Introducing Tom Turner; A Valiant Veteran Making A Mark In Media

May 29th, 2017

You first met Che in Rochester works for actor Che Holloway, an impromptu interview and amble through the Neighborhood of the Arts.

An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!

Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 80 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.

For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews

Introducing Tom Turner; A Valiant Veteran Making A Mark In Media

Tell us a little about yourself, where your are from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.tt1

I was born on September 10,1970, in Canandaigua, New York, and right of the bat I was faced with being born with the birth defect spina bifida, a very common but little known about birth defect where the spinal column fails to close properly resulting in varying degrees of paralysis, mine being whats called a therasic 10 mylomeningicele. My parents were faced with the possibility of putting me in an institution, but being the strong willed people they are they told the doctor “we want him’brought me home. My parents wanted me to have a mainstream education thus enrolling me in public school, which brought about many challenges because many public schools were not equipped to handle a special needs student. However my mother met with the school board and between them devised a plan for me to have as normal an educational experience as possible. I graduated from Victor Senior High School in 1990, but not before my guidance counselor told my mother that I would not do well in a college setting and to chose another path for me, perhaps a sheltered workshop or some other sort of supported work environment. But my parents thankfully chose to ignore him and I went to Finger Lakes Community College where I was able to get extra help with my school work thanks to the student help center, and I graduated in 1994 with an associates degree in communications.

What inspired you to be a Brand Manager? Early experiences worth sharing?

I was inspired to join Tee Talent Desings as a brand manager because of my growing up in my family business Turner Auto motive in Victor, where I worked in sales support until my father untimely passing in 2013. I love working with people and sharing ideas and being creative, and this was the perfect fit for me because it combined several of my favorite elements, being creative, empowering the talents of individuals with disabilities, and telling their stories.
Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.
Last September I had major surgery on an appliance I have called a ventricular peritenieal shunt which is used to drain spinal fluid from my brain into my abdomen, because I have a condition called hydrocephalis which is an accumulation of spinal fluid on the brain, this was a tremendous setback because it required almost four months recovery, but thanks to my doctors and my family I was able to make a complete recovery, and get back to being productive.

tt5What do you believe sets you apart from other Brand Managers?

What sets me apart is having a disability, I see things differently, and have had different experiences, and these have been vital in what I tt3bring to the table at “Tee-Talent”.

Do you have other interests or hobbies?

I can be found most Saturday nights at The Canandaigua Motorsports Park enjoying a stock car race. My love of cars and motor sports was handed down to me from my father who was a mechanic by trade and a former drag racer.Also I’m a music fan, and love to attend concerts especially at the Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center of CMAC as it is affectionately know.

Any projects you have out or currently working on?

Right now I am working on a personal project that is either going to be a book or a script for a movie about the time I lived in Toronto, Canada for a year while I was having an experimental body brace called a “Para-Podium” which enabled me to walk and ambulate using a swiveling motion, the technology wasn’t available in the United States so we were able to have the brace built,by a gentleman named Wally Motloch, whom I had the pleasure of reuniting with via a recent phone call. The brace was then brought back to the United States for the doctors to look at and see how it worked, and an orthotics company developed the same brace here in the United States.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to continue my work with “Tee-Talent” Designs, and empower individuals with disabilities and prove that within reason, if you put your mind to it there is nothing you cant do.

tt2What advice can you give to aspiring Brand Managers?

My advice would be to be tenacious in whatever it is your doing, work hard, and make a difference.

How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?
People can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or you can even catch me putting the occasional video on YouTube.