Local pastor hired as VP of Innovation Gainesville


Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 5:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 5:34 p.m.

Adrian Taylor brought his corporate background to the ministry, building an organizational structure that he said allows Springhill Missionary Baptist Church to support its growth from 250 members when he arrived in 2005 to more than 600 today.

Now he sees his new role as a vice president with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce as a continuation of his ministerial work.

The Chamber announced Thursday that Taylor was hired as vice president of Innovation Gainesville and regional initiatives. He will remain senior pastor at Springhill.

"Chamber work and church work are similar in that they're about building community, whether from an economic development standpoint, a health and human services standpoint or a spiritual standpoint. They're about community and connecting people together so we can live and work together in a better place," he said.

Taylor is replacing Ann Collett, who said she is resigning as VP of Innovation Gainesville to pursue other opportunities.

Collett will remain as a consultant for several months while the Chamber updates its Innovation Gainesville economic development plan.

In addition to organizing the many volunteers involved in the IG program, Chamber President and CEO Tm Giuliani said Taylor's role will be to integrate the collaborative tenets of IG throughout the Chamber's daily operations and activities, and to spearhead what he called "larger, game-changer projects we envision coming out of the next phase of IG."

"Regional initiatives" was added to the title as the Chamber works more closely with other municipalities on economic development "so that everyone benefits from this initiative in addition to the business interests within the city of Gainesville."

Giuliani said Collett was a pioneer in Innovation Gainesville who helped build momentum from its inception.

"So because of what she's done you have more jobs, you have more people in the community working together and you really have a plan and a vision for the future that you have a lot of consensus built around," Giuliani said.

Collett served on the Chamber's board for several years while she was vice president and general manager of Alltel Communications. She joined the staff in 2005 as vice president of the Council for Economic Outreach, where she oversaw economic development activities before she was named vice president of Innovation Gainesville in 2010.

Although Collett is not sure what she will be doing next, she said there is no shortage of opportunities.

"I really just thought it was time for me to do something new," she said.

Taylor grew up in Tampa and started his career with IBM before taking jobs as a corporate trainer and manager. He came to Gainesville in 2005 as pastor of Springhill Missionary Baptist. He is married to Courtney Taylor, an assistant professor of history at Santa Fe College, and the couple has a baby girl.

During his time here, Taylor earned an associate's degree in business from SF College and a bachelor's degree in business from Saint Leo University. He serves on the Plum Creek Envision Alachua Task Force and the board of the United Way of North Central Florida. He was also a member of the City Plan Board.

Taylor has also volunteered a lot of time with the Chamber for several years and had been serving as its board treasurer.

Giuliani said Taylor was integrally involved with IG from its inception.

"He brings a really strong entrepreneurial spirit and consensus building that are really important skills to help advance this initiative," he said.

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