Kat Taylor to Receive 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award at 59th Annual USC Architectural Guild Dinner

School News

Kat Taylor to Receive 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award at 59th Annual USC Architectural Guild Dinner

April 09, 2018

The USC Architectural Guild and the USC School of Architecture have selected Kat Taylor as the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award. This inaugural honor will be presented alongside the annual Distinguished Alumni Award, which Mark Lee will receive at this year’s event.  


Taylor works in service of restoring social justice and environmental well-being and is active in a variety of social enterprises, public benefit and philanthropic ventures on the West Coast. Currently, she serves as co-founder and CEO of Beneficial State Bank, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Certified B Corporation whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Founded in 2007 by Taylor and her husband, Tom Steyer, in Oakland, California, Beneficial State Bank has merged with four other mission-aligned banks and loaned out over $560 million to more than 460 borrowers creating positive change in their communities. The bank’s revolutionary ownership, the majority of the economic rights held by a nonprofit permanently governed in the public interest and private foundations, mandates that any distributed profit be invested in the low-income communities it serves and the environment upon which we all depend.


Taylor is also a founding director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation (TKREF), dedicated to inspiring a sustainable food system through ranching, training, tours, research and school food and garden programs. TKREF owns the social enterprise LeftCoast GrassFed, humanely raising cattle and other livestock for the benefit of people and the planet.


“Kat’s philanthropic work is remarkable in its impact on underserved communities. Her dedication to social justice and her entrepreneurial spirit align perfectly with the School’s vision, and we’re so pleased to honor her with our first-ever Distinguished Leadership Award,” said USC Architecture Dean Milton S.F. Curry.


Awards will be presented at the 59th Annual USC Architectural Guild Dinner on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles. Proceeds from this fundraising event support scholarships for students at the USC School of Architecture.


More information about the event including ticketing and sponsorship opportunities can be found here: https://arch.usc.edu/invest/guild/events/dinner