Christopher Taylor, Smoothie Stop Cafe – The Virginia Pilot

Age: 38

Job title: Partner

At work: As an associate at Smoothie Stop, I am responsible for the company’s strategic growth plan on Hampton Roads. I work closely with the other partners and team leaders to generate revenue and coordinate day-to-day store operations. We have a diverse staff, so I spend a lot of time identifying and developing talented people so they can develop their unique skills. I’m also currently running for Virginia Beach City Council. When I’m not at one of the Smoothie Stop locations assisting team members, you can find me in the community volunteering or working to learn more about District 8.

Home and family: I was born and raised in Virginia Beach where I attended First Colonial High School and graduated in 2002. My family and I live in the Kings Grant/Little Neck area. We have deep roots and that’s where I’m raising my family today. My wife, Kim, and I have been married for seven years. We have two young sons, Caleb and Christian, who are 5 and 3 years old.

Volunteer activities: I am currently volunteering at the YMCA of Hampton Roads as a youth basketball coach. I also enjoy mentoring the young people of Virginia Beach. One of my passions is mentoring other local small business owners looking for help to grow their business. There are no guardrails for small business owners; many times, we just have to figure it out. Connecting with other business people helps highlight areas we can improve. I feel that I have a responsibility to also share with others.

Inside business

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Economic News for the Hampton Roads Area

Motivating factor: I am very motivated by my family and the local community. I realized at a young age that I had to be someone my family could rely on and trust. It’s the same in the community. As a coach, I have developed relationships with current and former players. I always want to be someone they can call for advice or guidance.

Advice for young people: Be quick to listen and slow to speak. The lessons that helped me the most came from a place of focus where I listened carefully and digested what was being shown to me.

Professional goal in five years: For our small business to continue to grow and provide employment opportunities for the local economy. I hope to serve the citizens of Virginia Beach as an alderman for the eighth precinct, helping to bring positive change to the city.

The only thing I would change about Hampton Roads: Economic development opportunities for small businesses owned by veterans, women and minorities. There are many talented small business owners right here in Hampton Roads.

The greatest asset of the region: Our people. Our region is blessed with a strong and diverse population of talented people. Clear communication with each other is how we develop this asset. When we set a goal and create a clear action plan, people always rise to the occasion.

Break time : I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, biking and teaching sports to my children. Kid-free dates with Kim are always a win!

What really sticks with me: Partiality. It is very important to treat people equally and without bias.

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