Leadership

Turner Foundation Staff & Program Management

Ted Turner

Ted Turner

Throughout his career, Ted Turner has received recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen, sharp business skills, leadership qualities, and his unprecedented philanthropy.

Whether in billboard advertisement, cable television, sports team ownership, sailing, environmental initiatives or philanthropy, Ted’s vision, determination, generosity and forthrightness have consistently given the world reason to take notice.

Turner is founder and chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which supports the goals and objectives of the United Nations to promote a more peaceful, prosperous and just world; founder and co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; chairman of the Turner Foundation, which supports efforts for conserving land to protect and restore wildlife diversity; catalyzing the transition to a clean energy future; and protecting and restoring water resources for people and nature; and co-founder and chairman of Ted's Montana Grill restaurant collection, which operates nearly 50 locations nationwide.

Turner also serves as chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc., which manages his business interests,
land holdings, and investments. Turner is the second largest individual landholder in North
America, with approximately 2 million acres in 11 states and Argentina. His ranches are home to the largest commercial bison herd (more than 51,000) in North America, and host a variety of environmental projects, including reforestation, renewable energy, water resource management, and reintroduction of native species. Out of concern for the health of his land and its species, Turner established the Turner Endangered Species Fund in 1997 to conserve biodiversity by emphasizing restoration efforts of endangered or imperiled species on Turner ranches and in partnership with state and federal natural resources agencies.

While urging others to make the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, he has already done so in a very large way. Turner has added solar panels on his numerous properties and installed 25 solar canopies in the employee parking lots adjacent to his Atlanta offices.

Laura Turner Seydel

Laura Turner Seydel

Laura Turner Seydel works with and supports organizations that address urgent challenges affecting the health, functionality, and vitality of our life support system: our air, water, land, food, biodiversity, and climate.

As chair of the Captain Planet Foundation, Laura guides the organization in its mission to empower and engage youth to become environmental stewards through hands-on experiential projects. She is a passionate board member of the Children & Nature Network, which helps children grow up realizing the many benefits that exposure to nature provides.

She fights for the health of our children as co-founder and chair of Mothers and Others for Clean Air, working to improve air quality for at-risk populations.

She serves on the board of Project Drawdown, which focuses on measuring the top scalable solutions to address global warming. Laura also works to address the extinction crisis as a Patron of Nature with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Laura co-founded Chattahoochee Riverkeeper to help protect the drinking water of more than 5 million Georgians. Laura works to achieve the same safe-water mission internationally as a board trustee for Waterkeeper Alliance (the consortium of over 300 waterkeepers worldwide).

To leverage and protect important environmental policies that protect the air, water, land and especially climate, Laura serves as vice chair of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

Additional organizations she serves include the Turner Foundation, United Nations Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative, JST Foundation and the Turner Endangered Species Fund. She is a member of Atlanta Rotary, and she serves on the Carter Center Board of Councilors and on the advisory board for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.

She lives with her husband, Rutherford, in Atlanta in the first LEED-certified gold residence in the United States. They have three children – John R, Vasser and Laura Elizabeth.

 

Robert Edward Turner IV (Teddy)

Robert Edward Turner IV (Teddy)

Teddy Turner formerly taught high school economics at the Charleston Collegiate School in Charleston, South Carolina. Teddy served in numerous business capacities including promotions manager at Turner Home Entertainment, as well as project manager at Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. After spending two years at CNN's Moscow bureau as a cameraman and editor, Teddy went on to develop and produce various programs involved in TBS's Soviet Union relations, including the Goodwill Games, the international athletic competition event created by Ted Turner to ease tensions during the Cold War through friendly sports competition between nations. Between June 1989 and June 1993, Teddy was president and skipper of Challenge America, Ltd., a campaign for the Whitbread "Around the World" sailboat race. Turner earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, in 1985.

 

Rhett Lee Turner

Rhett Lee Turner

A highly gifted filmmaker and photographer, Rhett Turner is president of Red Sky Productions,  a state- of-the-art, international film production company focusing on documentary films for global television audiences and private corporations. He is well versed in every aspect of film production, and has served as a camera operator, photographer, producer and editor on several projects. Rhett launched Red Sky Productions in 1999 with the release of Pollinators in Peril, a well-received environmental documentary hosted by Peter Fonda. He has continued collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation on similar projects, including El Lobo: The Song of the Wolf. A graduate of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Rhett's work has taken him to places such as Antarctica, Rwanda, North and South Korea, Galapagos, Greenland and Italy. He was in Amman, Jordan during the Gulf War, as well as on the ground in Russia during the fall of the USSR. Rhett's outlook on conservation was highly influenced by his father as he grew up with strict tenets of environmental stewardship, and has pursued these themes through his career. Prior to filmmaking, he worked as an account executive for CNN in the Tokyo office. Rhett graduated from the Citadel with a degree in Business Administration. 

