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SILVER BOWL RECIPIENT SAYS HIS VOLUNTEERING COMES NATURALLY FROM HERITAGE - AND A G.E. JOB REQUIREMENT

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Known to those he serves with as the "consummate volunteer," Graig Taylor tries as hard as he can to stay in the background while he praises others for their volunteer work.

But it is Taylor who fittingly received recognition from Gov. Michael Leavitt during the annual Silver Bowl Awards for voluntarism. Taylor has spent most of his life volunteering and says he gets it from his heritage."My great-great-grandfather came across the Plains," Taylor said. "He was one of five Kentuckians who bought Far West, Mo., for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

While Taylor gives credit to his ancestors, he also recalls his first job with General Electric."It was a G.E. requirement that you give service if you were in management training," Taylor said. "G.E. has the spirit of corporate service. I helped at a boys club."

Taylor's wife, Bonnie, and their five children are also involved in volunteering.

"I've always got them volunteering some place or another," Taylor said.

Throughout his professional career, Taylor has taken that spirit of voluntarism with him wherever he goes. As an executive with Novell Inc., he continued serving the community in various capacities, particularly with the United Way of Utah County, where he served six years on the executive board.

"Graig is a phenomenal individual who sees something that needs to get done and does it with enthusiasm," said Bill Hulterstom, president of United Way of Utah County. "The entire community owes him a debt of gratitude."

Though some would see his retirement from professional life as bittersweet, Taylor, now legally blind, says that just gave him the opportunity to give more service.

"It's fun working with volunteers," he said. "A person isn't complete without voluntarism. You're just not a whole person."

Taylor is working on two major projects. He is one of three directors coordinating the ticket and tour reservations center for the soon-to-be completed Mount Timpanogos LDS Temple. No small task when you consider he's training and coordinating more than 500 volunteers.

But, it is his dream for a healthier community that is keeping him really busy.

Healthy Utah Valley, a broad communitywide initiative aimed at preserving and improving the health, quality of life and sense of community for families and individuals who live or work in Utah Valley is Taylor's focus.

Taylor chairs a board of 26 representatives from the medical, political, nonprofit, religious, social services, judicial system, agricultural, business and educational fields developing prevention programs and other activities to promote a well-rounded and healthy community. Several projects have already been completed in the past year with more to come. A major focus is placed on health, literacy and children.

As for Taylor, he says he will do this until he dies. "After all," he said, "how I deal with the homeless and the hungry is what will count in the end."