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Richard Turner, CMC's executive director, on his background, his new gig and the future

The Community Media Center's Board of Directors has elected Richard Turner to the Executive Director position.
The Community Media Center's Board of Directors has elected Richard Turner to the Executive Director position. (Community Media Center)

The Community Media Center's Board of Directors has elected Richard Turner as executive director. Turner started his new position Dec. 1.

"After a thorough and deliberate selection process, the Board of Directors is delighted that Richard will lead CMC as we begin the process of developing a strategic plan, and identifying new ways to use technology to fulfill our mission," said CMC's Board of Directors chairman Steve Kerby in a prepared statement. "Richard's background in public access, business development, information technology and community engagement will provide us with a solid foundation to grow the organization and develop innovative and essential programs that serve our community."

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Turner has been recognized for his leadership locally and nationally, including the Jewell Ryan White Award and Distinguished Community Leader Award and has served on a number of national, regional and local nonprofit boards. Turner is married with three children and lives in Rockville. The Times caught up with Turner to discuss his new position.

Q: You have more than 30 years of experience in community media. How and why did you get started in this field?

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A: I was first influenced by George Stoney, a documentary filmmaker, professor and known as the grandfather of community media. He was the first person to place a video camera in my hands and he entrusted a wide-eyed group of teens to use the equipment to tell their story. After working in broadcast and commercial production, it became clear that community media offered the most compelling case for a medium that was by the people and for the people.

Q: What drew you to this position?

A: There's not a lot of media, particular television, that comes from Carroll County. I felt my broadcast, cable and private sector experience could help address local community needs by improving access to cable, the web and to great media production tools.

Q: How did your past experiences prepare you for taking the reins at CMC?

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A: I have benefited from a well-rounded background, including technical, managerial, nonprofit and small business. One eye on the running of a business and the other on helping shape meaningful services and programming that can make a difference in Carroll County. I'm very comfortable partnering with various local stakeholders, knowing how to make a vision become real and making it possible for a great team to have some fun and excitement along the way.

Q: Is there anything about the job or the field that you think people don't appreciate, or don't know about, though maybe they should?

A: Video production is both fun and meaningful. You can bring together groups and form creative teams to cover community events, advocate for a higher cause or produce your own music video. Your imagination is your limit and we want more of our community to be a part of this effort and watch our programming.

Q: Once you settle in this new position, are there any projects you would like to undertake, or are there any ongoing projects or challenges you look forward to working on?

A: The CMC will be developing a new strategic plan to help guide the organization toward 2020. I hope to explore how new technologies can serve our community and bring more events, possibly including sports, concerts and more information programming that helps celebrate the richness of Carroll County.

410-857-7873

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