Eve Wright Tay­lor con­tin­ues to turn up the heat and light sparks

The Suit - - Distinguished Business Award - By Diane E. Al­ter

Eve Wright Tay­lor seems to heat things up and light sparks where ever she goes. As the Vice Pres­i­dent and As­so­ciate Gen­eral Coun­sel for the Mi­ami Heat, one of the hottest NBA teams in the league, Tay­lor ad­vises on a plethora of le­gal is­sues re­lated to the team’s mar­ket­ing, pro­mo­tions, con­certs, events, cor­po­rate sales, mer­chan­dis­ing plans and a plethora of player and fan re­lated is­sues.

A grad­u­ate of DePauw Univer­sity, Tay­lor said she al­ways wanted to be a lawyer but never knew what it en­tailed. She found out fast, ris­ing the cor­po­rate lad­der quickly and pro­fi­ciently. Tay­lor hadn’t even cel­e­brated her 35th birth­day was she landed the cov­eted post at the Heat. “I never imag­ined my fo­cus would be in the pro­fes­sional sport­ing in­dus­try. I thought all in­volved in the trade, no mat­ter the sport, were high main­te­nance in­di­vid­u­als. But you never know where life is go­ing to take you. Be­fore work­ing at the HEAT, I served as the Se­nior Di­rec­tor of Busi­ness and Le­gal Af­fairs for the Ladies Pro­fes­sional Golf As­so­ci­a­tion (LPGA), a po­si­tion I got af­ter my men­tors at a Fredrik­son & By­ron cut the apron strings and set me loose. In a parental way, they told me I needed learn how to be a lawyer. My feel­ings were hurt, but it led me on my cur­rent path,” Tay­lor shared.

As an African Amer­i­can wom­ an, an ex­tremely suc­cess­ful and ac­com­plished one at that, Tay­lor says she faces the same kind of chal­lenges all women face in any pre­dom­i­nately male cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment. Yet in­stead of see­ing chal­lenges, Tay­lor sees op­por­tu­nity and bright prospects. “Ev­ery­one isn’t against me, but it’s true some are. I just push for­ward and push through us­ing my re­sources and savoir-faire.” This savvy en­tre­pre­neur and tough com­peti­tor says of her prospects and en­deav­ors, “I have been given a legacy that has left me with a re­spon­si­bly to con­tinue to build upon that legacy.”

Tay­lor did just that when she founded theS­park, a net­work that pro­vides em­pow­er­ing and en­liven­ing open and fun fo­rums for like-minded women. It aims to help them achieve the goals they de­sire in their per­sonal and pro­fes­sional lives by light­ing their fire of pas­sion. “There is no one-size fits all ap­proach. Women have dif­fer­ent as­pi­ra­tions. I sim­ply hold the door open. Whether they are seek­ing a pro­mo­tion, a raise, want to meet a man, travel, over­come fears, need ad­vice on how to jug­gle home and work life, or don’t know what they want, I help them find out,” a passionate Tay­lor elu­ci­dated.

As she played with the big boys in a slew of pri­mar­ily male en­vi­ron­ments, Tay­lor said the ob­sta­cles she over­came made her excel in her field and a bet­ter per­son. “I’ve had my share of stum­bles. I look back now and think to my­self I should have han­dled some things dif­fer­ently. But it’s a re­flec­tion. You live and learn. You brush off your mis­takes and you move on,” said a re­flec­tive Tay­lor.

Of our le­gal sys­tem, Tay­lor makes it clear she is proud to be a part of it. “I be­lieve in our jus­tice sys­tem. It’s the best in the world. While ar­bi­tra­tion and me­di­a­tion have their place, some­times you have to fight the fight. Whether you agree or dis­agree, ad­vo­cates are here for a rea­son.” Never find­ing she can’t stand the heat, Tay­lor fights the fight when it’s called for, and of­fers sup­port where and when needed.

Mov­ing for­ward, Tay­lor is work­ing on a book and ex­pand­ing her fam­ily. She and her hus­band are ex­pect­ing their first child. “In the fu­ture, I want to con­tinue do­ing good work at The Heat and theS­park. I am ex­cited about the birth of my child and spend­ing good time with my baby and hus­band. I think I will have my hands full for a while,” Tay­lor noted.

If there is one thing Tay­lor knows how to do, it’s jug­gling many tasks. Al­ways on guard, al­ways play­ing de­fense and never drop­ping the ball are what make Tay­lor so in­dis­pen­si­ble. Her time at The Heat con­tin­ues to be a slam dunk for the fran­chise, and her time at theS­park grows more en­light­en­ing with ev­ery dis­cus­sion.

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