Next month Taylor Endres, 27, will become the youngest president ever for the Waunakee Rotary Club. His election by this 90-member organization of experienced professionals says a lot about his strong connections with the Waunakee community as well as his ability to overcome incredible personal odds.
Endres is Vice President of Personal Lines and Operations for Thomas Bradley Insurance on Fourier Drive in west Madison. He lives in Middleton. So why would he want to be president of Rotary in Waunakee?
“I stay involved with Waunakee because I love giving back to the community that gave so much to me as a kid, and even now,” Endres said.
He grew up in Waunakee. At 14, he got his first work experience at Piggly Wiggly. His mother and stepfather live in Waunakee and his father lives in nearby Dane. Two of his three siblings live in Waunakee. His uncle is “Rex” of Rex’s Innkeeper, where Rotary meetings are held. Grandparents Laverne and Jeannette Endres for years managed a Waunakee area farm, now run by his uncle Bill Endres.
In his job, Taylor Endres handles “personal insurance lines,” including home, auto, and umbrella policies. The operations side of his job involves handing computer and administrative issues.
One of his busiest times was when his company’s office was swamped with over two feet of water during the flood last August. He not only had to coordinate a temporary office move, but at the same time respond to many clients dealing with massive flood damage. Unfortunately, flooding is not covered in most policies.
“I had to be the bearer of bad news for a lot of people,” he said, while at the same time dealing with non-covered flood damage at his own company.
Daily problem-solving is part of what makes his job so rewarding.
“I never thought I’d be in insurance. When younger, I thought it would be so boring,” he said. “But I absolutely love it. Daily, I get to help people. I can be a bright spot after a fire or other down point.”
Endres’s positive attitude has helped him successfully navigate a lifelong personal health battle against extreme odds. He was born with hydrocephalus and two other brain-related birth defects.He had his first brain surgery at 10 days old. His doctor said he would most likely be developmentally delayed and be in a wheelchair for life.
“I proved the doctors wrong,” Endres said, noting that conquering this major health crisis is the accomplishment he is most proud of. After 30 surgeries over his first 25 years, he is healthy, active, and able to monitor and control the few remaining side effects.
“I’ve had two surgeons in my life, and they are like family,” he said. “Both came to my high school and college graduations to celebrate.”
In his spare time, Endres loves to play sports, read, spend time with family and friends and enjoy the outdoors. His best buddy is his 2 ½-year-old dog Rigley, a Shih-Tzu Maltese mix.
Endres loves baseball and is a self-described “huge Cubs fan.” He became interested in the Cubs through his grandfather, whose license plate is CUBS45 to celebrate when first becoming a fan. As a Christmas gift every year. Endres and his siblings take their grandfather to see the Cubs play.
If he could go back in time, Endres would love to meet New York Yankee Roger Maris, who in 1961 was in intense competition with Mickey Mantle to break Babe Ruth’s homerun record. Endres admires Maris “because he was the quiet one ¬¬– just focused on his business and ended up successful.”
As for the future, Endres looks forward to helping the Waunakee Rotary Club continue its good work, including its special focus on ending polio. He plans to continue on the board for Wauktoberfest and as an academic advisor for a marketing and sales organization at UW Whitewater. Over the long run, he plans to continue his insurance work, and help his company expand its business.