Thanks to Our Community Pillars


28 Jul 2014




Mike Taliaferro pictured with granddaughter, Kendyl

This article appeared in the July 20, 2014 edition of the Tyler Paper and is part of Texas Bank & Trust's People Who Make A Difference Series. The 2014 United Way Kickoff event will be on the patio and hosted by Fresh, August 21 from 5:30-7:00. Bring your family!


The United Way of Smith County will kick off its 2014 annual campaign on Thursday, August, 21, to raise funds in support of local programs that strengthen our community and its people. The money raised is distributed among 24 local agencies in Smith County that provide essential services such as child care, youth programs, affordable healthcare, help for those living with disabilities, literacy, crisis intervention and counseling, emergency assistance, and disaster response. Many local volunteers review agency budgets, programs, and outcomes to ensure that every dollar has the most impact.

Mike Taliaferro is serving as the co-chair of the oil and gas division for the 2014 United Way of Smith County Campaign and is encouraging  local businesses and individuals to support this year’s campaign, which helps more than 60,000 people in our county each year.

“We need to end the cycle of poverty,” Mr. Taliaferro said. “We cannot worry about how they got there. Our only concern should be their need. The 2014 United Way of Smith County Campaign is a way you can make an investment in our local community by contributing through your workplace or online. The donations are combined and distributed to support programs that focus on underlying issues and create lasting changes in people’s lives.”

Outside of his service to the United Way, Mr. Taliaferro is the board chair of Give Soles, a not-for-profit organization founded in honor of his late son, Addison. The organization raises money to purchase new shoes and to address needs for boys living at the Youth and Family Enrichment Center in Tyler, and for the homeless served by the Day Resource Center for the Homeless in Fort Worth, and Community Crossroads, also in Fort Worth.

Mr. Taliaferro serves on the employment committee for the East Texas Human Needs Network and is a sponsor and partner for Habitat for Humanity of Smith County. He is also a sponsor of Kingdom Life Academy and Taste of Tyler, and is a buyer for the Smith County Junior Livestock Show.

Born in Houston, Texas, Mr. Taliaferro has resided in our community for 21 years. He is a graduate of Kilgore High School in Kilgore, Texas, and earned his associates’s degree in petroleum engineering from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana.  Mr. Taliaferro and his wife, Suzonne, have been married for 34 years and are parents of adult children, Raley, and the late Addison, and the grandparents of Kendyl Moore-Taliaferro, 10.

“Tyler is great because we enjoy the luxuries of a big town while living in a small community. The people of Tyler are very philanthropic and volunteer readily, and that is a blessing,” Mr. Taliaferro said.

For more information about the 2014 United Way of Smith County Campaign, please visit or call 903-581-6376.  For more information about Give Soles, please visit

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