A quarter of a century

If you’ll indulge me for just a moment here, I’d like to brag about my mom for just a second. OK, well maybe for more than a second…I’m not exactly known for my brevity. And especially when it comes to celebrating someone who is just so fantastically deserving of praise.

In 1989, my mom, Judy Taylor, founded the world-famous (um, not an exaggeration…this website was viewed by someone from Indonesia last week, sooo…) Taylor’d Communication. That means that before easing into retirement last year, she was a hard-working and well-respected business owner for 25 years. Or, as I like to refer to it, by its more grand-sounding synonym: a quarter of a century. She worked in other professional capacities for a couple of decades before that, too, but for a quarter of a century she hustled to get clients, keep clients and make clients happy. She figured out–with a little help from my dad, who is also a superbly capable human being deserving of praise–how to pull all of the elements together to start a business, and then she continually refined her skills over the years in order to land and keep quite a few pretty cool clients.

Belying her marketing savvy, mom never set up a website for Taylor’d Communication. (From the time that websites became a must-have for small businesses, she already had plenty of work and didn’t have use for additional promotion of the business.) She also hadn’t really had a recent occasion to gather and delineate her comprehensive client and project list, so when I took over the business, I interviewed her so I could document the history of her work. I wanted to know what specific clients she had worked with over the years and on what kinds of projects. Some of the business names she rattled off brought back fun memories of my time as her helper when I was a teenager. Others she had worked with before my time, or after.

I don’t think this is an exhaustive list, but here is a sample of the clients my PR-and-marketing-pro mom worked with during her quarter of a century as the woman behind the Taylor’d Communication moniker:

  • For the St. Louis Auto Show (1990-1997), she developed and executed a public relations and media relations plan that helped draw 500,000 attendees to the annual trade show at St. Louis’s largest convention center.
  • For 20 years, she worked as the chapter executive for the St. Louis chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, a professional development and networking collaborative for mergers & acquisitions professionals.
  • She provided event management services for the Missouri Venture Forum, a connector for entrepreneurs and venture capital providers.
  • For the Society of Professional Journalists, Judy strategized, organized and cooperatively implemented the publicity plan for a large regional conference held in St. Louis.
  • For two years, she handled media relations for the St. Louis Golf Show, a local consumer exhibition that was the largest of its kind.
  • When the Shriners fraternal organization held their world convention in St. Louis, she managed media relations for the event.
  • For two years, she helped with media relations for St. Louis’s famous Veiled Prophet Fair (now called Fair St. Louis).
  • For Schaefer Manufacturing, a lubricant manufacturer, Judy handled media and public relations, including landing a product placement in a long-term exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
  • For the Suelthaus & Walsh law firm, she coached the firm’s internal marketing coordinator on special event production and sales training.
  • For Kerber, Eck & Braeckel, a certified public accountant and management consultant firm, she provided sales training and media relations consulting.
  • Judy managed media relations projects for the Huber, Ring & Helm law firm.
  • For the American Institute of Banking, she helped with media relations and special event management.
  • She worked with the Affton and Mehlville school districts to organize a door-to-door community relations campaign in a neighborhood where the two suburban districts were planning to set up operations.
  • For St. Louis Centre, a large urban shopping mall, she helped orchestrate a constituent and community survey.
  • For a weekly segment on Y98 radio that focused on nonprofit organizations’ good work in the St. Louis community, Judy organized about 100 interviews over two years, including recruiting and training interviewees and prepping the show’s host.
  • For the Entrepreneurial Business Center at Saint Louis University, she helped with speaker recruitment.
  • She provided personnel consulting services to the St. Louis chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
  • For the Gateway chapter of the U. S. Green Building Council, the premier organization promoting sustainable construction practices, Judy managed media relations, supported the volunteer marketing committee and served as a resource for the executive director.
  • For the partnership of construction professionals who created Missouri’s first sustainable, award-winning Passive House, Judy handled media relations and marketing.

So, that all sounds fun, right? (Well, most of it anyway. You can’t win ’em all.) As she was recalling these clients and projects during our chat, I enjoyed waxing nostalgic with her about the variety of work she’s gotten to do over the years and the variety of colleagues and bosses who she had the pleasure (and, perhaps, sometimes the displeasure challenge) of working with along the way. And now that I have become the woman behind the Taylor’d Communication moniker, I hope I’m able to earn a similarly varied set of clients and associates.

Cheers to you, Judy “Mom” Taylor, and here’s to another quarter of a century of Taylor’d Communication. I’ll do my best to do you proud!