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Building a monster on the agenda at fifth-annual meeting

He built a monster of a company via technology, so it’s only fitting that Jeff Taylor, founder and chief monster of Monster.com, will keynote the fifth-annual Conference on High Technology November 10 at the Marriott in downtown Jackson.

Taylor had been focusing business strategies on grand ideas and technological efficiencies for his high-tech clients when a client told him in the fall of 1993: “No more big ideas. I want a monster idea!”

“I woke up at 4:30 a.m. from a dream that I built a bulletin board system where people could look for jobs,” said Taylor, then head of his own recruitment ad agency, Adion. “In the dark, I wrote down on a pad next to my bed, ‘The Monster Board.’ Realizing that in the morning I wouldn’t be able to read what I had written, I got out of bed, went to a coffee shop, and at five in the morning designed a lot of concept and interface we’re still using today.”

Taylor’s “monster idea” emerged as one of the first dot-com companies on the Web (No. 454) and is now the world’s leading online career site. The Monster global network consists of local content and language sites in 21 countries and serves more than 14 million visitors monthly.

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Harvard Business School, Taylor is a frequent speaker on the college circuit and at technology, advertising and human capital conferences hosted by noted organizations such as Forrester Research, 21st Century Workforce Summit, The Society for Human Resources Management and The Working Women Network. A board director for Junior Achievement on the state (Massachusetts) and national level, he also serves on the board of Boston’s Wang Center for the Performing Arts. Penguin published Taylor’s book, “Monster Career: How to Land the Job of Your Life,” in paperback last April.

In addition to discussing recruiting and retention, landing the job of a lifetime, and leading by example, Taylor might also discuss another notable milestone he reached in March 2000: how he became the Blimp Water-skiing World Champion.

“We are really so pleased and honored that Jeffrey Taylor agreed to be our keynote guest for this year’s conference,” said Andy Taggart, executive director of the Mississippi Technology Alliance. “He is a great example of the notion that good ideas, hard work and the tools of technology are really generating a whole new economy in our nation. We want to see that same thing happen here in Mississippi.”

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), former U.S. ambassador to Portugal John Palmer and Mississippi Development Authority executive director Leland Speed are on the speaker’s bureau for the general morning session, which begins at 8:15 a.m.

Panel discussions throughout the conference — breakout panels begin at 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. — will include technology-based economic development, entrepreneurship and small business resources, the polymer and geospatial industries, business and personal technology, medical technology, wireless technology and the annual “State of the High Tech State.”

“It is hard to believe this is our fifth year for the High Tech Conference,” said Taggart. “On the other hand, the changes that have occurred in the technology-based economy over the past five years are staggering in scope. Anyone who misses this year’s conference is going to miss a terrific opportunity to be brought current on some of the newest ideas for generating economic activity — for creating wealth — in the new economy.”

The lunch program will begin at noon, followed by the announcement of the winner of two domestic roundtrip Delta Air Line tickets. The conference will conclude at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $50; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. For more information, call (601) 960-3612 or visit www.cit.ms.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at lwjeter@yahoo.com.


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