Reed Beauregard Turner (Beau)

Reed Beauregard Turner (Beau)

Beau Turner is involved in numerous charitable organizations related to environmental conservation and preservation around the world. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Turner Endangered Species Fund and is the Director of Natural Resources and Biodiversity for Turner Enterprises, Inc., which manages the business interests, landholdings and investments of his father, Ted Turner. Among Beau’s challenges is the directive to balance a strong concern and ethic for environmental protection with several for-profit ventures, including the largest bison operation in the world. Beau’s greatest passion is getting young people outdoors and excited about nature and the environment. To help achieve this goal, he founded the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center (BTYCC) near his home in Florida in 2008. The BTYCC is a place where children are encouraged to be active outdoors. They learn about conservation, interact with nature, acquire fishing, archery, hunting and camping skills and study alternative energy sources (the center is powered primarily by solar panels). Currently, Beau is working on growing the youth center concept and developing the BTYCC into a model for similar centers nationwide. Beau graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina and also did graduate work at the University of Montana.

 

Sara Jean Turner Garlington (Jennie)

Sara Jean Turner Garlington (Jennie)

Since Jennie Garlington was exposed to environmental issues at a young age, she launched a lifetime commitment to stewardship and sustainability. An accomplished television producer, Jennie parlayed her passion for the environment into her career. From 1994 to 2001 when she served as an associate producer at CNN Environment Unit's EARTH MATTERS. She produced stories on such timely issues as the proposed mine on the Okefenokee; the fate of the Ossabaw Island; the future of Cumberland Island; the migration of Right whales in Florida; and the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. Environmental stewardship is central to Jennie's community involvement as well. Currently she is the executive producer and host of Eco Sense for Living, a television show she created to showcase cutting-edge environmental issues like 'nature-deficit disorder' and a wide range of subjects from energy-efficient lifestyles to green jobs.

 

John Rutherford Seydel III

John Rutherford Seydel III

John Rutherford Seydel III (John R.), an Atlanta native, is the Director of Sustainability in the Office of the Mayor for the City of Atlanta. Seydel works with department leads within the City of Atlanta, as well as with external community partners to achieve Atlanta’s sustainability goals.

While in his role, Seydel has helped direct efforts throughout sustainability including projects supporting waste diversion, urban agriculture, energy and water efficiency, alternative fuel vehicles, and renewables towards Mayor Kasim Reed’s goal for Atlanta to continue as a top-tier city in sustainability.

Seydel received his Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Denver. He is an environmental advocate and previously served as the CEO of Revolution Nation, an organization which aims to connect millennials to their elected representatives. He has also worked in the renewable energy space with the United Nations Foundation and Southern Company. In addition, he has worked with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Captain Planet Foundation, organizations which promote hands-on environmental stewardship and education projects worldwide for youth. 

Florence Vasser Seydel

Florence Vasser Seydel

Vasser Seydel recently graduated with cum laude honors from the University of Georgia, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. During her time in Athens, Vasser worked for UGA’S Office of Sustainability as the Grants and Engagement Director, represented the university as the UGA Student Sustainability Ambassador, and pursued an education outside the classroom as an intern at the United Nations Foundation and TEDWomen. After graduation, she began consulting with non-profit, business, and individual clients, specializing in communications, digital media, and strategic development, to enhance brands that create positive impacts on society. Vasser continues to promote and support her family’s legacy and commitment to environmental responsibility through her family’s foundation, the Turner Foundation, as Trustee-Elect and the first Chairperson of the Turner 3rd Generation board. Most recently, she has taken on the Deep Seabed Mining issue, gathering a coalition of scientists, NGO’s, and industry leaders to push a campaign raising public awareness and engagement.

Laura Elizabeth Seydel

Rhett Turner Jr.

Anna Garlington

Robert E. Turner V

Troy Ettel

Troy Ettel

Executive Director

As Executive Director of the Turner Foundation, Troy Ettel is responsible for implementing the Foundation’s mission to protect and restore the Earth’s natural systems - air, land, and water - on which all life depends. Prior to being appointed as Executive Director, Troy served as Program Officer for Wildlife, Biodiversity and Land Conservation for the Foundation.

