An Interview with Taylor Clark

Become a Member

An Interview with Taylor Clark of Milo’s Tea Company

By Rosey White, AmeriCorps Member, Black Warrior Riverkeeper

Taylor Clark, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Milo’s Tea Company, enjoys volunteering at river cleanups. Photo by Krystin Currier.

Milo’s Tea Company stands as the lead sponsor of Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s Ambient Water Monitoring Program, a vital initiative launched in 2017 to establish a comprehensive baseline for water quality across the entire river system. In a candid interview with Taylor Clark, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Milo’s Tea Company, we delve into the company’s remarkable journey, committed to safeguarding water quality and environmental health within their communities.

What do you do? What is your connection to the Black Warrior River?

Having earned her MBA from Emory University in 2022, Clark was driven to find a company that aligns with her values and where she could make a meaningful impact. She found her fit at Milo’s Tea Company, a venerable 77-year-old homegrown company deeply committed to being a responsible corporate steward and a positive force in the community. This commitment is exemplified through the leadership of their CEO, Tricia Wallwork, who possesses a strong passion for corporate responsibility and the advancement of prosperity within the community. Milo’s Tea Company is a family-owned, Certified Women-Owned Business with corporate headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. Milo’s has been brewing the best tasting, closest-to-homemade iced tea for three generations and counting. Milo’s teas and lemonades taste just like homemade because its family recipe includes only a few simple ingredients and does not contain preservatives or added colors. Milo’s can be found in the refrigerated section of thousands of retailers across the United States. With a background encompassing sustainable food systems, small business development, and community revitalization, Clark, herself, brings a wealth of knowledge and 15 years of experience from the nonprofit sector to her role. Over the past 1.5 years with Milo’s, Clark has strategically focused on corporate responsibility and the cultivation of enduring partnerships. Notably, one of their earliest and most significant partnerships is with Black Warrior Riverkeeper, chosen for its alignment with Milo’s commitment to water quality, as water plays a crucial role in their product, and Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s reputation for positive impact in their shared communities.

Tell us about Milo’s Tea Company’s decision to become the lead sponsor of Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s Ambient Water Quality Monitoring Program. What motivated the company to take such a significant step in supporting water quality initiatives?

Clark remarked during the interview: “Our product is water. It is 99.99% water.” At Milo’s Tea Company, water is not just an ingredient; it’s the essence of their product. This fact underscores the importance of water conservation for Milo’s, as it directly impacts the quality of their product and the well-being of their customers and employees. Supporting community water conservation initiatives and implementing water-saving practices are integral components of their holistic approach. They are determined in their commitment to making the most substantial positive impact possible. Water serves as both an essential input and output in their production systems; while the quality of water used is pivotal, they are equally dedicated to returning high-quality water back to their local watersheds. Clark expresses, “We know where we sit in our watersheds and are committed to doing what is needed to maintain the watersheds within the communities we call home, where we manufacture our product.” With expanding operations, currently at three manufacturing facilities and soon-to-be four, Clark acknowledges that each community has unique needs. Therefore, in her position, she places great emphasis on cultivating vital partnerships with local Waterkeeper organizations, as they play a crucial role in identifying and addressing these diverse needs effectively.

As a local, company whose product is predominantly water-based, how does Milo’s Tea Company view its role and responsibility in promoting sustainable practices and protecting water resources within the communities it operates?

As a Certified-Women-Owned and Family-Owned Business, Milo’s Tea Company places significant importance on promoting sustainable practices and protecting water resources as part of their dedication to corporate responsibility. Their overarching goal is to foster growth and prosperity for all members of their community. Under Tricia’s guidance, the company has embarked on a journey to explore sustainable practices, particularly in critical areas such as water conservation, energy efficiency, and waste reduction. Notably, Tricia Wallwork is the granddaughter of the company’s founders, Milo and Bea Carlton, adding a profound sense of heritage and responsibility to their corporate mission.

Sustainability has become an essential aspect of business practices today. Could you highlight some of the key sustainability initiatives that Milo’s Tea Company has undertaken, and how these efforts contribute to the overall mission of preserving water quality and environmental health?

Milo’s Tea Company operates on three core positive impact pillars. First, they prioritize “Growth and Prosperity for All,” emphasizing their role as a People-First Company dedicated to nurturing growth pathways for every one of their associates. Their second pillar is “Protecting Our Planet.” In their product manufacturing, they are committed to achieving carbon neutrality and employing eco-friendly packaging solutions. They’ve set ambitious goals, including the complete reuse of water by 2035, substantial investments in advanced water treatment systems, and safeguarding their local watershed within a 100-mile radius of their manufacturing facilities. The third pillar, “Purposeful Partnerships,” highlights their acknowledgment that their sustainability objectives cannot be achieved in isolation. Clark remarks, “We cannot do any of that alone. Community partnerships are crucial in understanding what is needed and then taking the necessary actions.” Community partnerships are indispensable in comprehending the specific needs of each of the different communities. These partnerships function as advisors, guiding Milo’s Tea Company toward ever-greater impact year after year. Recognizing the immense value nonprofit organizations bring to their community, they deliberately select and invest in partnerships to ensure a better planet for generations to come.

The partnership between Milo’s Tea Company and Black Warrior Riverkeeper is built on a shared commitment to environmental stewardship. How does this collaboration align with Milo’s Tea Company’s long-term goals and values as a socially responsible organization?

This discussion circles back to the fundamental concept of Milo’s Tea Company’s “Purposeful Partnerships” pillar. Their partners play a pivotal role as advisors, ensuring that the company remains environmentally and socially responsible. Black Warrior Riverkeeper, in particular, serves as a critical guardian of water quality, ensuring that only the highest-quality water enters their product and holding them accountable for their water conservation objectives and practices. This partnership is not merely transactional but rather a collaborative endeavor characterized by an ongoing dialogue.Milo’s Tea Company is driven by a desire to go beyond the act of writing an annual check; they aspire to delve deep into the issues at hand, gaining a comprehensive understanding of their role in addressing them. Furthermore, they hold Black Warrior Riverkeeper accountable not only for monitoring water quality but also for providing guidance on best practices. Their ultimate goal is to forge enduring partnerships that can be passed down to future generations, ensuring the continuity of their commitment to environmental stewardship and community well-being.

If you are interested in following Milo’s great example by joining Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s community service opportunities, please visit If you would like to join them as a financial supporter of our clean water advocacy, please visit

Milo’s Tea Company employees frequently — and cheerfully — volunteer in the community. Photo by Krystin Currier.

Share Button