Shiny Mathew believes so strongly in helping others reach their highest potential, she trademarked the phrase “Maximize your shine.” If you think trademarking your motto sounds like a lawyer-type thing to do, you aren’t wrong. Mathew is an accomplished attorney and co-owner of Polston Tax Resolution and Accounting.
“I think it is important for everyone to maximize their own potential — their own ‘shine’ — whatever that might be,” Mathew said. Education was her path forward, but she said there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, each person has individual needs requiring individual attention.
In her day-to-day work, Mathew helps others achieve economic success by demystifying complex tax codes and guiding people through problems with the IRS. In addition, since 2014, Mathew has had 400 speaking engagements and broadcast news interviews offering a wide range of legal and financial advice. “I love taking complex topics and making them easy for others to understand,” she said.
In 2020, Governor Kevin Stitt appointed Mathew to serve as a state commissioner on the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, further increasing her capacity to help others.
“As a commissioner, I have the opportunity to analyze the factors that inhibit women in Oklahoma from substantially gaining economic, educational, leadership and other opportunities,” she said. “The commission, in conjunction with nonprofits and other organizations, is able to work together to connect women with the resources that can help them maximize their potential. We also can make legislative recommendations to our elected officials to make progress toward addressing systemic barriers.”
Mathew’s current efforts to propel women forward will culminate in a summit on Oct. 24 at Oklahoma City Community College. Attendees will find practical advice, various resources and opportunities to connect face-to-face with people who can help address their specific needs.
A first-generation Indian American, Mathew says her passion for service was shaped by seeing the world through the eyes of her immigrant parents. Her father was a small business owner and had to navigate various work-related challenges. Mathew was very young but, looking back, she realized he would have benefited greatly from professional assistance. When she was 12, her father passed away, and she saw her mother struggle with gender, language and cultural barriers.
“Especially in the Indian community, women are invisible. Families that don’t have a father — that’s their (family’s) face,” Mathew said. “And so these two worlds collided, in terms of me seeing the disparity of women in the world and wanting to help business owners.”
Mathew honed her own understanding of English and American culture through regular library visits with her parents. She calls education “the great equalizer,” opening doors to her successful career. Paying homage to those formative years, she also serves as a trustee on the Metropolitan Public Library Board.
No matter the venue, Mathew’s shiny mission remains. “From being a math tutor in college, to being an accountant, to being a tax attorney and business owner, to being nominated as a state commissioner, I am always trying to maximize my own shine,” she said, “but it’s more important to me to find ways to help others maximize their shine.”