Giving voice to your brand

  • Our History
  • Our Team

Over the years, Taylor Johnson has represented public and private real estate companies in the areas of residential development and brokerage; commercial (office / retail / industrial) development and brokerage; hospitality; mixed-use; multi-family; property management; architecture and design; remodeling; LEED projects; real estate finance; institutional investment; real estate auctions; and senior living.


40 years, and counting…

Fun facts and images from the past and present.

  • Taylor Johnson was founded by Deborah Johnson, Emily Johnson’s mother. Deborah retired in 2008 and now Emily runs the company. The mother/daughter duo is pictured here, 2003.

  • Taylor Johnson’s most frequently asked question: “Where does the ‘Taylor’ come from?” It’s founder Deborah Johnson’s maiden name. Deborah is pictured here in her first corporate headshot in 1977. Yes — she was once a brunette.

  • Although she grew up in the business, Emily Johnson has formally been with the company for 23 years. Emily is pictured here during a grand opening event Taylor Johnson staged for Kaufman & Broad in 1978.

  • When she was 26 years old, Emily Johnson was featured on the cover of Today’s Chicago Woman. The day after this ran, a columnist at the Sun-Times wondered who the “young Hillary Clinton was” on the cover.  Emily wasn’t amused.

  • Judi Simon, Taylor Johnson’s most tenured employee, retired in 2004 after 23 years.  We miss you, Judi!

  • Taylor Johnson still has its very first client, Lexington Homes — a 40-year relationship. In 1979, Lexington Homes was the first developer to build a Vita Course. We invited the media to test it out and the story ran nationally. Although the relationship remains, the fashion styles have fortunately changed.

  • In 2003, Taylor Johnson helped launch Trump Tower in Chicago. The 600-person Private Preview event, along with the dozens of reporters that attended the press conference, had all of Chicago buzzing.

  • In 2011, Taylor Johnson swept the SAMMY awards with five out of five wins in the categories of public relations and integrated brand marketing. SAMMY awards are sponsored by the sales and marketing council of the HBAGC (Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago). Pictured here are Kim Manning, Taylor Johnson’s vice president, and Emily Johnson with their big haul.

  • “Do you do all that reading and writing for TJ TALK?” is a question Emily Johnson is often asked.  While she spearheads the effort, the entire Taylor Johnson staff is involved on a daily basis with sourcing the stories and events and writing the features. If you aren’t already subscribed to TJ TALK — a great resource for real estate news and events — be sure to sign up.

  • Taylor Johnson currently employs seventeen people and the account managers have a minimum of five years of real estate communications experience. The team is pictured here at Taylor Johnson’s summer party.


meet our team...

People want to work with people they like. At Taylor Johnson we surround ourselves with associates and A-list real estate clients who share our core values — trust, respect, professionalism and hard work. We take relationships seriously, which is why our associates stay around a while and why we still work with our very first client, a 40-year relationship. We come from diverse backgrounds, with different perspectives and different talents to contribute. We’re obsessive about continuing to raise the bar on our own performance. But we also know the importance of balance…that every once in a while we need to step away from what drives us to get traction on what moves us.

  • Emily Johnson

    President

    With Taylor Johnson since:  Birth.  My mother founded the company when I was five years old.

    The best professional advice I received was:  From the book Good to Great – “Get the right people on the bus”.  It’s all about the people.

    Favorite Halloween costume:  Marcia Brady – I looked just like her…and Axle Rose – I looked just like him.

    Click here to learn more about Emily

  • Kim Manning

    Vice President

    With Taylor Johnson since: 1999

    People around the office come to me for: Personally – movie reviews; Professionally – I’ve been doing this so long, I’m a walking real estate media database.

    When I was growing up I thought I’d be:  A gymnast, I mean journalist. (“When Harry Met Sally” fans will get this). Seriously, I thought I’d be a magazine writer in NYC.

    Click here to learn more about Kim

  • Abe Tekippe

    Public Relations Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since: 2014.

    The best professional advice I received was: Be a sponge – always try to learn something from the people and things around you.

    Three words that describe me are: outgoing, confident and open-minded.

    Click here to learn more about Abe

     

  • Sarah Lyons

    Senior Account Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since:  2006

    The worst job I ever had was: Working in the concessions stand at the local pool. More specifically, cleaning the nacho cheese dispenser at the end of each day.

    People around the office come to me for:  Proofreading and answers to tricky grammatical questions.

    Click here to learn more about Sarah

  • Kelly Shumaker

    Senior Account Manager

    The best professional advice I received was: “There are things in life that you can’t control – don’t waste your time, energy and sanity on them. You can only control your reaction to them – make your reaction worthy, smart and sane.”

    Three words that describe me are: Honest, dependable, determined

    Click here to learn more about Kelly

  • Sara Williams

    Senior Account Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since: 2015

    People around the office come to me for: peace, laughter and design insight.

    Three words that describe me are: authentic, pragmatic, sarcastic.

