Born on February 8, 1963 in Boksburg, South Africa, Gavin was raised in Perth, Australia by his single mother, Pauline. He attended Belmont City College located in Australia’s southwest coastal area near the Indian Ocean. Gavin worked his way across the world after departing Perth in 1984 after he dropped anchor in Spa Creek in 1992 with only $200 in his pocket, fell in love with Annapolis for its unique blend of history, maritime culture, and small-town friendliness, and fell in love again when he met future wife, Annapolis local Julie Williams. They married in 1997 and together they are now raising two children, Dash & Miles.
From his first job as a server at a downtown restaurant, Gavin showed the vision and entrepreneurial spirit for which he is so well known. He quickly learned the basics of business, raised capital, and navigated bureaucracy to open Annapolis' first independent coffee shop in 1993.
In time, Gavin began to see potential in West Street – then considered the “wrong part of town,” where drug deals and prostitution were common. He opened his first restaurant there in 2000.The success of that enterprise encouraged Gavin to establish additional ventures in the same corridor.
Becoming a successful businessman was just the beginning for Gavin. His dedication to West Street and its communities inspired Gavin to help create the Sunday Arts Festivals, followed by the Annapolis Fringe Festival, the Chocolate Binge Festival, the Annapolis Color Run, West Street Holiday Light Canopy, and the wildly popular Dining Under the Stars.
Gavin is committed to preserving the historic character of Annapolis with leadership and vision to ensure it remains a dynamic, living city. This is why he challenged and defeated the City’s plan to demolish 100-year-old homes on West Street to make way for an 800-car garage. This area is now the West Village Precinct – a flourishing hub for local businesses, residents, and visitors.
Gavin knows that community connections are at the heart of West Street’s transformation. He has served on the boards of Friends of St. Johns College, Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County’s Citizens Advisory Board, and the West Street Business Association. Gavin also is a member of the Anne Arundel County Chapter of the NAACP and a founder of the Annapolis Arts District. He is longtime champion of public art and supporter of local musicians.
Elected Mayor of Annapolis in November 2017, Gavin is committed to bringing together business owners, community leaders, and residents to develop innovative ideas and economic opportunities for Main Street, Maryland Ave, West Annapolis and all parts of the city. These include 21st century transit solutions, a more transparent development process, strong community policing, and greater focus on the needs of the local community.
Gavin imagines an inclusive city, full of opportunities for all residents as part of his One Annapolis vision. He is committed to our shared community and our shared future. His vision is for a vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive Annapolis with infrastructure, services, and events that make it a wonderful place to work and live for all.