Taylor served on Catholic Charities’ Mercer County board for nine years and has consistently supported the agency financially for more than 20 years.
Giving back after success
When Taylor was a young man, he knew two things for certain: His height and ball-handling skills made him a formidable basketball player, and his gift for gab would ensure his career success.
So it surprised no one when he became captain of Widener University’s basketball team in 1981 and decided to pursue that most-loquacious of professions – the law.
But the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, as the old Scottish poem goes. And so Taylor instead found himself bartending and working in construction after graduation. Still, it didn’t take long for his gift for gab to put him on a career path that now has him helming a $50-million environmental-construction firm – the Atlantic Lining Company, Inc., or ALCO, which he created in 1994. He quickly became an expert in the fledgling industry of landfill design and helped create federal standards.
“I was president of the national trade association. I’d speak at trade shows. I’d be the only person in the room without a geotechnical-engineering degree,” he said, laughing. “But I knew my stuff. If you can speak, you can do anything. The world appreciates that gift.”
His success inspired his desire to give back to the community. For years, he coached inner-city teens in basketball, paying for the team’s travel and other needs himself. “I would drive into some really rough areas of Trenton to pick up kids, and I’d know their life has a good direction. But I’d look around and say: ‘who’s taking care of everyone else?’ And Catholic Charities is one of those people,” Taylor said.
Taylor served on Catholic Charities’ Mercer County board for nine years and has consistently donated for more than 20 years. He and his wife Nancy have four children and recently relocated to Florida.
“Society crumbles from the bottom up, so this work is so important,” he said of Catholic Charities’ services. “You hear that saying: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him one day, but teach him to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.’ Well, Catholic Charities does both, which is a really cool thing.”
Taylor said he would accept the Light of Hope Award on behalf of Catholic Charities’ 600 employees, who “do the real work” of helping people transform their lives. Like the avid basketballer he remains, he resorted to sports analogy to describe his feelings about the recognition. “My job on the basketball court was to rebound. I didn’t need to be patted on the back to rebound. It was my job,” he said. “I have been gifted in life. I’m thrilled about the award, but I don’t feel like I did anything special. Giving back just feels like I got the rebound. It’s my job.”
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