Director of Operations – Jason Gouldon

 

I was born in Syracuse, NY on October 6th while my parents were attending Syracuse University http://www.syr.edu.  My father, Grant Gouldon www.gouldon.com was completing his Master’s Degree in Computer Science and as a computer programmer you can imagine the early start on computer training I received from him.  My mother was completing her undergraduate degree and went on to pursue her Medical Degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine http://www.jhu.edu where coincidentally, my brother is currently attending, much to the chagrin of my sister who’s at Duke University www.duke.edu.  I moved at the ripe young age of one-year-old to West Patterson, NJ http://www.state.nj.us where I competed the next 11 years of growing up.

 

My Mother and Father split up when I was only 3 ½ years old but I consider myself very lucky to have a parent, my Dad, who did an awesome job raising me with integrity and who also introduced me to my first love, traveling.  We traveled frequently together and I think it’s a family tradition because I was equally lucky to have Grandparents who traveled even more often and to more exotic places.  My father brought me up and down the East Coast so many times I can’t remember.  I think every year we made a trip to Orlando to Disney World (the Happiest Place on Earth) http://disney.go.com/home/today/index.html. 

 

(… and we all live happily ever after)

We also made it to Hawaii http://www.gohawaii.com twice! Skiing trips to upstate NY and Vermont, etc.  My Grandparents took me with them on a couple trips as well.  Our first was to Paris, France http://www.paris.org where I fell in love with the beauty and majesty of Versailles, http://www.paris-tourism.com/places/versailles the former capital of France when it was ruled by the monarchy until the French revolution in 1879.  This place is so incredible and so huge I spent two full days there and saw maybe half of it.  We also went on a two-week trip to Taiwan http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/tw.html, Korea http://www.korea.net, and my personal favorite, Japan http://www.japan-guide.com.  The castles in Japan are of a very different architecture than what I saw in Europe, but equally impressive.  The most impressive thing about Japan however, was not the sites to see but the culture of the people.  An example of what I mean is while video taping our visit to Osaka Castle, and this was back in the 80’s when all video cameras had to be plugged into the actual VCR which you carried around on your back and had to have an extra “camera bag” to hold all the attachments.  We accidentally left the camera bag on the top of one of the bushes while we were enthralled with observing a samurai sword fighting lesson being given to kids about 8-10 years old.  For over an hour afterwards as we walked away from the bag, each of us thinking the other was carrying the bag, it sat there.  It was in the middle of one of the main walkways, and believe it or not it was still there when we realized we had left it and went back for it.  What’s funny about this is that same year my Father’s car had been broken into 3 times in a period of about 6 months while making day trips to New York.  In broad daylight, 3 times, his car was broken in to.  The honesty and integrity of the Japanese was in stark contrast to the behavior I had experienced from the New Yorkers I had been exposed to up to that point.  It actually shocked me and was one of the first definitive experiences, which helped to shape my integrity.

 

When I was 12 years old my grandparents retired to Boca Raton where they’ve lived since.  Due to the frequency of my Father travelling for the consulting firm he owned, he decided to also move to Boca Raton so they could continue to watch me while he was on his business trips which sometimes were for weeks at a time.  We lived in Boca for 2 years before my father finally met his future wife and we moved to Santa Cruz, CA. 

 

(Just your average beautiful day in California)

I was 14 at the time and was very resistant to moving but it honestly was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I joined some sports teams to meet people and made a lot of friends, which I still have today.  My best friend Nathan Nethers whom I was privileged to be a groomsman in his wedding last month, Mike Gills, who’s now married with 2 beautiful children, and Gieuseppe Chairmonte who pursued his dream to becoming a major league baseball player for the San Francisco Giants www.sfgiants.com.  I got back on track with school and was soon getting straight A’s again.  After having some difficulties adjusting to middle school in Boca Raton, this was a substantial improvement.

 

(Mike and I at our 10 year HS reunion)

My leadership roles in 3 different sports, Football, Track, and Tennis combined with my 3.86 GPA, Student Government positions, President of the French Club, and numerous community service projects I spearheaded through my leadership positions earned me an interview with Congressman Sam Farr who appointed me to both the US Air Force Academy as well as an alternate for the Naval Academy (my second choice).  I accepted my appointment to the Air Force Academy www.usafa.af.mil and left for training 3 very short weeks after my high school graduation.

(From my days in the Air Force)

I completed several leadership training programs with the Air Force, including Basic Training, Altitude Chamber Training, Navigation Training, Combat Survival Training, Glider Training where I received my pilot wings!, Military Science Training, Integrity and Ethics Training, and many other programs that were both required and some I elected to take.  I played for the Air Force Softball Team for 2 years and was the co-captain my second year.  I also had my first experience with rugby in the Air Force and played for 3 years on the intramural team.  I held several leadership roles at the Air Force, including mentor, Flight leader, and most notably the Unit Public Affairs Representative.  I even took pictures for the yearbook during my free time.  I had a great experience at the Air Force Academy but did not want to make a career of the Air Force unless I was granted a pilot slot but due to my bad left eye (20/200) I was not pilot qualified and my waiver request was turned down.  Ironically enough, I left the Air Force and got my independence on July 4th. 

 

With no regrets I came back to Boca Raton where I pursued and received my Master’s Degree in Biomedical Science from FAU www.fau.edu.  As part of my Master’s degree I was required to assist in research projects, the most interesting of which studied the effect of anoxic conditions on turtles.  Specifically I was required to perform brain surgery on turtles that were starved of oxygen for over 3 days, however were still alive and alert, prior to me knocking them out with a sedative.  I had to extract samples of their still living brain tissue to measure the levels of cyclic AMP; the energy source we believe was keeping them alive in their anoxic state.  It was very exciting, cutting edge research with the goal of determining how turtles can survive for so long without oxygen and with obvious applications to humans to prolong our own ability to survive without oxygen either in space or under water.  In my spare time I played for and became the President of FAU’s Rugby team as well as joining the Scuba Team.  I earned the right to compete for and made First Team State of Florida All Star Team, which I started for and was subsequently invited to play for the All Southeast Region All Star Team which competes against the All Stars of the other regions of the country.

 

(That’s me throwing the ball back into play)

 

It was at FAU where I met my beautiful wife Stephanie.  We actually met in Anatomy and Physiology class.  We were married just over a year ago at Folly Beach in Charleston, SC, the most beautiful city in the world http://www.charlestoncvb.com. 

 

(See, I told you she was beautiful)

 

For more pictures of the wedding go to www.gouldon.com/wedding.

 

With the full intention of continuing my education by going on to medical school I took a temp job for 4 months of tax season with Nations Fast Tax www.nationsfasttax.com.  After 2 promotions in the first week to Director of Operations, I was now back in the familiar role of leadership, commanding and directing 87 employees’ efforts during the company’s first tax season.  Although the company had a rough first year by not being provided the software promised by our software company which was to be implemented in some 250 locations, we have subsequently had increasing success and have grown in some of our offices to producing hundreds of returns.  I have just recently acquired my ownership in the company and our current growth and ideas for the future have created an exciting time for us.  I’m having so much fun I couldn’t dream of going back to 4 more years of medical school.  I love the integrity brought forth by the three other gentlemen who I’m proud to call my partners, and above all the hard work and dedication of both the owners of our affiliate offices and their staff.  Without their tireless efforts to build their business and generate additional revenue we would not have the success we have grown to love.