GSPP Advisors Member Spotlight
Taylor Kirkpatrick, Board Chair
President & CEO, Babson Farms, Inc.
I am most passionate about Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health in my role as a member of the GSPP Board of Advisors.
What is your personal motto, mantra or quote that you live by?
Be brave enough to suck at something new.
What three traits best describe you?
We have a family values document and the three that resonate with me most are kindness, humility, and fun.
What draws you to your work as an ambassador for GSPP and mental health broadly?
The importance of the promotion of good mental health has been heightened as everyone is faced with increased stressors of daily life, and GSPP is the best in the business at building the increasingly critical resources / human capital to address this ever-growing issue.
What book did you last read?
Not the last, but the one that stuck with me the most last year is The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy – a magical, moving fable about the journey we all take through life, about love and family, about war and resilience; about how we live in this world, and how we leave it.
People would be surprised if they knew what about you?
I have a solo art show called “Figures of Speech” that was thwarted in 2020 that I hope will occur in summer 2021!
What is your industry or professional role?
I work broadly in investments, and we have operating businesses in agriculture, manufacturing, logistics, food, and insurance, as well as diverse real estate investments, energy interests, and public and private equity and credit investments.
What would you do (as a career) if you weren’t in that job?
Own a used bookstore.
How do you define success?
To me, there is a dichotomy between success and fulfillment - while individuals define what fulfillment means to them, society defines success. If you measure success by fame, money, wins, etc. it has been my experience that attaining outward “success” can feel empty, and that the meaning of the climb was actually better than the view at the top. On the other hand, feeling contentment that you have done your best, led a good and authentic life, and are happy, that is fulfillment - and in turn the kind of success I want. No one will remember the multiple I got for the building I sold in 2018, but they will remember how I made them feel. If that is enriching and fun for both of us, that is success.
What is one thing that you couldn’t live without?
If you had a magic lamp and genie, what is one wish you’d grant for GSPP and why?
Awareness. DU has a lot of initiatives, as well as strengths and weaknesses to address, but just like the song from 1944’s Here Comes the Waves, Bing Crosby sang (but probably never considered how the lyrics would stand the test of time): “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and latch on to the affirmative.” We have got a world-beater of a program that could differentiate the school, and DU could feed that excellence with additional resources, a better physical location, and prominence. The market speaks every year and they acceptance percentages show that we have a product in demand – GSPP needs us as advocates to create that awareness, because advancement in both sense of the word (promotion and improvement) are imperatives.