Jonathan Turpin is Never Too Busy to Think of Others

Posted by Monica Hoel

Think back to the sort of activities that occupied your senior year.

Now…consider the story of Jonathan Turpin’s senior year.

Jonathan used his last year at Emory & Henry to play football, do community service with young people in his home community in Wythe County, finish his degree, and complete an internship with Frito-Lay. The description of his typical day is pretty exhausting. But the time he spent working for the giant Pepsi-Co snack company (largest in the world, in fact) led to Jonathan being accepted into a training program for young professionals before he even graduated from Emory & Henry. He said they called in December and told him they had an early Christmas present for him.

His days still sound exhausting! He is now a District Sales Leader for Frito-Lay living in Charleston, South Carolina, with a territory that runs from Charleston to Summerville to Walterboro. And he finds that the very large corporation he works for actually has a surprising family feel. The company gained added respect from him when management reached out to all their employees during this complicated and important summer of 2020 to offer support and try understand how employees were feeling during a season of racial unrest. He says they asked for his input and gave him a safe space to respond honestly with no concern for his job. And, in the end, his team in Charleston truly became a supportive, caring family.

He graciously gives Emory & Henry credit for making him “the man he is today,” but it seems clear that his commitment to being thoughtful of the needs of others was instilled in himnearly by his mother who involved him in community service projects while he was still a kid. Now he believes it’s up to all of us to give back to those kids who will one day be our leaders – so even with a busy professional schedule he has community involvement at the top of a busy to-do list.

You can hear a conversation with Jonathan Turpin in the WEHC-FM archives.

  • Jonathan Turpin, Emory & Henry Class of 2017

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