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Shawn A. Taylor

Franchise owner and operator Shawn A. Taylor was born on December 21, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois to Evangeline Katherine Irving. He graduated from Chicago Vocational School in 1978 and went on to receive his B.S. degree in accounting, with distinction, from Purdue University in 1982.

From 1982 to 1987, Taylor worked as a senior staff auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co., LLP in Dallas, Texas. He left Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1987 and went to work for American Express as a personal investment advisor until 1991 when he returned to Arthur Andersen & Co. as the first African American manager. In 1996, he founded Family EATS L.P. as a general partner, president, and CEO of the Taco Bell Franchise in Houston, Texas. Taylor owned, developed, and operated thirty-three Taco Bell locations in Houston, which he successfully sold in 2007. He then became the president and operating partner of Zaxby’s Houston, LLC in 2013 and sold his franchise operations in 2019. In 2011, Taylor joined the Houston Baseball Partners, LLC as a limited partner/owner and board member of the Houston Astros. He later sold his interest in the Astros in 2017, but remained as an advisor.

Taylor served on many boards, including the Houston Astros Foundation, Cadence Bank, the accounting advisory council of the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business, the Houston Zoo, the YMCA of Greater Houston, and the Boys and Girls Club of Houston. He was president of the Houston Community College Foundation and a trustee of the Taco Bell/Teen Supreme Foundation. He was also an advisor for Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management, for BBVA Compass Bank in Houston, Texas, and for the finance committee of the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.

Taylor has received numerous awards throughout his career. Including serving as the commencement speaker for the 226th Purdue University graduation and the 2019 Houston Community College graduation. He was awarded the Krannert Business Leadership Award from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and the Think Outside the Bun Award by Taco Bell Corporation for his community service following the Gulf Coast hurricanes. He was also named one of the Top 30 Influential Leaders by AACSB International’s Global Accrediting Body for Business Schools and Entrepreneur of the Year by Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management.

Taylor has two children, Austin and Erin.

Shawn A. Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 17, 2020.

Accession Number

A2020.013

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/17/2020

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Angelo

Schools

George Washington Carver Primary School

Chicago Vocational Career Academy

Purdue University

First Name

Shawn

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

TAY21

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Telluride, Colorado

Favorite Quote

Excuses Are For Losers

Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/21/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Favorite Food

White Castle Hamburgers

Short Description

Franchise owner and operator Shawn A. Taylor (1959- ) was a franchise owner of thirty-three Taco Bells for eleven years.

Employment

Arthur Andersen & Co.

SDS Financial Services

Family Eats LP

Zaxby's Houston LLC

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore

United States District Judge Vanessa Gilmore was born in October of 1956 in St. Albans, New York. In 1977, Gilmore received her B.A. degree in textiles and marketing from Hampton University, and in 1981, she earned her J.D. degree from the University of Houston Law Center.

Upon graduation, Gilmore began a thirteen-year career at the Houston law firm of Vickery, Kilbride, Gilmore & Vickery, where she specialized in civil litigation. In 1984, she was also hired as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston College of Law. Under Texas Governor Ann Richards, Gilmore became the first African American to be appointed to the Texas Department of Commerce Policy Board. She served as chairperson of that board until 1994, when President Bill Clinton appointed her as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. At the time, Gilmore was the youngest sitting federal judge in the United States. In 2005, she presided over the high-profile Enron Broadband trial.

In 2008, Gilmore published her first book, A Boy Named Rocky: A Coloring Book for the Children of Incarcerated Parents, and has become a frequent speaker on issues related to these children and their families. In 2010, she released You Can’t Make This Up: Tales from a Judicial Diva, a humorous look at her life on and off the bench. Her next book, a fiction novel entitled Saving The Dream, was published in 2012. In 2014, she released Lynn’s Angels: The True Story of E. Lynn Harris and the Women Who Loved Him.

Gilmore is a sought after lecturer and speaker and has published noteworthy opinions on patients’ rights, the first amendment and copyright and patent law. She has served on the boards and advisory boards of a number of charitable organizations including the Houston Zoo, San Jacinto Girl Scouts, Spaulding for Children and Habitat for Humanity. Gilmore also serves on the board of trustees for Hampton University and on the board of Inprint, a literary arts organization. She is the recipient of numerous civic awards for community service and is a member of the Links, Inc. and Jack & Jill of America, Houston Chapter.

Gilmore lives in Houston, Texas with her son.

Vanessa Gilmore was interviewed byThe HistoryMakers on May 6, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.131

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/6/2014

Last Name

Gilmore

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Diane

Schools

Hampton University

University of Houston

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Vanessa

Birth City, State, Country

St. Albans

HM ID

GIL09

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Speaker Bureau Notes

Judge Gilmore would like to address audiences about incarcerated parents, adoption, legal issues, or pursuing a judicial career.

State

New York

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

10/26/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

USA

Short Description

Federal district court judge The Honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore (1956 - ) was appointed to serve as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas in 1994, becoming the youngest federal judge in the United States at the time. She was the author of four books: A Boy Named Rocky: A Coloring Book for the Children of Incarcerated Parents; You Can’t Make This Up: Tales from a Judicial Diva; Saving The Dream; and Lynn’s Angels: The True Story of E. Lynn Harris and the Women Who Loved Him.

Employment

Vickery, Kilbride, Gilmore & Vickery

University of Houston College of Law

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas