared on KOGO Radio in San Diego discussing tax strategies for individuals and businesses.
How did you get started in your industry?
By accident. I started in the public accounting field but found that I spent a great deal of time interfacing with attorneys. Further, my father was an Judge in Montana and I had always harbored a desire to be an attorney like he was. But college took me in a different direction and I graduated with a degree in Accounting. About 10 years after graduation I found myself in San Diego working at an accounting firm and wanting to work at Ernst Young in their consulting division. Upon completion of an interview in LA, I was told that in order to join their consulting organization I would have to have (in addition to the degree in accounting and having passed the CPA exam) an MBA, a law degree and an LLM in tax. I left public accounting and went into private accounting positions to work my way through the various degree. I obtained all additional three degrees and passed the bar exam within five years and then started my own firm. Today our firm provides services in the tax, accounting and legal fields.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Having created a professional service firm that has not only survived but grown and mentoring young attorneys and accountants along the way.
Do you have any advice on how women can take lead in a male corporate world without alienating male employees?
Be yourself. Taking a lead in any role means being honest as a person in your interpersonal relationships and not pretending to be something you aren’t. If a male is alienated by that, then that is his/their problem. You can’t please all people all of the time.
What advice would you give women interested in climbing the corporate ladder?
Ask yourself why you want to climb the ladder and be honest. Does it compromise your values? Does it really make you happy? Have you ever really defined what it would be if you were “happy”? One of the best quotes from a former (male) CEO of a publically traded companies was this, “I climbed the corporate ladder. Did everything I needed to do to rise to the top. Once I got there I asked myself why I felt the need to do it. In the end it all seemed so empty.”
Finally, happiness is…
The luxury of getting up every morning and doing something you truly enjoy doing…..oh and dogs……