Joe Taylor is a life-long resident of South Carolina. While a student at Wofford College, he helped found Southland Log Homes along with his father. At age 25, he became president and CEO and eventually built the company into the largest producer of pre-cut log buildings in North America. He sold the company into the private equity market in 2005.
Joe was appointed by Governor Mark Sanford to chair the South Carolina Jobs Economic Development Authority in 2003. In 2006, Governor Sanford appointed him Secretary of Commerce. During his term, South Carolina was recognized as being one of the country’s top business friendly states and led the Southeast in job recruitment in 2009 and 2010. He led the team that recruited the largest economic development project in State history and the national economic development deal of the year in 2009, The Boeing Company’s selection of Charleston, South Carolina, and the national economic development deal of the year in 2010, First Quality Tissue in Anderson, SC. 2010 continues to rank as the top year in South Carolina history for the number of new jobs recruited to the state. After his term with Commerce ended in 2011, Joe was appointed to the State Infrastructure Bank Board by Senator Hugh Leatherman and his term ended in February 2019.
He has held or currently holds ownership positions in the ready-mix concrete business, banks, advertising and various real estate developments.
Joe has served on the boards of Wofford College, Synovus Bank of South Carolina, Capital Concrete, and the SC National Guard Foundation. He was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Mark Sanford, an honorary Doctorate from Wofford College, and the Distinguished Service award from the S.C. Coaches Association. He is married to Amanda Walker Taylor and they have two adult children. They are all members of the First Presbyterian Church.