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Jack Taylor Turned Enterprise in Clayton Into Car-Rental Empire

The company started by this Clayton High School graduate began with two employees. Enterprise Holdings now employs 70,000 people worldwide, and thousands of them work in Clayton.

Jack Taylor Turned Enterprise in Clayton Into Car-Rental Empire Jack Taylor Turned Enterprise in Clayton Into Car-Rental Empire Jack Taylor Turned Enterprise in Clayton Into Car-Rental Empire Jack Taylor Turned Enterprise in Clayton Into Car-Rental Empire Jack Taylor Turned Enterprise in Clayton Into Car-Rental Empire

Enterprise Holdings founder Jack Taylor grew up in St. Louis, graduated from and attended Westminster College and Washington University in St. Louis, a company biography states. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after Pearl Harbor was bombed, and he served as an F6F Hellcat fighter pilot while based with the U.S.S. Essex and U.S.S. Enterprise.

After he came back to St. Louis, he started a trucking company in Clayton before accepting a sales job with Lindburg Cadillac in 1948, the biography states. Less than a decade later, he launched his own company—then called Executive Leasing—in the same building.

While he no longer works actively with Enterprise, a family connection remains: His son, Andrew C. Taylor, is its chief executive.

In an email interview, corporate communications manager Ned Maniscalco spoke about the history of the business and its long tradition in downtown .

In what year did Enterprise begin operating in Clayton?

    Executive Leasing opened for business in March of 1957 in the lower level of the Cadillac dealership in Clayton. The new company had a total of two employees: our founder, Jack Taylor, and his administrative assistant, Nell Mason.

    Executive Leasing changed its name to Enterprise Leasing in 1978 and again to Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 1989. The Enterprise name honors the aircraft carrier on which Jack Taylor served during World War II. Today the company, now called Enterprise Holdings, has 70,000 employees worldwide and more than 2,300 in Clayton.

    Most of our Clayton employees work at our headquarters buildings in Clayton Corporate Park. Ground was broken for that structure in 1993.

    How have services offered by Enterprise changed or expanded over time?

      From its beginnings as an auto leasing company, Enterprise expanded to include fleet management services, car sales and car rental, first in neighborhoods and, beginning in the mid-1990s, at airport locations.

      Enterprise Rideshare was founded in 1994 and has become a national leader in servicing both individual vanpool groups and large employer work sites.

      We added commercial truck rental in the late 1990s, and in 2007 we acquired the Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands to expand our footprint at the airport.

      In 2008, we launched our WeCar by Enterprise car-sharing program, which today is found mainly in corporate, university and municipal settings, including the campus of Washington University in St. Louis and in downtown St. Louis through our partnership with the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis.

      In 2010, we expanded our car-sharing services to the consumer market with our purchase of PhillyCarShare. That acquisition was followed by the purchase in May of 2012 of Mint, a car-sharing provider serving neighborhoods in New York and Boston.

      By year’s end, all of Enterprise’s car-sharing services throughout the country – including WeCar, PhillyCarShare and Mint – will be transitioned to the Enterprise Car Share brand name.

      What types of vehicles has Enterprise provided to its customers in the past, as compared to today?

        Jack Taylor launched Executive Leasing in 1957 with a total of seven vehicles. As photo 2 illustrates, the selection in the early days was pretty limited. Today the worldwide Enterprise Holdings fleet totals more than 1 million vehicles and comprises makes and models ranging from economy cars to pickup trucks to luxury cars to SUVs to hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs).

        Why has Clayton been a good fit for Enterprise’s corporate headquarters? How does Enterprise give back to the local community?

          Our roots in Clayton actually predate the founding of the company. Jack Taylor is a graduate of Clayton High School and was among the first group of inductees to the Clayton Alumni Hall of Fame in 2010.

          Besides offering a business friendly environment, Clayton features easy access to numerous dining and shopping options as well as a diverse array of services such as health and fitness, dry cleaning, and tailoring. Our Clayton employees frequent those businesses, and we routinely reserve rooms at Clayton hotels for our employees who travel to St. Louis for meetings and training.

          In addition, our people regularly donate both time and money to nonprofit organizations in the Clayton community, and both Enterprise Holdings and the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, our philanthropic arm, provide financial support to worthy community projects.

          For example, in December of 2011 the company and the Foundation pledged gifts totaling $750,000 to the to fund .

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