Troy formerly worked as Director of the Longleaf Pine Program for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), leading one of TNC’s largest landscape programs across nine states from Texas to Virginia. Prior to this position, he served as Director of Conservation and Stewardship for the New Jersey Audubon Society, and State Ornithologist for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Troy earned a Master of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Indiana University. Troy lives in Marietta with his wife, Joy, and his two children, Forrest and Anna Grace.

Candy Champion

Candy Champion

Director of Grants and Office Administration

Candy Champion joined the Turner Foundation in 2001 and works as the Director of Grants and Office Administration. Her role at the Foundation is to ensure the highest integrity of the data in her Blackbaud Grantmaking database, and to help manage the grantmaking cycle from start to finish.  From receiving grant applications, to mailing grant checks, she is involved in almost every step of the giving process. Candy works in a variety of roles in human resources and serves as the planner for all board meetings and educational retreats. Candy has over 19 years in the nonprofit community and served as the Chair for the PEAK Grantmaking Southeast Region 2017-2019. 

Ted Turner

Ted Turner

Chairman

Throughout his career, Ted Turner has received recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen, sharp business skills, leadership qualities, and his unprecedented philanthropy.

Whether in billboard advertisement, cable television, sports team ownership, sailing, environmental initiatives or philanthropy, Ted’s vision, determination, generosity and forthrightness have consistently given the world reason to take notice.

Turner is founder and chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which supports the goals and objectives of the United Nations to promote a more peaceful, prosperous and just world; founder and co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; chairman of the Turner Foundation, which supports efforts for conserving land to protect and restore wildlife diversity; catalyzing the transition to a clean energy future; and protecting and restoring water resources for people and nature; and co-founder and chairman of Ted's Montana Grill restaurant collection, which operates nearly 50 locations nationwide.

Turner also serves as chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc., which manages his business interests,
land holdings, and investments. Turner is the second largest individual landholder in North
America, with approximately 2 million acres in 11 states and Argentina. His ranches are home to the largest commercial bison herd (more than 51,000) in North America, and host a variety of environmental projects, including reforestation, renewable energy, water resource management, and reintroduction of native species. Out of concern for the health of his land and its species, Turner established the Turner Endangered Species Fund in 1997 to conserve biodiversity by emphasizing restoration efforts of endangered or imperiled species on Turner ranches and in partnership with state and federal natural resources agencies.

While urging others to make the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, he has already done so in a very large way. Turner has added solar panels on his numerous properties and installed 25 solar canopies in the employee parking lots adjacent to his Atlanta offices.

Robert Edward Turner IV (Teddy)

Robert Edward Turner IV (Teddy)

Co-Chairman / Director

Teddy Turner formerly taught high school economics at the Charleston Collegiate School in Charleston, South Carolina. Teddy served in numerous business capacities including promotions manager at Turner Home Entertainment, as well as project manager at Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. After spending two years at CNN's Moscow bureau as a cameraman and editor, Teddy went on to develop and produce various programs involved in TBS's Soviet Union relations, including the Goodwill Games, the international athletic competition event created by Ted Turner to ease tensions during the Cold War through friendly sports competition between nations. Between June 1989 and June 1993, Teddy was president and skipper of Challenge America, Ltd., a campaign for the Whitbread "Around the World" sailboat race. Turner earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, in 1985.

 

Rutherford Seydel

Rutherford Seydel

Secretary

Rutherford is a Partner at the law firm of Davis, Pickren, Seydel and Sneed. Seydel is co-founder and chairman of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Inc.; chairman of the board of the School of Ecology at the University of Georgia; chairman of The Conservation Fund; and board member of Georgia Conservation Voters, Vasser Woolley Foundation and Allconnect, Inc. He is an officer and board member of Paul B. and Mildred Seydel Foundation; an officer of United Nations Foundation, the Turner Foundation,  Turner Endangered Species Foundation, the Better World Fund, Inc., Ted's Montana Grill and Captain Planet Foundation. Seydel is a member of the board of directors for the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law as well as a member of the advisory board of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

 

Christine Hung

Christine Hung

Board Treasurer

Christine is originally from Huntsville, AL. She has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Masters in Taxation from the University of Alabama. Christine moved to Atlanta after graduate school when she went to work for the accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), where her clients were Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc, Ted Turner, Jane Fonda and their families and investments. In 2002, she left PwC when she accepted the position as Tax Director for Turner Enterprises, Inc. Christine manages the tax function for the Turner Family Office, Turner Enterprises, Inc. and all Turner entities, including Ted’s Montana Grill, Inc.

Christine currently resides in Bozeman, Montana. In her spare time, she loves spending time outdoors with her dog including hiking, fly fishing, skiing, reading, and staying active.