Sharon Taylor McKinney
Sharon Taylor McKinney brings a combined 38 years of experience in marketing, management, training business development, media and retail. Her expertise is in small business, community, economic development, and marketing. Ms. Taylor McKinney serves currently as a freelance consultant where she provides business planning, loan packaging, market research, sales planning and execution, and corporate and community based training for small businesses. She is in the process of upstarting a new venture. Her work history spans 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, small business, community and economic development. She most recently served as Small Business Development Specialist for the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County (EDGE) where she was responsible for developing a more connected and effective ecosystem for entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow and thrive in the Mid-South. Prior, she served a near two decades for the State of Tennessee where she served first with the Small Business Administration’s Technical Assistant Program SBDCs as a Small Business Counselor/Consultant with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at The University of Memphis from 1994-2004, and later as a BERO Enterprise Specialist for Tennessee Economic and Community Development from 2005-2011.During her early career, she worked 13 years in the public relations, marketing, and communications capacity for such organizations as the YWCA of Greater Memphis where she served as Director of Public Relations. She served as well, as a trainer for that agency’s Women in Trades Program. Additionally, her career in marketing and public relations spanned working in healthcare as Manager of Community Relations for The Regional Medical Center at Memphis (The MED), Marketing Coordinator for the Memphis in May International Festival, Sales Representative, Interim Director of Public Relations and Publicity Assistant for the City of Memphis Mud Island Marketing Department, and as a PR Assistant for Allenbrook Nursing Home. She also worked a total of five years in various capacities in the retail sector working for Sears, JC Penney’s, Kroger, Office Max, and Home Depot. She served a short stint in media as a copywriter and reporter. Her entrepreneur journey began upon being laid off due to corporate restructuring. She formed Better Communications Public Relations and Marketing in 1990 to assisted companies in healthcare, retail, and the service industry sectors with building internal and external systems for favorable positioning in the competitive marketplace. Upon developing and implementing a successful marketing strategy for a major client, that company experienced a 115% increase in its referral based and was recognized for its innovative marketing strategies. That client also received local/national awards and publicity in publications such as The Blue Chip Initiative, Entrepreneur Magazine Award, Nation's Business, and The Memphis Business Journal. She added publishing, and event planning, and conference and public seminar production in 1992. Upon her return to the workforce in 1994, the company curtailed its client consulting activity to less than part-time while Ms. Taylor McKinney honed her business consulting, management, training and development skills. Later, she added corporate and community sector training to her line up of services in 2000. She secured training contracts with the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and the Metropolitan Interfaith Association (MIFA) to form the Opportunity Banc, and the RISE Foundation. She continues to provide training for private and public sector entities today.Ms. Taylor McKinney is a born again Christian, a marketplace servant, and a member of Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. As a servant leader, she conducts financial and business literacy programs for churches, non-profit organizations and government agencies to encourage low-to-moderate minority women and men to use their “God-given skills, talents, and abilities to make their dreams a reality. She is active in the local community and currently serves on the Board of GirlzLife, a non-profit organization that supports at risk teen girls. She recently founded Transformation Economic & Community Development Corporation (Transformations ECD), a social enterprise development corporation to serve the needs of communities in the Mississippi Delta. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications/Journalism from the University of Memphis and has done Master’s level studies in Business Administration and in Education Instructional Leadership, and Instructional Design Technology.