Scott Taylor

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Vice President

Scott Taylor is vice president and chairman of Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. Scott and his wife, Katey, are parents of four daughters, one of whom is Abbey Taylor. On June 29, 2007, 6-year-old Abbey was disemboweled by a faulty drain in a wading pool. Over the next nine months she would endure 16 surgeries and a triple-organ transplant, before finally losing her battle in March 2008.

Abbey's hope was that what happened to her would never happen to another child. In her name, the Taylors formed Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation in July 2008.

Scott has worked in the financial communications industry for more than 19 years. Currently, he is vice president, sales for the Merrill Corporation. Previously, he worked as a sales executive at R.R. Donnelley. Prior to that, he served as the senior vice president of sales for Bowne & Co. He worked at Merrill in an earlier stint as an account manager and project manager.

Scott attended Minnesota State University at Mankato, studying business marketing and industrial psychology. Scott has volunteered with several local nonprofit charitable organizations, including Children's HeartLink, Child Guidance Program at Washburn Center for Children, and Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. Additionally, he has been very active in local fundraising by attending and donating to several charitable events each year, including Children's Cancer Research Fund, and the Children's Miracle Network among others.

 

Katey Taylor

President

Katey Taylor is president and co-founder of the Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. Katey had been a "typical" stay-at-home mom until June 29, 2007. It was on that summer evening that one of her four daughters, 6-year-old Abbey, was disemboweled by a faulty drain in a wading pool. Over the next nine months Abbey would endure 16 surgeries and a triple-organ transplant, before finally losing her battle in March 2008.

Abbey's hope was that what happened to her would never happen to another child. In her name, the Taylors formed Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation in July 2008. To fulfill Abbey's legacy, Katey and her husband, Scott, work to advocate for children and to educate parents, community leaders and others of the dangers in and around pools.

Katey has a Bachelor of Science degree in family education, child protection and public health from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. In December 2008, Katey received her Certified Pool/Spa Operator (CPO) certification from the National Swimming Pool Foundation. She serves on the Advisory Board of Minnesota SafeKids, is a member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, and a member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

 

Kim Ess

Treasurer

Kimberly Ess is the Treasurer and a director of the Foundation. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson P.A., a mid-sized law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more than ten years, Kim has been in charge of the everyday operations of the firm, including the areas of Finance, Human Resources, Information Systems, Marketing, Office Services and Research Systems. She is directly involved in strategic plan development and implementation, short and long-term financial planning, and hiring decisions. Prior to joining Halleland Lewis, Kim was a Certified Public Accountant in the Audit and Small Business Services Departments of Boulay, Heutmaker, Zibell & Co. PLLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Her experience includes rendering interim accounting and tax planning for various sized businesses, providing controllership services on a short-term or transitory basis specializing in general ledger management, internal accounting procedures, payroll, employee benefit plan administration, financial statement preparation and analysis, and coordinating various attestation engagements for non-profit companies.

Kim received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Minnesota State University at Mankato and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She became a licensed CPA in 1993, although her CPA license is currently inactive.

  

Senator Geoff Michel

Secretary

Senator Michel is the Secretary and director of the Foundation. Senator Michel is currently serving his third term in the Minnesota Senate. Geoff is the current chair of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Committee, Chair of the Subcommittee on Redistricting, Vice Chair of the Taxes Committee representing District 41 (Edina), and a member of the Rules Committee. He is also a Co-Chair for the Early Childhood Caucus and the Cancer Caucus. 

In 2006, Senator Michel was the chief author of the Gopher Stadium bill, bringing football back to campus at the University of Minnesota. In 2008, he proudly sponsored the Abigail Taylor Pool Safety Act, requiring stricter standards for pool drains in public pools in order to maximize safety. The pool and spa safety legislation passed that same year with the support of the Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. Senator Michel is also a past board member for the Minnesota Children's Museum and Edina Soccer Club. 

Geoff lives in Edina with his wife, Annie and their four daughters Ellie, Lexie, Olivia, and Cassie.

