Gary L. Taylor, founder of Akron-based InfoCision Management Corporation and philanthropist, passed away Saturday, March 2, just over three years since he initially fell ill after a heart attack suffered in 2009. He was 59 years old.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Gary,” said Steve Brubaker, InfoCision chief of staff. “We have all lost a great friend and leader. Gary made this company what it is today through hard work, dedication and a strong sense of integrity. His mark is indelibly stamped on the industry, as well as on our company and its culture. The InfoCision Family will miss him more than anyone will ever know.”
Gary spent his entire life in this community. He graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing in 1975. He continued on to earn his MBA, while serving as a graduate assistant, in 1977, and it was at the University of Akron he met his wife of 34 years, Karen, and shaped his career path.
In 1982, working out of the breezeway of their home, Gary started InfoCision with his wife, Karen. For the first three years, InfoCision operated as a consulting company that developed outbound telemarketing programs for clients, utilizing an independent telemarketing contractor. Today InfoCision has grown into the second largest privately held teleservices company in the world, employing more than 4,000 people in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
InfoCision Vice President of Corporate Facilities Vickie Creekmore, who was the first employee Taylor hired and is still a dedicated employee thirty years later, added, “I met and started working for Gary when I was 18 years old. He was so much more than a boss. He was my friend and a great mentor. I will miss him terribly like so many others. He taught me a lot about life and had a dramatic impact on me and my entire family. Gary was indeed a great man of honor and integrity and I am so thankful he was a part of my life.”
InfoCision raises more money for nonprofit organizations than any other teleservices company and is a leading provider of customer care services, commercial sales and marketing for a variety of Fortune 500 companies and smaller businesses. InfoCision is also a leading provider of inbound and outbound marketing for religious and political organizations.
Astute and strategic businesspeople, Gary and Karen Taylor developed a succession plan that laid the foundation for their son, Craig to take over the day-to-day management of the company. In October 2012 Craig was appointed to Chief Executive Officer and Steve Boyazis to President. Over the last 10 years Craig has held many strategic positions within the company and has been the driving force behind several initiatives to grow business and outperform client expectations. The company’s performance continues to be strong as it remains focused on client results and long-term strategic growth while building upon the company’s core fundamental values of a commitment to quality and excellence in every aspect of the business.
Gary has been a key leader in the marketing field with more than 30 years of experience in direct marketing, fundraising, advertising, and the teleservices industry. Under his leadership, InfoCision cracked the top 100 on the Inc. 500 List, recognizing the fastest growing companies in the country. The NorthCoast 99 Award has consistently honored InfoCision as one of the best places to work in Northeast Ohio. In Febrary 2013 InfoCision was named one of the nation’s 150 Top Workplaces.
InfoCision’s hallmark is its unequalled reputation for quality. InfoCision won the inaugural CUSTOMER magazine MVP Quality Award in 1993 and has been recognized as the highest quality teleservices company every year, for a total of 19 MVP Awards.
“InfoCision Management Corporation has exclusively earned 19 consecutive MVP Quality Awards,” said Nadji Tehrani, founder and chairman of Technology Marketing Corporation, which publishes CUSTOMER magazine. “When it comes to quality teleservices, InfoCision is in a class by itself.”
Gary’s personal achievements have garnered him many awards including the American Teleservices Association’s Pioneer Hall of Fame Award. He has also been inducted into the Teleservices Hall of Fame and has received Customer Inter@ction Solutions Lifetime Achievement Award. He was honored by the Direct Marketing Association with their Teleservice Excellence Award for the positive impact he has had on the teleservice industry. From The University of Akron he has received the prestigious Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award and the Alumni Honor Award, the highest honor awarded to alumni by the University. Ernst and Young also recognized Gary as an Entrepreneur of the Year award winner for the services industry, and inducted him into the Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame.
Gary and Karen Taylor’s philanthropy has been praised throughout the community. Their first major initiative started with a $3.5 million donation to establish The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron, the only program of its kind. The Taylor Institute offers the only fully accredited, four-year degree program in direct marketing, as well as an MBA with a concentration in Direct Marketing.
Another significant long-term financial commitment by the Taylors secured the capital for The University of Akron to develop and complete construction of InfoCision Stadium where Gary and his wife Karen participated in the ribbon cutting and opening celebration festivities.
In addition to InfoCision, Gary became the principal owner of Granite Golf Properties, which owns and operates Medina Country Club, its flagship private club, Shale Creek in Medina County and The Quarry in Canton, Ohio. The family continues to own the courses.