    Click here to learn more about Sara

  • Gretchen Muller

    Senior Account Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since: 2016

    Three words that describe me are: thoughtful, collaborative, fun

    When I was growing up I thought I’d be: a diplomat. I thought I might join the Foreign Service.

    Click here to learn more about Gretchen

  • Rebecca Boykin

    Senior Account Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since: 2016

    People around the office come to me for: Tips for story hooks

    Three words that describe me are: In a sentence: Calm under pressure

    Click here to learn more about Rebecca

  • Allen Johnson

    Senior Account Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since: 2017

    Three words that describe me are: Ready to eat!

    People around the office come to me for: Jokes. I know a LOT of jokes.

    Click here to learn more about Allen

     

     

     

  • Kathryn Kjarsgaard

    Senior Account Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since: 2003

    People around the office come to me for: Work-related: story ideas and TJ history. Food related: Restaurant recommendations and coffee creamer. I’m also always game for coffee and juice bar runs!

    Three words that describe me are: Loyal, caring and dependable.

    Click here to learn more about Kathryn

  • Robin Plous

    Senior Account Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since: 2017

    Three words that describe me are: friendly, organized and creative

    When I was growing up I thought I’d be: a lawyer because my dad and grandfather were in practice together.

    Click here to learn more about Robin

  • Traci Failla

    Senior Account Manager

    Best professional advice: You can learn something valuable from everyone you encounter.

    Favorite Halloween costume: Sharon Osbourne paired with my husband’s Ozzy

    Three words that describe me: Thinking, listening, diplomatic

    Click here to learn more about Traci

  • Paula Widholm

    Senior Writer

    With Taylor Johnson since: 2010.

    People around the office come to me for: quick turnaround on a news release.

    Three words that describe me are: hardworking, diligent, sincere.

    Click here to learn more about Paula

     

  • Nancy Swabb

    Events Director

    With Taylor Johnson since:  2014

    Three words that describe me are: curious, collaborative and focused.

    Proudest TJ moment:  after coordinating a client event for 1,000 guests, being hired to coordinate all their events year-round.

    Click here to learn more about Nancy

  • Julie Grange

    Office Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since:  2011

    People around the office come to me for:  A bit of everything.

    My guilty pleasure is:  Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch or Karamel Sutra or Pistachio Pistachio or Bonnaroo Buzz.  And Haagen-Dazs Pineapple Coconut.

    Click here to learn more about Julie

  • Mary Giovingo

    Accounting Manager

    With Taylor Johnson since: 2015

    Three words that describe me are: strong, caring and loveable.

    When I was growing up I thought I’d be:  a surgeon, until I learned I didn’t have the heart to see people suffering.

    Click here to learn more about Mary

40 years, and counting…

Fun facts and images from the past and present.

Taylor Johnson was founded by Deborah Johnson, Emily Johnson’s mother. Deborah retired in 2008 and now Emily runs the company. The mother/daughter duo is pictured here, 2003.

Taylor Johnson’s most frequently asked question: “Where does the ‘Taylor’ come from?” It’s founder Deborah Johnson’s maiden name. Deborah is pictured here in her first corporate headshot in 1977. Yes — she was once a brunette.

Although she grew up in the business, Emily Johnson has formally been with the company for 23 years. Emily is pictured here during a grand opening event Taylor Johnson staged for Kaufman & Broad in 1978.

When she was 26 years old, Emily Johnson was featured on the cover of Today’s Chicago Woman. The day after this ran, a columnist at the Sun-Times wondered who the “young Hillary Clinton was” on the cover.  Emily wasn’t amused.

Judi Simon, Taylor Johnson’s most tenured employee, retired in 2004 after 23 years.  We miss you, Judi!

Taylor Johnson still has its very first client, Lexington Homes — a 40-year relationship. In 1979, Lexington Homes was the first developer to build a Vita Course. We invited the media to test it out and the story ran nationally. Although the relationship remains, the fashion styles have fortunately changed.

In 2003, Taylor Johnson helped launch Trump Tower in Chicago. The 600-person Private Preview event, along with the dozens of reporters that attended the press conference, had all of Chicago buzzing.

In 2011, Taylor Johnson swept the SAMMY awards with five out of five wins in the categories of public relations and integrated brand marketing. SAMMY awards are sponsored by the sales and marketing council of the HBAGC (Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago). Pictured here are Kim Manning, Taylor Johnson’s vice president, and Emily Johnson with their big haul.

“Do you do all that reading and writing for TJ TALK?” is a question Emily Johnson is often asked.  While she spearheads the effort, the entire Taylor Johnson staff is involved on a daily basis with sourcing the stories and events and writing the features. If you aren’t already subscribed to TJ TALK — a great resource for real estate news and events — be sure to sign up.

Taylor Johnson currently employs seventeen people and the account managers have a minimum of five years of real estate communications experience. The team is pictured here at Taylor Johnson’s summer party.


meet our team...

