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TCC alumna selected 2016 Virginia Small Business Person of the Year

Caroline Taylor

Hometown: Virginia Beach

TCC degree: The Kempsville High graduate earned an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing in 1991. Taylor is the first in her family to earn a college degree.

Professional: Taylor founded Taylor Made Diagnostics in 1995 and today is its president. The South Norfolk occupational health services company provides drug testing and a mobile occupational medical unit to serve businesses onsite. Among the services provided are pre-placement and industry-specific physicals; audiograms, vaccines and X-rays; CPR and First Aid training; and all clinical testing.

After working as a registered nurse at Sentara Leigh Hospital and in home health, Taylor started her own company to create a balance that allowed her to spend more time with her son, Dylan. Her company’s clients include the City of Norfolk, Norfolk Southern, United States Merchants Marines and just recently, TCC.

Accolades: Taylor was selected 2016 Virginia Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Taylor Made Diagnostics was named City of Chesapeake Business of the Year in 2015. In 2011, she earned the Inside Business Women in Business Achievement Award.

Why TCC? “I knew it was the smart choice because I was paying for everything.”

At TCC: “The first class I took was chemistry. I told myself, ‘If I can’t pass chemistry, I can’t be a nurse.’ I passed chemistry and loved my teacher. When I went into Anatomy and Physiology classes, I was like a sponge. It really was a journey at TCC, and I learned so much.”

Giving back: The staff of Taylor Made Diagnostics includes three TCC graduates and a current nursing student from the college. Taylor recently took part in an educational panel at the college that provided insight into nursing and business. Taylor Made Diagnostics is also active in supporting the South Norfolk community and the Help and Emergency Response (HER) shelter.

On her business success: “Whenever you decide to start a business, make sure you’re solving a problem. It’s got to be a big enough problem to make your business viable.”

Advice for a potential TCC student: “Whatever field you’re in, don’t stop learning. Continue to grow in your fund of knowledge by whatever means it takes. If you don’t learn, you become stagnant and the world is ever-changing.”

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