About Gene and Jo Ann Taylor, Co-founders and Owners
The Walking Connection is the brainchild of Jo Ann. Her concept for our program began as early as 1985. It started with personal and professional changes she had made in her own life. Step one for her (no pun intended) was begin living a healthy and active lifestyle. Step two was to begin to share those changes with other people and teach them how to use the same principles to positively affect their own lives. Step three was to figure out how to create a business that would allow us to accomplish Step two on a long-term basis, hence the birth of the Walking Connection.
Jo Ann Taylor. She is the originator of the concepts that became what is now the Walking Connection. She coordinates membership services and oversees data base management. She writes and edits Walking Connection Going Places and Walk Talk Newsletters and membership communications. She creates and manages marketing programs and special events and leads our public relations programs. She is a specialized motivational speaker on health, fitness and active lifestyles. Though out of print now, she is the author of both a book and video entitled How To Get The Most From Your Walk. She has been featured in numerous publications including Walking Magazine and served as national spokesperson for an international non-profit organization.
Working with our travel partners, Jo Ann originates and creates all of The Walking Connection Adventure Travel departures. As well, she is the primary leader of all new itineraries offered and the lead trainer for all Walking Connection guides and staff.
Gene Taylor. He is the business manager. He splits the day-to-day operations management. He also handles the computer network development, operations and Internet communications. He oversees new business development, designs, edits and writes for both the newsletter and web sites. For the travel program he manages vendor contracts, assists in research and tour development, customer service, promotional material development and tour fulfillment. Occasionally he co-hosts trips.
In addition to walking, hiking and mountain biking, Gene has a passion for golf, travel photography and cooking.
We met in 1973 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona from upstate New York in 1979. We have been ‘walking’ together for more than 40 years.
Our passion for travel – exploring the world in “Walking Connection Style” has lead to many personal discoveries for both Gene and Jo Ann. One of the most important is that they strive to “give more than they take” when visiting various places around the world. They always seek out small villages, special schools and children’s programs where they can donate educational supplies, over-the-counter medicines and personal items that will help them. They take time to visit with them, learn about their lives and share ours with them.
“Our greatest rewards come to us in the form of the smiles we see on the faces of our traveling guests, from the note or card of thanks we receive, the letter or e-mail letting us know how we have positively contributed to someone’s life – and most importantly, from the friendships of the people we have met and their willingness to share their lives with us.”
“Come Walk With Us,” is a sincere invitation that Gene and Jo Ann have offered to people worldwide for many years. It is genuine and comes from our hearts! Whether we are home, visiting the area where you live or traveling the world, we want to share it with you and we hope YOU will Come Walk With Us!”
To read about the Walking Connection History, Step Here!