Blair Taylor

About this Talk

Innovating in the Social Sector:

A 21st Century Imperative

Blair Taylor speaks about the need for significant change in communities and a process by which that change can be achieved.

About Blair Taylor

Blair Hamilton Taylor is the President and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, an affiliate of one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations with offices in more than 100 cities. With a staff of over 300 and a budget in excess of $25 million, the 88-year-old Los Angeles Urban League is one of America’s largest civil rights entities.

Taylor is a visionary leader, community servant and coalition builder with more than twenty years of public and private sector business experience. He is a native of New York and the third of five children. Taylor learned the value of higher education at a young age. His father earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his law degree from NYU; his mother earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude from Smith College and her masters from Yale University. These were significant achievements for African Americans of their era. More importantly, however, both parents were tireless community servants and instilled in their five sons a passion for advancing causes of the less fortunate.

Taylor most recently served as the Executive Vice President of College Summit, a national college access initiative with a track record of nearly doubling the college enrollment rates of low income students in the communities it serves. During his tenure, College Summit achieved the fastest growth in the organization’s history, quadrupling its student outreach to more than 6,000 students in 2005.
Taylor’s entrepreneurial background includes four years as the President and CEO of COI/ICD, a leading retail franchising company focused on low income communities in the U.S. and the Caribbean. For his pioneering efforts, Taylor was named California’s Mass Mutual Blue Chip Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999 and was frequently recognized in publications such as USA Today, Entrepreneur magazine, National Business Employment Weekly, Fortune magazine, Franchise Times, PC World, Successful Franchising Magazine, and Franchise Times magazine.

Taylor’s private sector experience also includes more than eight years of leadership with PepsiCo and the IBM Corporation where he held numerous brand marketing, strategy, and executive sales positions, including National Sales Director for Pepsi Cola’s Educational Channel. His public sector experience includes serving as a Senior Staff Member for the 8th Council District of Los Angeles, where he was responsible for overseeing redistricting, public safety, and economic development initiatives. Taylor also ran for U.S. Congress on a platform of economic development, education and building coalitions between businesses and urban communities.

A committed community servant, Taylor presently serves on the Board of Trustees for Amherst College, the Board of Councilors for the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, the Board of the California Charter School Association, and on the Boards of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the Forum, the Los Angeles Civic Alliance and the KIPP Charter Academy of Opportunity in Los Angeles. He was also recently invited by Governor Schwarzenegger to join the Complete Count Committee. Taylor is also the Board President and Co-Founder or the Greater Crenshaw Educational Partnership (GCEP). He is a Member of the Advisory Boards for State Farm Bank, Para Los Ninos and the Los Angeles City Police Department, and a counselor and pre-marital course instructor for Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California. He recently completed a term as a Member of the Bond Steering Committee for Inglewood Unified Schools, a term as class Secretary for Amherst College, and a term as an Executive Committee Member of UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management, where he chaired the Anderson School’s Diversity and Outreach Committee. Taylor has also previously served as a member of the LA Mayor’s Business Growth Team, Treasurer of the Los Angeles Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community Initiative, Economic Development Chair of the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, and as a Member of the Boards of Los Angeles Sports Academy and the Vision Theater Project in Los Angeles. He is past President of Amherst College Alumni, a former Advisory Committee Member and National Minority Representative of the International Franchise Association (IFA), a former Big Brother Mentor and Volunteer, and a UCLA Riordan Program Mentor.

Taylor earned his B.A. in economics from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts and his MBA in marketing and entrepreneurial studies from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management. In August, 2009 Taylor was named by the Non Profit Times (NPT) to the Power & Influence list, which identifies the top 50 non profit leaders in the nation. In 2008, he was awarded the Whitney M. Young Jr. Leadership Award from the National Urban League, the highest Affiliate honor awarded to a CEO. He is also the recipient of the KIPP Charter School’s 2008 Choice and Commitment Award, the 2007 UCLA Black Alumni Association’s (UBAA) distinguished Tom Bradley Award, the UBAA’s 2009 Legacy Award, the 2007 Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC) Service Award, and the LA NAACP 2006 Man of Valor Award. Taylor has authored numerous articles and frequently lectures on the topics of urban development and community empowerment. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife Bridgette Taylor, Esq. and their four children.

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