Part I: Neil Mortine Interviews Christine Turner
Nearly 60 days after announcing the acquisition of Turner PR as an independent wholly owned subsidiary of Fahlgren Mortine, company leaders Neil Mortine and Christine Turner took a few minutes to answer the burning questions on everyone’s mind. First up, Neil chats with Chris. Tune in next week when Chris interviews Neil.
Neil: What made you want to become a part of Fahlgren Mortine?
Chris: Our team has always been rooted in an independent culture; we’ve spent almost two decades building an authentic voice in some very specific industries. Our goal was to maintain this independence and authenticity while providing a growth platform for our future. Fahlgren Mortine emerged as the perfect partner. I knew your stellar reputation in the industry, but what’s been amazing is to leverage such an established shop has been able to bring to our team, so quickly. In almost 60 days, we’re feeling the power of HR, IT and Finance. It’s the best of both worlds for our team in New York and Denver. We’re still Turner PR, only better.
Neil: The 17th anniversary of Turner PR was last week, what has been your most exciting professional achievement during that time?
Chris: To this day, every time someone on the team shares a major placement in Travel + Leisure, The New York Times or a brilliant digital campaign, I get a thrill. That kind of enthusiasm is contagious; it never gets old, and it’s hard to call out just one. As the business has grown, I’ve loved hearing how our reputation precedes us. It speaks volumes not only to the work we do, but to the tenure of what I think is the best team in the industry right now. However, above all this, I’ve always felt our greatest achievement is the longstanding relationships we’ve established with our clients, colleagues and partners. This is what will stay with us forever.
Neil: Speaking of your team, I’ve enjoyed starting to get to know them; their passion is contagious. Why do you believe people work at Turner?
Chris: We share a passion for the niche industries we represent. We live and breathe travel, tourism and active lifestyles; this is what unites us. Of course, we share deep media relationships and are digital savvy, but we also have a crew that will race you to the bottom of the mountain. This team is passionate about skiing, cycling, running, diving, shopping, and epic cultural, culinary and wine experiences. We love being able to connect with the brands we use – it’s a hard gig to beat.
Neil: Speaking of adventure: you’re a pretty seasoned traveler. What is one of your favorite international adventures to date?
Chris: Experiencing the paradox of Kenya’s devastating poverty and unsurpassed beauty on our first trip in 2007. We started by serving with Heart for Africa, working with orphans and vulnerable children at the Tumaini Orphanage. These children were abandoned due to poverty or AIDS; some were recovering from rape; all were malnourished and yearning for the love of a parent or caregiver; yet they had joy. We also worked in the surrounding villages for grandmothers who lost their children to AIDS and were left caring for grandchildren without an income. We purchased and herded cows, delivered seeds and planted gardens, built fences, delivered barrels to catch rainwater. These amazing women had such joy in the midst of extreme poverty and grief and it was a blessing to be in their presence. It certainly put life in perspective. We continued our journey to experience what most enjoy from Kenya – the unforgettable safaris in the Mara and Samburu. This trip changed the course of our lives; while we had two biological children at home waiting for our return, we touched down in the U.S. and immediately started paperwork to adopt a child. We also built a wing on an orphanage and went back the following year with two other Turner PR team members to see it and serve again.
Neil: And the question I can’t resist asking a travel expert: what’s the next destination?
Chris: A trip with my husband to Mendoza, Argentina; and a Griswold-style RV trip with our kids touring the five breathtaking National Parks in Utah.