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East County Tuesday, Jul. 9, 2019 10 months ago

Neuro Challenge Foundation hires business development manager

River Club's Tammy Taylor accepts the challenge.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

When CEO Robyn Faucy-Washington and her Neuro Challenge Foundation team decided to create a new position as business development manager, they obviously needed someone with a high level of business acumen.

But they also needed much more.

They needed someone who understood, and was touched by their cause.

That made River Club's Tammy Taylor the perfect package.

With a long career in upper management in the banking industry, Taylor was the business go-getter the nonprofit wanted.

Then consider what Taylor does with her time when she isn't trying to tie up financial ends.

"I sit on my computer and I Google everything about Parkinson's disease," Taylor said. "I read research papers.

"Then I get appointments with doctors and specialists. I want to be educated about this disease. And then I go to the Neuro Challenge programs and listen to people's stories. That's where you learn the most. I've always been extremely driven."

A couple of years ago, Taylor had attended a Neuro Challenge Foundation fundraiser with her husband, Greg, and they immediately wanted to support the organization.

Tammy Taylor not only got behind it, but she started to volunteer her time to Neuro Challenge, to the point where she helped to manage last year's Parkinson's Expo in Bradenton.

"I was touched by the Parkinson's community," Taylor said. "They are determined that they are going to live well ... today. It increases your admiration of them. I don't know if I could get up that kind of enthusiasm, that drive."

Faucy-Washington said Taylor has plenty of drive.

"We're very excited to have Tammy join us," Faucy-Washington said. "We wanted a more long-term, sustainable fundraising plan. Earned income will be a significant part of that piece."

Faucy-Washington said some of the earned income will come from the Parkinson's Expo, the annual event that is the largest Parkinson’s educational forum in the U.S. The third annual event will be held Feb. 29, 2020 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.

Taylor will be responsible for maintaining existing partnerships and overseeing the development of strategic collaborations with hospitals, universities, and other organizations that support Neuro Challenge’s mission of improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.

She emphasized all the free services offered to those with Parkinson's disease and their caregivers will continue to be free due to the generosity of Neuro Challenge's sponsors. The earned income part of the equation is to raise more money so Neuro Challenge can offer even more programs and services.

"Tammy is a highly competent professional," Faucy-Washington said. "She has been a consultant for Neuro Challenge and she has been our bookkeeper. She knows how to make things more efficient."

She also knows how to touch someone's heart.

"She has been attending our programs, meeting our members to get to know them and to understand Parkinson's disease," Faucy-Washington said. "Everything we do is mission focused and mission driven."

Taylor realizes her new job has important implications.

"It's a big responsibility," she said.

Financially, Taylor said Neuro Challenge has done a great job.

"The organization is strong and diversified," she said. "They don't rely on one major donor or grant. I'm extremely proud to be a partner."

Greg and Tammy Taylor moved to the Lakewood Ranch area more than a year ago after visiting the area for more than a decade. They actually tried living here full-time a decade ago, but Tammy Taylor wasn't ready to cut ties with her home in Virginia where for years she worked in the upper management of the banking industry.

"When I moved here, I went into middle management and I couldn't find a place I could call home," she said.

But she said her banking experience will translate to her new job.

"I wanted to help them achieve their dreams," she said about her customers during her banking career. "It's the same now."

Part of her job will be to help business owners understand "the importance of being a good steward."

Faucy-Washington said she won't have any trouble in that respect.

"She is a perpetually positive person," Faucy-Washington said.

Last year's Expo drew an estimated 1,300 people about the same as the previous year. Taylor said there is room to grow.

"We need to do a better job with social media," she said. "We have to increase our presence in that arena. That will bring more awareness and in turn will help the Parkinson's community."

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