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Leader of Optimism, Drive, & Flight
Kelly Bryan-Johnson’s paternal great grandfather, C. G. Taylor, was a self-taught aeronautical engineer from Nottingham, England and is lauded as The Father of Private Aviation in America. Grandpa Taylor, along with his brother Gordon, formed Taylor Brothers Aircraft Corporation at Rochester, NY during the Roaring 20’s but later moved the company during the Great Depression to Bradford, PA “where the townsfolk had offered him a new factory and the local airfield” plus $50,000 from investors. “Are you kidding me,” Kelly squeaked, “real estate, buildings, and cash?”
The company’s ad campaign: "Buy Your Airplane Taylor Made!” sounds like a political slogan. However, there is nothing shallow or corny about the intent. The company, now called Taylorcraft, is “the longest running production aircraft in the world, also the safest aircraft ever built with only 6 Airworthiness Directives (AD’s), no airframe failures, no spar failures, no wing failures,” for over the last 75 years. Taylorcraft, now at South Padre International Airport at Brownsville, Texas, is an American aviation icon.
With this same dogged determination and verve for life, C. G.’s granddaughter, Kelly Bryan-Johnson, was born near Oxnard, CA, the eldest of 4 siblings, to E. J. and Cathie Taylor. While raising a young family, E. J., a smart, conscientious man steeped in social philosophy and religious studies managed to earn a Master’s degree before heading out on a mission to Paducah, KY “with reason, calm, and purpose,” said his daughter.
Settling in Tucson, AZ in 1985, the young and gregarious Kelly fell in love with the desert and decided to stay. She belts out, “I LOVE AZ!” in the same tone and key as Randy Newman sings about loving LA. “You know, if you let it, the desert will grab a hold of you and never let go. All this sunshine is 100% addictive. Those memories of a sizzling summer quickly fade when you're ‘bundled-up’ in a casual cardigan or light jacket most of the winter.
In her career, Kelly taught herself complex cost-analysis spreadsheets at Tucson Electric Power (TEP) before taking college courses in business at night and earning a shot at ASARCO Corp as the copper mines’ top purchasing agent. Not surprisingly, though, building on her family’s creative genius and entrepreneurial flair, Kelly flew into sales with the same sense of ease as the Taylor Cub takes flight. From large corporations such as Boise Cascade (office products) to Cardinal Heath (healthcare) to Long Realty Group (real estate), Kelly learned the art of quality customer service and relationship-building. “It is the people,” she said, “that make the projects and the profits sing.”
After twelve years inside the real estate industry, Kelly is the team leader of the Kelly Bryan Group which recently moved to Realty Executives Tucson Elite because, according to this heir to flight, “it is NOT a church, but rather a long-running brand – over 50 years – run by business people – not some far-off corporation.” Kelly and RETE’s John Dwyer go back many years; so, there is a relationship here too.
On the home front, Kelly is married to West Point graduate and former Army Captain, Mark S. Johnson, has 2 very cool, school-age children, is a professional singer, an avid UA basketball fan, and, in her spare time, helps other cancer survivors tackle the big hits. Back to Tucson, she wrote: “Our four mountain ranges are breathtaking every day; and I can't think of a better, more beautiful and economical place to call home and fly about. That's why I do what I do, helping make Arizona a more ‘lived in’ place, one home at a time.”
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