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Member Spotlight Laura Taylor

Laura Taylor
President, Gaia Group PR, LLC

Tell us about the company you work for.

I founded Gaia Group in 2009 during the height of the recession. I had a lot of support from mentors, friends and family. They all know that I possess entrepreneurial DNA. Gaia was founded with one mission in mind – support the burgeoning cleantech and sustainability industries. We have since expanded to supporting businesses and organizations that focus on what I call "good purpose” or "do no harm”. Our clients are very inspiring as they work to change the world by way of social and technological innovation.

Don’t know who Gaia is? According to the ancient Greeks, she was the goddess of the Earth. Fitting for a company focused on making this globe a better place.

Describe in plain English what your job entails. What issues and challenges do you work with on a daily basis? What aspects of this work interest you the most?

The best thing about my job is the variety. I am a counselor to C-level executives during crisis, communications strategist, media relations gal, lobbyist, writer/editor, supervisor and all the roles that come with running a business. Let’s just say that I’ve learned a lot about IT and HR over the past few years!

What did you study in college or university? Did your educational background help you find this job? Are there any courses that you wish you had taken while in university?

With my parent’s encouragement, I pursued a liberal arts education. Specifically, I studied medieval European history as an undergrad and then took a master’s in education with a specialization in linguistics. After a post-grad fellowship with the State Department, I came home and sold my skills as a communicator. If I could teach English, then why not parlay that into a career involving writing, editing and message development.

Courses I wished for? When I hear people talk about overseas immersion programs and the language skills they have honed because of it, I always think that’s appealing. Learning languages deepens our understanding of others and that’s a gift.

If you could fundamentally change how we as a society use energy and treat the environment, how would you do it? Does it need to be changed at all?

I think there is urgency around climate change issues that is getting harder to ignore. We are working on creating a better balance of energy sources, but it’s not fast enough. It’s up to each of us to own how we approach everything from recycling to gas consumption. One person can make a difference. Embrace change!

What technology, law, or regulation regarding energy or the environment do you want to see created?

We are currently working with clients to advocate for wind energy and energy efficiency tax credits. Any incentives that we can provide entrepreneurs and tax payers to innovate and adopt cleaner/greener technologies are something to seriously consider.

Why did you join WCEE, and what do you want to achieve by being part of the WCEE community?

I joined WCEE to connect with other professionals that share the same interest in energy and environment issues. While we may be on different sides of the coin politically (in some instances), I think we all share the common goal of providing and promoting best practices for the industry as a whole.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I meet and speak to dozens of young professionals every year that are trying to find the right path in the job market. They find their way to me by word of mouth. My soft spot is for the women that are trying to develop careers and aren’t sure of next steps. I do the mentoring as a way to pay back those who mentored me along the way. When mentees thank me, I ask them to pay it forward.

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