Ms. Taylor was born to working class parents in Southern Illinois. Her father passed away when she was 14 and that single event forced Ms. Taylor to grow up quickly, helping with household chores and caring for her younger brother. She married at a young age, but her marriage quickly became unhealthy, and she soon found herself raising three young children on her own. Determined to provide for her family, Ms. Taylor took a chance and accepted a job with a small trucking company in Georgia where she met her second husband. Together in 1974, the couple acquired George Bennett Motor Express, a company with 15 trucks, 30 trailers, two contracts and only $500 in the bank. With a keen focus on customer service, Ms. Taylor and her husband worked diligently to increase profits, making many personal sacrifices along the way. When Ms. Taylor’s husband died unexpectedly in 1981, she was left to run the company on her own. She made the conscious decision to press on and grow the business, becoming an admired female leader in a male-dominated industry. Today, Bennett International Group, LLC spans a network of more than 4,500 employees, agents, and owner/operators encompassing eight divisions providing services from basic transportation to rigging and cranes.
“Marcia embodies the core values of the Horatio Alger Association, including perseverance, hard work and a proven strength of character during immensely difficult times,” said Byron Trott, president, Horatio Alger Association and 2011 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “Her unwavering drive and fierce independence will surely inspire and motivate our Scholars as they embark on their own personal journeys. We are proud to recognize Marcia’s outstanding professional and personal accomplishments and we look forward to welcoming her as a 2017 Horatio Alger Member.”
Ms. Taylor believes deeply in giving back to the community, and has worked diligently to ensure that philanthropy plays an important role in the culture at Bennett. In 2012, her family established the Taylor Family Foundation, of which Ms. Taylor is the CEO. The foundation allocates a percentage of Bennett’s quarterly earnings to charities in the greater Atlanta area and across the country. In addition, she donates her time and talent to many local and national boards, including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation – Henry County Branch, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Council of National Policy and United Community Bank. She is particularly passionate about issues affecting women’s health, and is the former chairman of the board at Piedmont Henry Hospital, to which she was the lead donor of the Marcia G. Taylor Women’s Center. Ms. Taylor has been honored with several prominent awards, including the 2014 “Influential Woman in Trucking Award” and the 2012 “NDTA National Transportation Award.” She was also selected as “Atlanta Woman of the Year” in 2008 and named the Boy Scouts of America’s “Golden Eagle Honoree” in 2015.
“Receiving the Horatio Alger Award is incredibly humbling and I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with such an impactful organization,” said Ms. Taylor. “I, along with the other individuals who are being recognized this year, understand that life isn’t always easy. We’ve all had to overcome obstacles, but with determination and self-confidence, anything is possible. My goal as a Member of the Association is to encourage each Scholar to believe in the power of his or her abilities and always aim higher than they thought possible.”
Through its Members, Horatio Alger Association aims to educate young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system. To further this goal, the organization awards scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced significant adversities, but have also displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming their challenges. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $125 million to students in need. Scholarships are privately funded solely through the generosity of Association Members, Life Partners and friends.
Ms. Taylor and the Member Class of 2017 will be formally inducted into the Association on March 30-April 1, 2017, during the Association’s 70th Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The annual three-day event honors the achievements of both Members and National Scholars, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and interact, exchanging stories of hardships and triumphs.
For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its Member Class of 2017, please visit www.horatioalger.org and/or follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, the Association awards more than $12 million annually in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the United States and Canada and provides college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $125 million in college scholarships to more than 25,000 deserving young people. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.