Springfield, MO

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2012 Most Influential Women Honoree: Maura Taylor

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Maura Taylor’s talents lie with pooling resources and encouraging collaboration.

As the executive director of Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, Taylor began responding to the 2011 Joplin tornado with a staff of only two, in addition to local volunteers and representatives from the Catholic Charities Network. She began assembling a team, opened a case management office and a donation and distribution center, and began home repair and rebuilding operations with the help of volunteers.

“Using donations, grants and contracts, our organization was able to make a difference in the lives of more than 10,000 disaster survivors in the Joplin area,” Taylor says.

“And we continue in our long-term recovery efforts there.”

Under Taylor’s leadership, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri has grown to a staff of more than 35 employees working out of seven offices.

“In the other communities where Catholic Charities is located, including Springfield, either I or an agency representative is serving on key committees so we can work together, not duplicate efforts and conserve limited resources,” Taylor says.

With Taylor’s collaborative leadership style, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri has organized more than 20,000 volunteers from across the nation to aid in repair projects in southern Missouri.

“The success of this approach is evident in Joplin,” Taylor says.

“No one individual, group, organization or agency can meet all the needs of the survivors or the needs of the city. Working together, collaborating, we have been able to accomplish so much more and truly help our clients and Joplin recover.”   

Taylor has been a member of the Good Community Committee since 1995, and is currently a member of a civility initiative in Springfield called Be Civil, Be Heard. In 2009, she was elected to the board of directors of The Health Commission for Springfield and Greene County, and she is currently a member of its executive committee.

Taylor holds a Master of Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in biology ftrom Wichita State University. She has previously worked as a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch and a hospital pharmaceutical representative for Merck Sharp & Dohme.

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