 

Andy Olsen

Board Member

Berthel A. Olsen (Andy) is a director of the Foundation. Andy is a cofounder of Carlson Olsen Financial Partners, a financial and investment planning firm. He has been in the financial services industry since 1997, beginning his career with RBC Wealth Management. Prior to 1997, Andy spent three years with Arthur Andersen & Company in the small business consulting division and 14 years with Kimberly Clark Corporation in finance and brand management/marketing. His 25-plus years of diverse business and life experiences give him the ability to look at issues differently, ask the right questions and ultimately provide a well-rounded approach to creating the "right solutions" for clients based upon needs in a given situation.

His philosophy is built around doing the "next right thing" for his clients, acting with independence and integrity always. Andy has earned designations as both a Certified Financial Planner and an Accredited Asset Management Specialist. As a believer in ongoing continued life learning, he has recently begun working on his Certified Management Investment Consultant designation through The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sonja Brown

Board Member

As a Minnesota native; Sonja spent her summers swimming everyday in Lake Minnewashta. All of her time spent in water naturally led her to becoming captain of her high school swim team and member of her college team. During college, she spent many summers teaching water aerobics, swimming lessons and lifeguarding. Enjoying  and being safe in water is one of her passions.

Sonja has twenty years working in business development and marketing communications. As a consultant, she works with not-for-profits, start-ups and established businesses helping them identify and implement innovative strategic growth opportunities. As an entrepreneur herself, Sonja currently runs a swimming school for children and adults. She specializes in teaching using a sensory method that helps students with special needs, primarily those with autism, learn to swim. She is very proud of one of her clients who recently qualified for nationals with the Special Olympics.

Sonja is the mother of two sons and two daughters. She lives in Minnetonka, Minnesota with her husband and youngest daughter. During the summer, you will still find her at the lake, either swimming or playing in their 1959 classic wooden boat.      

Dr. Erika Malvey-Dorn

Board Member

Dr. Erika Malvey-Dorn is a pediatrician and President of All About Children Pediatrics in Eden Prairie. She is board-certified in pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Erika is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School and enjoys teaching medical students about all aspects of pediatric care. Erika has also been a member of the Help Me Grow organization, working to effectively provide early childhood intervention services for children with developmental delays and chronic medical illnesses. Erika strives to provide the best medical care to all of her patients and their families, and routinely discusses healthy living and safety.      

Erika received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Wellesley College. She then graduated from Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Minnesota, with a Ph.D. in Immunology in 1998 and her M.D. in 2000. She lives in Edina with her husband and three active children.  

Pam Conlow

Board Member

Pam Conlow joined the board of directors in 2015.  Pam has worked in the financial communications industry for over 30 years.  In December, 2015, she retired as Vice President of Sales from R.R. Donnelley.   Prior to that she worked as Senior Vice President of Sales for Bowne of Minnesota and Merrill Corporation. Pam attended The College of St. Catherine’s and the University of Minnesota studying Psychology and Chemical Dependency Counselling.  Pam has worked with several non-profit charitable organizations including PaceMake 5000, a non-profit fund-raising organization benefiting Children’s Hospital and Clinic and Children’s Heartlink Foundation on its fund-raising committee.  Pam has also been on several mission trips with Healing Haiti Foundation, a non-profit organization ministering to Haitian people.  In her retirement, Pam’s focus is on volunteering, serving and giving back.

 

Mollie AHCF Board of Directors

Mollie Pierce

Board Member

Mollie Pierce joined the board of directors in 2016. Mollie is a firm believer in taking proactive measures to prevent harm in and around the water and spent many years practicing this as a lifeguard and water safety instructor. Though she did not know the Taylor family until after Abbey’s accident, Mollie vividly remembers hearing the story on the news and was determined to find a way to help. Mollie met Scott and Katey Taylor in 2008 and has been involved with Abbey’s Hope ever since. Over the years, she has dedicated her time to support the mission of the foundation by participating in numerous safety awareness events around the community, taking to social media to promote Safer Pools. Safer Kids. and has served on the Golf Committee as Volunteer Coordinator. Mollie attended the University of Minnesota and received a BA in journalism and a minor in management. She completed the Technology Leadership Program at Target Corporation and spent the remainder of her five years there on a project to replace end-of-life contact center systems with Salesforce Service Cloud. She recently joined an IT consulting firm in Minneapolis and enjoys traveling, playing piano, and spending time with family/friends.

The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.


More water safety tips