Michelle Taunton serves as the secretary of NAoAB and is the current President of the University of Florida (UF) Gator Band Alumni Association (GBAA).
In the 1940s, Michelle’s parents met when her father was a drummer and her mother was a majorette in the Greater Miami (Florida) Boys Drum and Bugle Corps, so it was inevitable that Michelle ended up playing in band. She began her musical career with the violin in elementary school in Sarasota, FL, then when her family moved to Lakeland, FL when she was 12, Michelle joined the band playing the flute, then a year later switched to alto sax, which is her main instrument. She marched in the Gator Band from 1981 to 1984 and studied advertising while at UF.
After college, Michelle moved to Washington, DC, where she transitioned from advertising to conference and meeting planning. She has managed conference planning divisions for several major government contractors and national non-profits. After returning to her hometown of Lakeland, FL in 2010, she became involved in the Tampa Bay Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, where she served on the chapter board for 4 years. Her event planning experience has resulted in Michelle being responsible for the planning of the GBAA’s reunion weekend every year since 2010, and she has served on the GBAA board since 2016. She has also played with the Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band out of St. Petersburg, FL, and had the thrill of marching with the group in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this past November in New York City.
Having attended the last two NAoAB Symposia, Michelle is excited about the benefits and support that NAoAB can provide to any alumni band, whether just starting out or firmly established, and looks forward to giving back to the organization that she says has already provided her with invaluable tools and information to help the GBAA. Michelle can be reached at email@example.com.