Marion High School alumnus Jason Taylor has been recognized for visionary and innovative leadership that has helped transform the media and event management industries. Recently, he added a more personal revolution to his philanthropic priorities: helping other Marion Giants find their paths and reach for their dreams.
Given all of that, you could be forgiven for assuming that success has always come easy for this Marion Giant. If you didn’t look past that assumption, though, you’d miss the heart of the story. The spark, if you will.
Jason, a member of the Marion High School Class of 1992, was inducted into the MHS Hall of Distinction in 2021, one of the most successful Giants in the school’s history. He is President of USAToday Network Ventures, formerly New Media Investment Group Ventures and GateHouse Live, which he founded in 2016 after almost two decades in executive-level media management. He is regularly recognized as an innovator and passionate industry leader, directly improving the financial performance of hundreds of local media companies. His industry leading event and promotions strategy is unparalleled.
Jason’s story started in Marion in extreme poverty with the parents who raised him struggling to read and write and living his entire childhood on government assistance. The odds were overwhelmingly stacked against him. But teachers from Marion High School saw a bright spark with massive potential in this talented dreamer. Jason credits them for their support, education, guidance, and even personal gifts that would change the course of history for him and, therefore, thousands of people who have worked under his leadership.
And because of that experience, Jason knows the difference that can be made when a spark is fanned into a flame. What his teachers once did for him, he wants to do for others in Marion today. To make this possible, through several months of planning, Jason gave an incredible financial gift to the Marion High School Alumni Association to set up the Jason Taylor Family Giant Spark Fund.
>> Listen to an interview with Jason Taylor on WBAT’s Giant Talk shortly after the fund was announced
Through Jason’s inspirational story and gracious support, MHSAA can now help support Marion students’ passions and help inspire them to greatness, so that they too can become Giants in the world. MHSAA plans to work with Marion teachers to connect students who have that spark — like Jason did when he was young — to resources and opportunities they might not otherwise be able to access.
MHSAA is so grateful for Jason’s commitment to philanthropy and for this gift he is giving to his hometown. It’s no doubt this will be the spark for new Giant success stories that will impact our community and our world long into the future.
>> Those who would like to contribute to the Jason Taylor Family Giant Spark Fund can do so at bit.ly/TaylorSparkFund