In the lead up to Labor Day, we have put together a Q&A series we're calling "Q&Aid" with some of the top entrepreneurs and city/business leaders to get our volunteers' creative juices flowing.
For the latest installment of our series, we sit down with Kathy Taylor, former Mayor of the City of Tulsa and Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation board member.
Editor's Note: Parts of this interview have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I recently served Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum as Chief of Economic Development from 2017-2018, drawing from years of experience as a business executive and corporate attorney.
I currently serves as Chair of the Leadership Council for ImpactTulsa, Chair for the Regional Board of Reading Partners, sponsor of the USS Tulsa (LCS 16) and a member of the Board of SONIC®, America’s Drive-In®. I previously served as a resident fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, teaching a course on Pathways to Public Service. I am also a former Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce, Tourism and Workforce Development, and was an advisor to Governor Brad Henry as Chief of Education Strategy and Innovation.
Please tell us about your favorite lemonade stand experience.
Standing in the hot sun and tasting the fabulous sweet and sour of the lemonade
When did you know you wanted to do what you do now?
We focus on helping break down barriers for entrepreneurs in Tulsa.
Who is your biggest role model or mentor and why?
Governor George Nigh--he has a true north to make the state a better place.
What did you wish you knew when you were a kid that you know now?
That everything does not have to be done in one day--and that you should be present in every moment.
What has been your greatest failure and what did it teach you?
Failure is a door to new opportunities.
What drives you to keep going when things get difficult?
Making a difference for others.
How do you feel you make a difference in the world?
Two ways--one on one--each day making a connection and sharing and learning with others--and secondly, supporting our foundation programs that support others to make a difference in their own lives by helping them break down barriers.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Never give up. As Louisa May Alcott said- "I'm no longer afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my own ship".