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Second Careers: Museum CEO

She became a steward of history

Andrea L. Taylor, CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, in front of a museum exhibit

Dustin Cohen

ANDREA L. TAYLOR, 70 | $100,000 a year

Home: Birmingham, Ala.

Previous life: Corporate philanthropist for Microsoft

“Say yes to new challenges.”

How she did it: I contacted a search consultant about applying for a media position. He told me about another position he was looking to fill. I never imagined myself as a CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but I told him I was interested. My past work with civic, educational and tech organizations helps. My philanthropic background is critical for building capacity.

What she learned: This job involves growing membership and the institute’s profile.

What you need to know:  Say yes to new challenges. The interviewers here were intrigued that someone at my age would be interested. My friends are retired, but it’s taking me longer to feel ready.  I keep going by being flexible, and never burning bridges.

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