Like her fellow honorees, it’s astounding that Martine Taylor finds time to sleep.
Currently she is the executive director of South Shore Habitat for Humanity and also serves on the board of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, Boston; volunteers with her church (First Baptist Church, Needham); is chair of the Religious and Cultural Committee of the Ocean Park Association and is co-chair of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.
And that’s just her nonprofit work. In the for-profit sector, she’s worked as a tax analyst, office manager and pre-school teacher. It’s natural to wonder: how does she find the energy?
“The energy comes from knowing that you’re making a difference,” she said. “You make choices – you have to be selective in what you apply yourself to – but it helps to know that you’re advancing missions. … You have to focus on those who are here with you now and how you can help make things better for the world around you.”
It’s this sentiment that motivates her to give herself completely over to the organizations and causes for which she volunteers. It’s a sense of selflessness that she believes is required “not only for nonprofits, but in the for-profit sector as well. You need to be able to give yourself completely to a mission.”
This dedication manifests itself in tangible ways, like the South Shore Habitat’s expanded reach and new community initiatives. One such initiative is the ReStore – a donation center and construction store that’s open to the public. Customers can pick up new and used building supplies – including recycled latex paint – at a discount, with all proceeds benefitting South Shore Habitat. Taylor has also organized partnerships with local businesses, such as Cape Cod Lumber, to expand Habitat’s name and mission throughout the community.
She’s quick to credit this success with the people works with – especially the volunteers – and greatly looks forward to advancing the impact Habitat for Humanity has for her part of New England and beyond. While she’s honored to receive the acknowledgement of being a Woman of FIRE, she’s more thrilled at the fact that the nonprofit sector is being represented. True to her sense of purpose, she wants to use this space as a call to action for women to get involved; “as powerful women, we need to look for other powerful women who aren’t in the nonprofit sector, but can be – they could be a tremendous benefit to the community,” she said.
A graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a degree in family studies, when she has spare time – which isn’t often – Taylor enjoys spending it at the beach in Maine with her black lab, George.