Our individual experiences all blend together to create the person we are. This happens at a macro, personal level, and at a smaller, more concentrated scale, like in our careers. Each job and event is an opportunity for us to grow, learn, and come out with a little more wisdom to inject into future events.
The Veoci team is filled with a chorus of practitioners with myriad of experiences, a group that includes John Taylor (JT). JT joined the Veoci team as a Sales Executive and brings over 30 plus years of emergency management and technology years. We spoke with him, put those memories on paper, and asked what he has to offer for practitioners in the modern emergency management landscape.
JT attended Middle Tennessee State University, completing a bachelor’s in aerospace, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering. His interest in planes pushed him to get his pilot’s ratings: 1500 hours for helicopters, 600 hours for airplanes, and 800 skydives.
The military was JT’s next step, one his dad and grandfather also took. He always knew he would do something in that realm but wasn’t too sure on exactly what. But with his degree and pilot’s ratings, everything fit in place.
In the military, he was part of search and rescue. He flew, hung out the side, and dragged people out of the water; he’d been around the world four times before turning 24. 9 to 10 months of the year were spent out on the oceans, even living out of a submarine for a time.
The FAA’s change to the retirement age made many question and change their life plans, including JT. He began to reevaluate things, and two things stuck: he liked talking to people and solving problems. A friend who was a technician, one path he strongly considered, told him, “You’re a sales guy, I can tell by talking to you.” That statement pushed him down a path he’s still on today: technology.
Spinning Up in Technology
That technology path was a sure one — JT has been in technology for the last 30 years.
His second career kicked off in the mass notification field in the 90s, and it’s been a persistent theme in his roles since. First, he wrote programs for nuclear power plants in DOS and then Windows. He then moved over to the Red Cross as the Disaster Logistics Director for the Alabama region. Here, JT worked through four hurricanes and 15 tornado outbreaks. This time imparted experience in emergency management, whether it was search resume or technology.
In his most recent role before joining Veoci, JT’s focused COOP planning. His focus on COOP planning was far from being a limitation. Cognitive operation planning, EOP planning, EAP planning, and other species of planning all came across his desk.
He developed expertise through those five years, and eventually found Veoci through mutual connections and networking in that role. Veoci had just started developing a new COOP solution, one that caught JT’s eye. No code involved, simple and easy to use. All of his industry knowledge, plus the familiar faces, led him to Veoci.
Advice for Others
While he works in sales, JT doesn’t claim to be a salesman, he’s more of a problem solver. Creating relationships with clients never feels like work for him. By creating great relationships, clients don’t view him as someone who they’re just working with and it creates a comfortable environment. The more you learn about the process of sales, the more you realize it’s all about problem solving.
JT proves the saying, “If you get a job you love, you never have to work a day in your life,” very true. He doesn’t consider sales work. He explains that you can get the job done and pitch the material but if you yourself don’t believe, live, and breathe it, it becomes a challenge. Because people can see right through you.”
JT says that if you have the right background, you’ll be successful enough to gain the trust of the people you’re working with. When working with clients, the most important thing about this line of business is service delivery. You have to believe in the customer and make sure that the other side knows what you’re talking about. With that, you’re able to walk them through everything.
Outside of Work
JT’s free time is filled with cooking. He likes Italian and claims his lasagne is amazing. And his roasts don’t fall far behind his lasagne. He began cooking when he was 14 or 15 because his family was Creole Cajun so they always added a lot of spice into their foods. Besides cooking, he likes the outdoors, running, and exercising, following those up with a beer for a nice balance.
Through all his life experiences, from traveling the world to now working in sales, JT is happy to have calmed down from the travels of his earlier years. He’s now living in Alabama with his wife and has two kids.
Welcome to the Veoci Team
Veoci has so many well-rounded employees with various, interesting backgrounds. John (JT) Taylor’s experiences have made him an outgoing and driven person that has helped him become the Sales Executive he is today.
If you’d like to learn more about John Taylor, check out his LinkedIn profile.