Dee Ann Turner
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Dee Ann Turner & Associates
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Industry: Leadership and Human Resources Consulting and Coaching
Very early in her career, Dee Ann Turner joined a regional restaurant company, Chick-fil-A, which was little more than a start-up at the time. She worked her way up through the ranks from an entry-level employee to the company’s first female officer, in 2001.
During her 33-year tenure at Chick-fil-A, Turner was the chief human resources officer (later renamed talent). She was responsible for recruiting and selecting all corporate staff and franchisees, talent acquisition, talent management, diversity and inclusion, culture and engagement, staff learning and development, employee wellness, on-site childcare and more.
When Turner joined Chick-fil-A, annual sales were $175 million with 150 restaurants. When she left, Chick-fil-A’s annual sales were nearly $11 billion with 2,600 restaurants, with staff retention rates and franchisee retention rates of 95%. One of Turner’s greatest career satisfactions was developing many employees from entry level to leadership positions within the company. In 2015, Turner released her first book, It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of a Remarkable Culture and Extraordinary Talent. It was an immediate bestseller and thrust her into a spokesperson role for the company. In 2018, she was offered a contract to write two more books and realized it was an opportunity to fulfill her childhood dreams of becoming a writer and an entrepreneur.
Dee Ann Turner & Associates was established to inspire leaders to create remarkable cultures, to find and keep extraordinary talent, and to teach talent how to be extraordinary. Grounded in the content of Turner’s three bestselling books, the team consulted with coaches, teams, and executives globally to help them create and strengthen organizational culture; find, keep and grow extraordinary talent; and win the hearts of customers.
“Organizations that will win in the future will be relentlessly committed to finding, keeping and growing extraordinary talent,” she said. “So we continue to support leaders trying to achieve goals but also the talent that will help organizations achieve their goals.”
Since 2018, Dee Ann Turner & Associates has doubled its revenue each year, but what pleases Turner more is the satisfaction of leading her own business. She loves watching her clients succeed and prosper and offer opportunities for their employees to do the same. Looking ahead, Turner is focused on helping the next generation of leaders grow and prepare for an uncertain future.
Organizations that will win in the future will be relentlessly committed to finding, keeping and growing extraordinary talent.” While some older professionals dismiss and look down on Gen Z, Turner finds them to be smart, technologically advanced, resilient and perhaps, the next “greatest generation.” By adding content through eCourses and podcasts, she has reinvented herself to appeal to these audiences who are just starting their careers.
Her current favorite role is advising her own three young adult sons as they grow their own careers.
A normal fun fact: Dee Ann is an avid cyclist and can often be seen zipping along the 100 miles of multi-use paths in Peachtree City on her Trek bike or zooming to tunes on her Peloton in inclement weather.Not so normal fact: She can say the Superman call backwards. She has quite a story worth hearing. The Superman call is, "Look, it's a bird, it's a plane. No, it's Superman. Up, up, up and away!" Just ask Dee Ann and she will say it backwards for you.