Donor Spotlight: Joanie and Zach Taylor



     Joanie and Zach Taylor

    Joanie and Zach Taylor 

    Westcott Associates

    How they got involved with WHF:  Joanie and Zach have watched many friends and family members journey through the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and sadly, as so many of us do, they've lost several close family members and friends to the disease.  Their membership with the Foundation is a “labor of love” in honor and in memory of those loved ones.  They believe the Cancer Institute is a major accomplishment for this community, and will bring many opportunities to the city and to patients and their families.  Joanie and Zach state, “The ability for patients to receive their treatment close to home will save both on their expenses as well as increase their support system during this challenging time.  This state-of-the-art project should make every resident in Dalton proud.  The giving programs allow all of us to be part of this project.” 

    Current involvement with WHF: Joanie and Zach each have their own membership as Westcott Associates with the Foundation. Joanie serves on our Westcott Associate Committee where she has added several new members to the Foundation as well as a new Hamilton Business Alliance member. Zach was featured on our recent video for Giving Tuesday in November, and also recently gave a continuing medical education talk in the Brown Conference Center on the Zika Virus to current and retired Hamilton physicians and staff.

    Background:  Joanie grew up in Toledo, Ohio and moved to the Atlanta area in 1971.  Zach grew up in LaGrange, Georgia.  Joanie and Zach were married in 1995 and lived in the Atlanta and Denver metropolitan areas before moving to Dalton in 2015. 

    Education and Work: Joanie attended the University of Toledo and Ohio State University.  She recently retired after a 42-year career as a dental technician.  Zach attended LaGrange College and the Medical College of Georgia, and completed post graduate medical training at the University of Kentucky and the University of Maryland.  Zach served 30 years as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, retiring at the rank of Rear Admiral in 2015.  After retirement from the USPHS, Zach took a position as the North Georgia District Health Director located here in Dalton. 

    Family: Zach has two children, Ben and Maggie, with Joanie as a loving step-mother.  Ben lives in Duluth, Georgia, and in his work, maintains office buildings.  Maggie is married to a minister, Bobby Raulerson, and lives in Orlando and has two children, Jon and Ellie.  Joanie has two sisters, a twin Jane who lives in Peachtree City, and an older sister Lynn who lives in Phoenix.   Zach has two sisters, Betsy, who lives in Dahlonega, and Amanda, who lives in Marietta. In addition, according to Zach and Joanie, "There are nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and nephews too numerous to count scattered across the country."

    Activities and Interests: Joanie is loving retirement and having time to give back to the community.  She has jumped into local volunteering with United Way, DOC-UP, First United Methodist Church, local nursing homes, and lucky for us, Whitfield Healthcare Foundation.  Her greatest fear is being bored.  Joanie coached Special Olympics for 10 years in Atlanta and was awarded the National Volunteer Award by Eunice Shriver.  She also was a Red Cross Disaster Relief volunteer during her years in Atlanta.  She loves to play tennis, ski, snowshoe and travel.  Zach, on the other hand, states that he “has about half of her energy.” However, we do know that Zach enjoys hiking, fishing and camping, and has traveled to every state in the U.S. He became an Eagle Scout at age 15, and is a member of Dalton Rotary Club. 

    Why You Choose to Give to WHF: Joanie and Zach initially joined as a couple to support the Cancer Institute campaign.  When Joanie was asked to become a Westcott Associate Committee member she hesitated briefly as she was new to the community and did not have many contacts.  However, since Joanie has never met a stranger, she dived in, and her belief in our organization has made it easy for her to promote our cause.  Recently, Joanie decided to have her own additional membership in memory of Zach’s mother, her father, and her niece, as a gift to Zach and both of their families.  They believe that this gift is a great way to celebrate someone’s life.    

    What Excites You About the Cancer Institute: “The Cancer Institute will be a gift to this community.  Whatever the community puts into making this dream a reality will be given back to us with improved care for cancer patients and their families, and enhancement of the community overall.  The Cancer Institute will help Dalton establish the city and surrounding community as an excellent place in which to work and live.  We are proud to be a part of this effort.”

    Joanie and Zach, you’ve impressed all of us at the Foundation and in the community with your can-do spirit and service to others. Although you have lived here only a short time, it is remarkable to see all of the places where you are already making an impact. We are indeed fortunate that you have joined the Foundation to promote the best in health care for our community. We are grateful for your support, and count you among our strongest supporters for your voice, and generosity of time, talents and resources. You are the consummate cheerleaders and advocates for our new Cancer Institute, and we are blessed beyond measure to have you on this journey with us.