Taylor inducted into Horatio Alger Association

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

One of Henry County’s most renowned business leaders joined ten others from across the nation recently in Washington, D.C. as this year’s recipients of the Horatio Alger Award.

Marcia Taylor, owner of Bennett International Group, LLC in McDonough, attended the three-day celebration March 30-April 1 in the nation’s capital and was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association along with the award, which “symbolizes the association’s values, including personal initiative and perseverance, leadership and commitment to excellence, belief in the free-enterprise system and the importance of higher education, community service, and the vision and determination to achieve a better future,” according to its website.

Marcia Taylor. Special photo

This year’s other honorees included:
Alain Bouchard, founder and executive chairman of the board, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
John Elway, executive vice president and general manager, Denver Broncos.
Mellody Hobson, president, Ariel Investments, LLC.
Harold B. Matzner, chairman, CBA Industries, Inc.
Valerie Montgomery Rice, president and dean, Morehouse School of Medicine.
Roger S. Penske, chairman Penske Corporation.
Byron Pitts, chief national correspondent, ABC News and co-anchor, “Nightline.”
John H. Scully, co-founder and managing partner, SPO Partners & Co.
Richard J. Stephenson, founder and chairman, Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Lenard B. Tessler, vice chairman and senior managing partner, Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

According to the bio listed with the award announcement, Taylor was born to working class parents in Southern Illinois and saw her father pass away when she was 14. After a short-lived marriage she found herself raising three young children on her own. She took 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. After the two worked for some time to make the company more profitable, Taylor’s husband died unexpectedly in 1981 and 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.”

Taylor has done a great deal to give back to the community, and ensure that philanthropy plays an important role in the culture at Bennett. In 2012, her family established the Taylor Family Foundation, of which she is the CEO. The foundation allocates a percentage of Bennett’s quarterly earnings to charities in the greater Atlanta area and across the country.

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.

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 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.”

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its Member Class of 2017, visit www.horatioalger.org and/or follow the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Horatio AlgerUS, Twitter at https://twitter .com/Horatio AlgerUS and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/horatioalgerassociation/ using the hashtag #HoratioAlgerAward.