John N. Taylor Jr. ’57
B.A., Denison University
M.B.A., Indiana University
Citation awarded June, 2007
John is a consummate entrepreneur, a highly successful businessman, and an involved alumnus. Following the Air Force, he earned an MBA, started the work world at Dayton Typographic, then moved on to WE Hutton as a stockbroker. In 1974, he bought control of Kurz-Kasch, a specialty manufacturer of plastic and electromagnetic products. The company was sold to Dover Corp in 2001. In another venture, he was Founder/Chair/CEO of Component Technology Corporation, a public (Nasdaq) specialty manufacturer of zero-defect plastic assemblies.
John was a sought-after director for a number of companies: LSI Industries, Inc., Robbins & Myers, Inc., First National Bank of Dayton, Van Dyne Crotty, Mike Sells Potato Chip Co., and Neff Folding Box, Inc. He served on the Cleveland Federal Reserve small business advisory council 1989-91, and then chaired the Federal Reserve, Cincinnati Board 1994-96. John was on the National Boards of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and Chief Executives Organization (CEO).
John’s support of Dayton is strong as well. He was a member of the governing board of the Dayton Foundation and a Founder of the Dayton Development Coalition Venture Fund. He has been a trustee of Sinclair Community College and its Foundation as well as Goodwill Industries.
For Denison, John has always been an enthusiastic and dynamic volunteer. He served as a Trustee for 12 years before being elected a Life Trustee in 1997. He is still in high demand for any volunteer post with a fundraising component and currently serves as a member of the President’s Leadership Council and co-chair of his 50th Reunion Committee. During the Sesquicentennial Campaign, he established the John N. Taylor, Jr. Endowed Lectureship in Free Enterprise. Since then, he underwrote the creation of Taylor House, an honors residence hall, and established a second endowment, The Taylor Family Fund, honoring his wife, Connie Smith Taylor ’58, and his children Lisa ’82; triplets Anne, Greg, and Tony, ’86; and Margaret ’91, all Denison graduates!