Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Rob Taylor Named Coronado Rotary President

Rob Taylor
Coronado Rotary President Rob Taylor

Rotary Club of Coronado has a new president with a long history in Coronado, a talent for math and an abiding curiosity about the world.

Rob Taylor was born in Washington, DC, but soon moved to Coronado when his dad, a Naval officer, was stationed here. Rob’s father passed away when Rob was four years old, and the family settled in Coronado where Rob attended school, graduating in 1962. Rob had started school one year early, skipped a grade in high school and graduated at age 16. His desire to follow in his father’s footsteps led him to apply to the US Naval Academy, where he was rejected for being colorblind. Graduating from MIT and UCLA with degrees in mathematics, his talents for math and the French language were to guide his career.

Computers were a new field when Rob got his master’s degree. He joined Hughes Aircraft, programming training screens for weapons officers learning to use their armaments and anti-radar tools, followed by a satellite telemetry project. He soon changed jobs to work for Xerox, which at the time aimed to compete with IBM in the nascent mainframe computer field. When Xerox got out of the computer business, Rob found himself between jobs. A fraternity brother told him about a technical writing job with another department in Xerox, translating French software manuals into English, paid by the page. Rob’s rare combination of technical knowledge coupled with his French skills made him invaluable. He had the good fortune to be brought on full time and transferred to work in Paris for two years.

Transferring from Paris to Los Angeles with Xerox, he transitioned to the financial side of the business and gained expertise in programming APL, a computer language associated with complex financial transactions. He was soon transferred to Corporate Finance in Rochester, NY and Stamford, CT, eventually completing 18 years with Xerox.

Rob then took a position with Morgan Stanley, where he joined the “Black Box” project, an early algorithmic programmed trading system that generated “buy/sell” transactions for the stock market. Other assignments at Morgan Stanley included stints on the trading floor supporting other systems for trading bonds, futures, and equities. But he smiled recalling his most satisfying project: supporting and enhancing the software for trading foreign exchange options. It was a small part of Morgan Stanley’s business, but trading was constantly active in either New York, London, or Hong Kong. Because timing was all-important for these worldwide transactions, he was always on-call. When Y2K occurred, Rob spent a month in Hong Kong to troubleshoot any issues with the date function, bringing his family along for a serendipitous Asian getaway.

Rob retired in 2009 after 21 years with Morgan Stanley and moved back to Coronado with his wife, Mary, and daughters, two of whom now live in Manhattan and one of whom lives in Paris. He is a strong believer in the Rotary student exchange program, having hosted four students. Additional exchange students stayed during several summers. Watching these exchange students blossom during their experience here in Coronado has been a great source of satisfaction for Rob.

Rob has been a Rotarian for eleven years and is an active member of 10 committees. When asked who was most influential to him in Rotary, he quickly responded that his sponsor, Walt Heinecke, set a fine standard for commitment to Rotary ideals. Rob indicated that the reason he joined Rotary was to meet amazing and talented people and to work as a team member on projects that make the world a better place.