When you first meet Taylor, she is warm, confident and fiercely competitive, in the boardroom and in life. You have to be to achieve all that she has done in a short time.
After graduating from Louisiana State University with a double major in political science and marketing, she held several positions, including Chief Operating Officer at a corporate real estate company, and later worked in sports marketing with Fortune 500 companies developing campaign design and strategy. Understanding the value of quality healthcare to Florida’s future, she transitioned her diverse background to healthcare, becoming director of strategic initiatives for Doctors Administrative Solutions, an IT company that advocates for independent physicians in the Tampa Bay area.
“I became indispensable for the companies I worked at or the boss I worked for,” she says. “I looked around and saw the things people didn’t want to do. I would read and learn everything I possibly could to be smarter and become an expert. I would do the projects that no one wanted to do because it meant missing vacations, late nights or weekends.”
Taylor says it’s not working harder, but working smarter that she credits with her success. “What I hear a lot of from my supervisors and peers is that I am able to see the big picture and break it down to the details. I can work backwards and forwards.”
She credits her acute business sense from something her grandmother taught her. “Learn from your competitors because they are going to teach you something.”
It’s a personal philosophy she subscribes to daily.
“You can learn from everybody. Don’t ever think you’re better than anybody.”
Taylor is very deliberate in her abilities as a leader, and as a woman. She says one of the biggest challenges facing women today in the corporate world isn’t the glass ceiling, but ourselves. “The biggest part of our balance is getting out of our way and stop holding ourselves back. We’re afraid to say we want it all. There’s something in our heads that says you’re not supposed to have all of this: ‘you can’t have the perfect family. You can’t have the perfect career.’ The balance is in ourselves and you need to find out what works for you.”
While she admits she demands a lot from herself, she was deliberate in her management style to cultivate a culture that encouraged her employees to grow and participate in the process. Her hard work and sacrifice didn’t go unnoticed. She successfully launched a government affairs advocacy group last year and proactively shifted the healthcare conversation to help independent physicians to Washington.
That shift in the healthcare conversation secured Taylor a visit to the White House, something she describes as one of the best professional moments of her life.
And if her professional triumphs aren’t enough to celebrate, Taylor found further reason to grow personally. After going through what she describes as a personal crisis in her late 20s, she met a dance instructor that changed her life. “He had an amazing personality; it was magnetic. I wanted a part of that energy!” she explained.
Even as a former ballet dancer, Taylor found the early lessons in ballroom dancing a little awkward, but over several weeks, she found the confidence to sway effortlessly on the dance floor and her instructor encouraged her to compete. Her training was progressing until she learned that her instructor had collapsed and doctors later discovered that his brain cancer had returned. Taylor made a decision to continue with her dancing while her instructor returned to his native England for treatments. She also organized a local fundraiser, raising over $80,000 for his rehabilitative care.
His death marked a turning point for Taylor. “I was going to compete for him and I was going to win,” she explains. At the competition, Taylor was crowned the gold medal winner in Latin Ballroom Dancing for her age category, a bittersweet accomplishment.
“The best moment of her life was hearing the words ‘you are cancer free.’ That’s the moment I got my identity back,” she says.
While Taylor’s quick rise in the corporate world is remarkable, her personal spirit is poignant. Her mother is a two-time ovarian cancer survivor, and as a child Taylor was often the caregiver for her mother during treatments. Taylor herself is also a survivor, in remission for the last two years from cervical cancer.
“The best moment of her life was hearing the words ‘you are cancer free. That’s the moment I got my identity back,” she says.
Today, Taylor is focused on finding her own sense of balance in her life, taking a step back and making more time to explore and enjoy life. You can often find her spending time with her rescue dog, Louie and hopes to travel more to her favorite places, like Napa Valley.