2020 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Vernon M. Taylor, SHRM-CP

Nov. 24, 2020

Vernon M. Taylor is the director of human resources for JFK International Air Terminal LLC, the operator of Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport. He leads efforts to keep the organization focused on its core mission to make JFKIAT a top-ranked Best Place to Work, driving strategy to develop both personnel and organizational capabilities.

“The transportation industry has always seemed to find me,” he said. “I started with vehicles, then buses and now airplanes.”

Taylor pioneered the establishment of JFKIAT’s corporate HR department and built it from the ground up, implementing new HR policies and providing employees with a wide range of resources and benefits.

He also led efforts to implement the company’s first human resources management system, led the company’s first employee engagement survey and is currently establishing its first learning management system. The department was founded on the belief that human capital is JFKIAT’s greatest asset.

He consistently counsels personnel to encourage their development of professional skills and finds new ways to engage employees. He has scaled these efforts to establish a mentorship program to provide opportunities for employees to learn from their peers.

“I think it is important that we see more diversity in leadership roles across the aviation industry,” he said.

Taylor is also chair of JFKIAT’s 4GOOD Committee, which is aimed at promoting educational, social and professional success, driven by the mission that a strong community yields a strong future.

He shifted the program’s activity to focus on the local community, ensuring that JFKIAT is an active partner in the borough of Queens that the company calls home.

Taylor cultivated JFKIAT’s relationships with several local organizations and  continued a long-standing partnership with Virgil I. Grissom Middle School to facilitate donations of book bags, school supplies and more than 40 computers to the school’s students and participated in programs with students throughout the school year.

Within the last year alone, JFKIAT donated 100 turkeys to Bethany Baptist Church for Thanksgiving to help feed dozens of families in Jamaica, Queens; worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens to raise money for the club’s educational and recreational programs, and raised a total of $168K to benefit several causes, including the NY Burn Center, the American Cancer Society, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.