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Right connections.

When James Taylor first mapped out his dreams of becoming an architect, he took pains to build a sound foundation on education and experience. He studied architecture in high school, received a bachelor's degree from the University of Miami in 1979, and was a government project manager for Dade County for eight years.

However, when Taylor later embarked on a future as president of James Taylor & Associates, he discovered his education and experience didn't count for much in the rough-and-tumble construction industry. "You have to have connections," says Taylor matter-of-factly. "Competition for government contracts is tight, and it's impossible to succeed without the right connections."

In 1990, Taylor made his crucial connection. That's when he met Leopoldo Bellon, his current business partner, in a Metro-Dade County Chamber of Commerce program fostering joint ventures between black and Hispanic businesses.

Taylor's 3-year-old company was doing mostly government work, while Bellon's architectural firm, The Bellon Group, had been tackling the private sector for 12 years. It was a perfect match. The companies merged in 1991 and formed Bellon & Taylor Architects Inc.

Taylor, the company's president and treasurer, owns 51% of the company, and Bellon, the firm's vice president and secretary, controls the rest.

Taylor, 37, and Bellon, 43, started their Miami-based company, using $100,000 of combined savings to purchase equipment and supplies. Bellon and Taylor have since opened an Orlando office and now employ 19 workers.

The firm's revenues climbed to the $1.2 million mark last year, up from $250,000 a year earlier due largely to projects for the Dade County Airport and the City of Orlando Solid Waste Administrative Building. Taylor says he expects revenues to reach the $1.5 million mark this year.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
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Title Annotation:Bellon & Taylor Architects Inc.
Author:Jones, Dasha
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Previous Article:Searching for meaty profits.
Next Article:Full of soul.

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