The award's namesake, Norman R. Taylor, was IDEA's president from 1977 to 1978, a turbulent time for the energy industry. Employed by Baltimore Gas and Electric for several decades, he retired in 1980 and became IDEA's executive director. Taylor set up the association's first office in Washington, D.C. and established the group's ties with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Energy. He was known for boldly setting goals, preparing for the future and treating individuals with genuine kindness. He passed away in 1986.
In deference to lauding past winners at IDEA's 100th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., a Norman R. Taylor Award winner was not selected for 2009. The honor resumed for 2010.