PRSA Blue Ridge 2013 Luncheon Series Continues in June

28 May 2013 3:36 PM | Melinda Mayo

Leadership Under Fire and the Implications for the Communicator

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA--On Thursday, June 13, beginning at noon at the Hotel Roanoke, the Public Relations Society of America, Blue Ridge Chapter will hold the third event in its 2013 Luncheon Series. The featured speaker is Chris Turnbull, director of public relations and crisis management, Neathawk Dubuque & Packett, who will share insights about the most important aspects of leading in a crisis, and the implications for communicators.

Before returning in the fall of 2011, Turnbull, a Roanoke College graduate, was the senior business continuity officer responsible for global operations for the World Bank in Washington, D.C.  During those years, it was more likely to see him in one of the world’s hot spots than in southwest Virginia.  Frequent travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan and about 50 other developing countries kept him away from his family for weeks. 


At the World Bank, Turnbull was a respected member of the institution’s emergency management team and played multiple roles, including that of leader and communicator.  He created crisis response and communication plans, developed and led leadership training programs for ambassador-level staff, and conducted more than 100 simulations to exercise executive decision-making processes.  Turnbull has personally responded to scores of international and domestic emergencies, including the major earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, the Mumbai terror attacks, coups-d’etat in Africa and East Asia, and explosions in South Asia and the Middle East – all complex situations that further honed his keen sense for leading and communicating under fire.


Turnbull earned a master’s degree in management, with a focus on leadership and public relations from the University of Maryland University College. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Roanoke College and is a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP).


Appalachian Power  will sponsor the June luncheon, which will be simulcast for members and guests joining in from a luncheon at Virginia Tech's new North End Center. The luncheon is open to the business community.


PRSA is the world’s largest association of public relations professionals. Since 1992, the Blue Ridge Chapter has served public relations professionals in central and southwest Virginia by bringing professionals together to provide an exchange of experiences and ideals, and to promote professional development.

For more information on local Blue Ridge PRSA programs, visit the chapter website at  or contact chapter President Heidi Ketler at