Sarma Taylor

Sarma Taylor

Chief Executive Officer

Former Vice President of MFS Investment Management, and current Lead Business Advisor for Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative.

Management-team-level executive and entrepreneur, who founded several companies, incorporated them, developed sophisticated visionary business plans, and solicited and obtained investment from private equity investors. Responsibilities include entity leadership, P&L and large budget management; mentoring of employees and entrepreneurs, marketing development, people and technology management. Key accomplishments:

• Built a successful retail business, increasing sales from $0 to $1,000,000 in two years.
• Launched franchising consulting company in Houston.
• Mentored 100+ small business owners in greater Houston.
• Acquired $100,000 in private equity funding for a startup videoconferencing company.
• Managed $20,000,000 marketing communications budget for financial services firm.

Critical Skills

• Energetic organization leader, able to bridge and bring together diverse functional groups.
• Detailed, precise budget/financial manager with strong sense of accountability.
• Creative, balanced and proficient business strategy, marketing strategy, process and plan developer.
• Sensitive, firm and approachable people manager.
• Experienced business plan developer and writer.
• Accomplished business advisor.
• Public speaker, panel participant and moderator.
• In depth knowledge of small business management for both for-profit and non-profit entities, along with firm grasp of music, music education, financial services, distance learning, franchising, residential construction and videoconferencing sectors.¬¬¬¬

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Houston Community College, Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative,
Lead Business Advisor 2012-Present

Key leader in aggressive small business training program. Manages team of three business advisors. Oversees review and selection of new program participants, advises business owners (with revenues up to $20 million), executes curriculum both in class and with business owners individually, participates in final assessments of scholar success. Evaluates program success and provides appropriate feedback through designated measurement tools.

• Guides business owners and non-profit directors in developing 5-year growth plans with practical revenue growth goal forecasting and plan of execution.
• Assists scholar firms in implementing corporate discipline and best practices, in particular in the areas of financial recordkeeping and analysis, operations, negotiating, sales and marketing, and human resources.
• Cultivates relationships with Houston area organizations through relationship building, presentations and moderating speakers’ panels.
• Develops ongoing curriculum improvements with Babson College.
• Manages Goldman-Sachs Measurement and Evaluation process for Houston program.

Business Advisor 2011-2012
Launched new aggressive small business training program in conjunction with Goldman Sachs representatives and faculty from Babson College. Selected of new program participants, advised business owners (with revenues up to $4 million), executed curriculum both in class and with business owners individually, participated in final assessments of scholar success.

• Developed job responsibilities through position experience and work with Babson College
• Lead outreach meetings across Houston, promoted program though presentations and panel moderation. Developed relationships with partner organizations.

Franchise Innovators International LLC, Managing Partner 2010-present
Chief executive for business consulting and franchise development company that offers small businesses one-stop shopping services to grow their company.

• Currently launching brick & mortar/online tutoring franchise. Developed business plan, franchising documentation, training and operations manuals, social media and marketing strategies.
• Consult with small businesses to increase their efficiencies and grow top and bottom lines through better leadership, financial management and improved processes.
• Guest Speaker Franchise Expo South Show 2015

Picture Communications Inc., Vice President, Communications 2008-2010
Founding member of senior management team for startup videoconferencing franchisor. Wrote business plan, developed long-term corporate projections and managed the budget. Developed marketing strategies and brand; websites, print and online marketing initiatives, PR and advertising including web advertising, social media, SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Managed equipment integration and training.

• Developed franchise model with FTC-required franchise disclosure documents for national franchise chain, saving company $75,000.
• Developed robust financial projections and reporting for business plan, review by the board.

Santa Fe Music & Piano, President 2005-2010
Founded full-service music and piano retail store located in Santa Fe, NM. Developed wide selection of profit centers, including piano sales, rentals and repairs: band and orchestral instrument sales, rentals and repairs; music accessories, sheet music, and the Conservatory at Santa Fe Music & Piano, which offered music lessons on all instruments.

• Initiated and managed master classes, including those with Sir James Galway and Paul Edmund-Davies.
• Managed music store outreach programs for non-profit music organizations in Santa Fe.
• Negotiated contracts with major US music suppliers.
• Managed powerful marketing initiative through radio advertising state-wide.
• Featured in New Mexico Woman Magazine.

Fidelity Investments, Registered Investment Advisor Group,
Consultant 2002-2005
Reported to corporate management. Oversaw all marketing operations, executed marketing strategies, developed and implemented technology- rich communications to financial advisors, and directed fulfillment operations.

• Business process analysis and improvement in all areas of marketing, including content management, forms creation, inventory management, marketing communications project workflow improvement.
• Developed complex budget forecasting.
• Saved $820,000 in print and fulfillment expenses in one year.

MFS Investment Management 1989 – 2002

Vice President, Marketing Communications, Operations Technology
Spearheaded strategic planning for new technologies, oversaw the software development process. Projects included integration of print/web processes and digital content management, expanded and refined automated database publishing, and "straight through processing" of data/content publishing using XML. Developed and implemented creative new business workflows.

• Managed all procurement for hardware and software purchase.
• Participated in implementation of streaming video for live web casts for the corporate website.
• Cut marketing budget expenses by 5-8% per year.

Vice President, Dir. Production & Administrative, Marketing Communications
Managed department of 50 project managers, production, print-purchasing, graphic design and desktop publishing professionals. Managed Apple computer support team, purchased all desktop publishing equipment, oversaw corporate literature fulfillment and distribution, including aggressive vendor management, ongoing function analysis and restructuring of external fulfillment provider.
• Responsible for $20 million print/ fulfillment purchases, including paper acquisition for internal on-demand and external vendor printing.
• Directed aggressive print vendor negotiations, vendor management, volume discount programs and cost-cutting projects realizing 6-figure cost savings each year.

Assistant Vice President, Production Manager
Directed all sales and marketing print purchases, total annual volume of $4 million. Managed 3 direct reports, handled complicated print projects and coordinated mailings with outside service providers.
• Introduced Apple computers and integrated the first use of desktop publishing in the firm; adapted electronic file approvals into the existing workflow.

EDUCATION
Boston University, Bachelor of Arts in German Studies, Magna cum laude 3.75
Ludwig Maximillian Universitat, Munich, Germany, Junior Year Abroad, Wayne State University
Museum School, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Babson College, Certificate of Entrepreneurship

Languages
German, Latvian

Publications
“A Business Advisor Can Make the Difference”, Small Business Today magazine 2012

Affiliations
Christ the King Lutheran Church Choir
Latvian International Sorority “Zinta”
Houston Metal Arts Guild
Member, Houston Club
Former board member, Santa Fe Symphony Fanfare Foundation

Other Interests
Music: Flutist, former member Santa Fe Community Orchestra
Arts: Jewelry making, painting, Sarma of Santa Fe
Athletics: Zumba enthusiast, downhill skier