Crain’s Chicago Business


Liz Taylor, 46, is the new chief creative officer of ad agency FCB Chicago. She lives in Northbrook with her husband, two teenagers and a mini goldendoodle.

Tell us about your childhood.

It was a little bit of John Hughes-meets-Augusten Burroughs with a dash of David Sedaris. I grew up in upper-middle-class Glenview in a highly dysfunctional family with a lot of love and humor.

What kind of dysfunction?

My father was verbally abusive to everybody and physically abusive, but not to me. The police were called. My mom, brother and sister and me sometimes had to leave the house in the middle of the night.

How did that affect you?

It made me a fighter and a great storyteller with a decent sense of humor.

Most unusual job?

I was a singing, dancing waitress at Ed Debevic’s during high school and college. My name was Laverne, and I was crowned the onion ring queen. Rude servers were part of the mystique there. I like to think I was more sarcastic, funny and flirty.

How do you nurture creativity?

I try to be a sponge for as much culture, high and low, as I can. I read a lot of books, see a ton of movies and watch endless hours of TV.

What kind of books?

Dysfunctional memoirs, such as “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls. They make me feel I’m not alone in the world. Read on…