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2011 Most Influential Women Honoree: Lisa Turner

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Lisa Turner’s career plans didn’t include reaching an executive level position, but in nearly three decades at City Utilities, she’s climbed the corporate ladder.  

Turner is associate general manager of human resources and communications at CU.

She develops and administers company policies, directs the administration of employee benefits, leads recruiting activities and guides employee labor relations, including administration of four labor union contracts.

Along the way, she’s had ample opportunity to set an example for her team to follow.

“My daily decisions are a direct reflection on them, and I never forget that,” Turner says. “I believe that my employees know that I am working as hard as they are to ensure that we are doing the right things for City Utilities’ employees and our customers, and that I would never ask them to do anything that I would not do myself.”

Turner got her start at CU as a level three clerk, moving quickly into a clerical position in human resources. She worked full-time at the utility and part-time in retail, going to college classes at night.

It took her seven years to obtain her bachelor’s degree in management and human resources from Missouri State University, and another three before she earned her master’s in human resources from Ottawa University-Kansas City.

Now, she encourages others to excel.

“If you never give people a chance to learn and to grow by giving them challenges and stretch goals, they will stay stagnant and even become discouraged,” Turner says. “I watch, ask and listen to what my employees want, and I try to pave the way for them to reach their goals.”

Turner also is responsible for handling disciplinary issues, and for providing support for CU managers and supervisors as they work to take care of CU staff.

“Anyone should be able to contact (my department) and get a prompt resolution to their question or problem,” Turner says. “It might not always be what they want to hear, but honest and direct communication is my policy. It is the only way we earn credibility in our area of expertise.”

Turner’s expertise is something she’s happy to share outside CU. She is an adjunct instructor at Missouri State and Webster universities, and serves as faculty coordinator for Webster’s Springfield campus.

Turner also is involved with the Ozarks Workforce Investment Board and is a past board chairwoman of Ozarks Counseling Center, which she worked with for four years.

“Lisa is driven, extremely professional, talented, supportive, compassionate and a team player,” says CU General Manager Scott Miller. “She has worked hard to establish herself as one of the ‘go-to’ people in Springfield for any topic related to human resources.”

Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Most Influential Women.
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