BLOOMINGTON — Building relationships with staff and volunteers of United Way of McLean County and with representatives of other non-profit agencies is job one for United Way's new president and CEO.
"My leadership philosophy is to empower people and help them to use their creative gifts to be successful in their roles," David Taylor told The Pantagraph on Thursday after he was named to lead the organization that tries to identify and respond to human service needs.
Taylor said he will embrace a "collaborative" relationship with other non-profits. That approach will be welcomed by agencies, including those whose programs receive United Way funding, such as Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal and the Community Health Care Clinic.
Many agencies are facing funding challenges that won't get easier after United Way failed to reach its $4.35 million fundraising goal in its annual campaign that ended in January.
Taylor, 40, of Bloomington, is an underwriting/business analyst at State Farm and has been a United Way volunteer since 2008. He is chairman of United Way's education solutions teams.
A lifelong McLean County resident, Taylor has worked at State Farm for 17 years. He has had roles in State Farm sales and product launches, developed external and internal partnerships and managed a multi-state team.
"I've always had a passion for leadership and community service," Taylor said. "This (United Way position) created an opportunity to combine those passions into one role."
United Way board Chairwoman Ann Frederick said the board selected Taylor because of his experience "leading a diverse team through transition;" his knowledge of the community and United Way; and his commitment to partnerships.
"He is the transformative leader we need right now," said Frederick, director of quality and resource development for Advocate BroMenn Medical Center.
Taylor replaces Greg Cott, who resigned abruptly in October after 10 years as CEO. Alan Chapman, retired Unit 5 superintendent, has been interim CEO.
Chapman will continue through April 25. Taylor takes over April 28.
The other finalist for the president/CEO position was Gina Mandros, United Way senior director of resource development. The United Way board announced Thursday that Mandros has been promoted to vice president of operations, effective April 28.
The five-year United Way employee will become responsible for day-to-day operations of the United Way office.