People want to work with people they like. At Taylor Johnson we surround ourselves with associates and A-list real estate clients who share our core values — trust, respect, professionalism and hard work. We take relationships seriously, which is why our associates stay around a while and why we still work with our very first client, a 40-year relationship. We come from diverse backgrounds, with different perspectives and different talents to contribute. We’re obsessive about continuing to raise the bar on our own performance. But we also know the importance of balance…that every once in a while we need to step away from what drives us to get traction on what moves us.

Emily Johnson

President

With Taylor Johnson since:  Birth.  My mother founded the company when I was five years old.

The best professional advice I received was:  From the book Good to Great – “Get the right people on the bus”.  It’s all about the people.

Favorite Halloween costume:  Marcia Brady – I looked just like her…and Axle Rose – I looked just like him.

Click here to learn more about Emily

Kim Manning

Vice President

With Taylor Johnson since: 1999

People around the office come to me for: Personally – movie reviews; Professionally – I’ve been doing this so long, I’m a walking real estate media database.

When I was growing up I thought I’d be:  A gymnast, I mean journalist. (“When Harry Met Sally” fans will get this). Seriously, I thought I’d be a magazine writer in NYC.

Click here to learn more about Kim

Abe Tekippe

Public Relations Manager

With Taylor Johnson since: 2014.

The best professional advice I received was: Be a sponge – always try to learn something from the people and things around you.

Three words that describe me are: outgoing, confident and open-minded.

Click here to learn more about Abe

 

Sarah Lyons

Senior Account Manager

With Taylor Johnson since:  2006

The worst job I ever had was: Working in the concessions stand at the local pool. More specifically, cleaning the nacho cheese dispenser at the end of each day.

People around the office come to me for:  Proofreading and answers to tricky grammatical questions.

Click here to learn more about Sarah

Kelly Shumaker

Senior Account Manager

The best professional advice I received was: “There are things in life that you can’t control – don’t waste your time, energy and sanity on them. You can only control your reaction to them – make your reaction worthy, smart and sane.”

Three words that describe me are: Honest, dependable, determined

Click here to learn more about Kelly

Sara Williams

Senior Account Manager

With Taylor Johnson since: 2015

People around the office come to me for: peace, laughter and design insight.

Three words that describe me are: authentic, pragmatic, sarcastic.

Click here to learn more about Sara

Gretchen Muller

Senior Account Manager

With Taylor Johnson since: 2016

Three words that describe me are: thoughtful, collaborative, fun

When I was growing up I thought I’d be: a diplomat. I thought I might join the Foreign Service.

Click here to learn more about Gretchen

Rebecca Boykin

Senior Account Manager

With Taylor Johnson since: 2016

People around the office come to me for: Tips for story hooks

Three words that describe me are: In a sentence: Calm under pressure

Click here to learn more about Rebecca

Allen Johnson

Senior Account Manager

With Taylor Johnson since: 2017

Three words that describe me are: Ready to eat!

People around the office come to me for: Jokes. I know a LOT of jokes.

Click here to learn more about Allen

 

 

 

Kathryn Kjarsgaard

Senior Account Manager

With Taylor Johnson since: 2003

People around the office come to me for: Work-related: story ideas and TJ history. Food related: Restaurant recommendations and coffee creamer. I’m also always game for coffee and juice bar runs!

Three words that describe me are: Loyal, caring and dependable.

Click here to learn more about Kathryn

Robin Plous

Senior Account Manager

With Taylor Johnson since: 2017

Three words that describe me are: friendly, organized and creative

When I was growing up I thought I’d be: a lawyer because my dad and grandfather were in practice together.

Click here to learn more about Robin

Traci Failla

Senior Account Manager

Best professional advice: You can learn something valuable from everyone you encounter.

Favorite Halloween costume: Sharon Osbourne paired with my husband’s Ozzy

Three words that describe me: Thinking, listening, diplomatic

Click here to learn more about Traci

Paula Widholm

Senior Writer

With Taylor Johnson since: 2010.

People around the office come to me for: quick turnaround on a news release.

Three words that describe me are: hardworking, diligent, sincere.

Click here to learn more about Paula

 

Nancy Swabb

Events Director

With Taylor Johnson since:  2014

Three words that describe me are: curious, collaborative and focused.

Proudest TJ moment:  after coordinating a client event for 1,000 guests, being hired to coordinate all their events year-round.

Click here to learn more about Nancy

Julie Grange

Office Manager

With Taylor Johnson since:  2011

People around the office come to me for:  A bit of everything.

My guilty pleasure is:  Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch or Karamel Sutra or Pistachio Pistachio or Bonnaroo Buzz.  And Haagen-Dazs Pineapple Coconut.

Click here to learn more about Julie

Mary Giovingo

Accounting Manager

With Taylor Johnson since: 2015

Three words that describe me are: strong, caring and loveable.

When I was growing up I thought I’d be:  a surgeon, until I learned I didn’t have the heart to see people suffering.

Click here to learn more about Mary

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