TheBridge profile: Cris Turner
Name: Cris Turner
Current city: Washington, D.C.
Current job: Vice President & Head of Office for the Americas, Dell
Past job: Cybersecurity and U.S. federal sales advocate @ Dell, IT association lobbyist, U.S. appropriations advocate for local governments
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Peregrine Espresso at Union Market
Q. Describe how one skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your new job. A mentor early in my career told me to pay attention to the business of influence. Learn how to track trends in the lobbying industry. Figure out how to apply business metrics to the lobbying sector. Those skills developed under his direction help me today communicate the value of government affairs in the language of business.
Q. Job advice in three words? Build. Destroy. Repeat.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech? We've created the Dell PolicyHack(tm)--policyhack.net--to bring entrepreneurs, innovators, policy wonks, politicians, students and senior tech execs to hack public and private sector solutions to complex challenges. We then partner with the winning team to implement the winning idea. So far we've joined with Televisa Foundation and the Mexican government to provide entrepreneurship curriculum to middle schools in Mexico City, advocated for changes in the 8a certification process to allow women founders to take VC funding and still qualify as a women-owned business, lobbied for vets to use their G.I. Bill to fund their startup, announced a non-profit to encourage startups to seek out diverse talent and stood up a trade association called GovEvolve to represent small to medium sized IT resellers focused on modernizing the government's IT infrastructure.
Q. Most underrated virtue in an employee? Playing connect the dots. Within any company there are proof points and moments in time scattered around that can be woven into a compelling narrative for government audiences. The ability to connect all of those points into a story is invaluable.
Q. How do you unwind after work? Throw some vinyl on a turntable. I'm deep into music and record collecting. Like, my wife and I had our civil wedding ceremony at Crooked Beat Records deep. I'm usually listening to blues-based 60's and 70's rock, Stax / Atlantic soul, 90’s grunge and 90's hip-hop. I'll mix it up with alt-R&B, stadium rock or yacht rock depending on how my day at the office went.
Q. Favorite app? For work right now it's Asana. Great project management tool, very user friendly.
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