Penny speed meets... Kevin Taylor, chief executive, Gravytrain

Gravytrain CEO Kevin Taylor

Being an insatiable socialite, Penny Black is always eager to probe the personalities behind the professional veneer of her industry friends. What better way to squeeze in and share as many intimate revelations as possible than her very own ‘speed meeting’ column? This week, it’s the turn of Gravytrain’s Kevin Taylor.

What was your first ever job — and were you any good at it?
Working behind the record counter in Woolworths on Saturdays. I loved it, so yes I was good at it

If an MP3 player really could only hold three tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
Sultans of Swing (live) by Dire Straits; Town Called Malice by The Jam; Children (Dream Version) by Robert Miles

Who was your top teenage pin-up?
Debbie Harry

My colleagues won’t know this about me but...
I once had a poodle called Humphrey

Favourite book of all time?
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
When business is slow, keep shaking that tree

What would be your chosen superpower?
I’ve always fancied the flying bit

If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate and why?
Give cyclists complete right of way and reduce duty on fuel – both sides win

How would a typical school report about you read?
Must try harder, bit of a dreamer

My top tip for climbing the insurance career ladder is...
Work hard, be nice and make sure you enjoy yourself

What’s the most annoying thing people do in your office?
Leave dirty cups on their desks

My last supper would comprise...
A huge paella with my family and friends

Who has been the most influential person in your life?
Tony Allen of Allen & Allen. He showed me what you can achieve with hard work

When I’m not working I like to...
Swim, cycle and run – in that order

Last film you saw?
Django Unchained – one of the craziest films ever

If I wasn’t working in insurance I would probably be...
A rock star

Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive) noting what they bring to the party
Heinz Beck – for the cooking; Michael Jackson – for a unique perspective on the evening; Jenson Button – top bloke, great conversation; Oliver Reed – guaranteed to liven things up; and Jack Savoretti – an underrated artist, he’ll be doing
the music  

Marmite: foods of the gods or work of the devil?
Absolutely love it, food of the gods

Career high point to date?
Building an awesome team who really make a difference

What do you say when strangers at a social gathering ask what you do for a living? 
I help insurance brokers make more money online

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
3pm, 30 July 1966, Wembley Stadium

Finish this sentence: Insurance is a great industry to work in because...
It never ceases to amaze me

Would you like to be probed by Penny on one of her speed meets? Get in touch via Stephanie Denton

This article was published in the 18 April 2013 edition of Post 

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