Nominations for the 2005 Leadership and Organization Character Awards will be accepted in April, 2005.



Business Ethics and Integrity Honored at 1st Annual Leadership Character Awards

(Atlanta, Georgia) -- Turknett Leadership Group announced the winners of the 1st Annual Leadership Character Awards during a ceremony attended by nearly 300 business leaders recently at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta.  The ceremony celebrated the integrity, character and business ethics of the 47 nominees, and honored a select group of four individuals and two organizations that best exemplify the standards set forth in the Turknett Leadership Character Model.

The winners include (listed in the order in which awards were made):

Non-profit Award                    Orrin C. Hudson, Be Someone, Inc.
Small Organization Award        Porter Keadle Moore, LLP
Manager Award                       Ken Murphy, Acuity Brands
Manager Award                       Stacy Bell, BellSouth
CEO/President Award              Dennis Cooper, RTM Restaurant Group
Large Organization Award        MATRIX Resources, Inc.

“Congratulations on making a difference in the quality of dialogue and leadership in the Atlanta business community,” said Kathleen Brandt, former Senior Vice President of Wachovia. “The event drew a wonderful collection of talented people who share values and place importance on integrity as the bedrock of leadership.”

With more than 45 nominations to consider, Turknett Leadership Group (TLG) tapped four outstanding senior leaders to serve as the advisory group to make the first statewide award selections.  Members of the group include Oz Nelson, retired chairman and CEO of United Parcel Service; Conchita Robinson, former vice president of IBM Corporation; Betty Siegel, president of Kennesaw State University; and Frank Skinner, retired president of BellSouth Telecommunications.  The advisory group assisted in presenting the awards at the ceremony.

“At a time when so much of the news in business is focused on unethical activities, we felt it important to honor organizations like Matrix who exemplify the best in Georgia business today,  ” said Bob Turknett, co-founder and CEO of Turknett Leadership Group.

Turknett’s work with leaders and organizations is centered on developing a culture of leadership at all levels, and therefore the awards recognized excellence not only in top management, but also throughout the organization.  Complete descriptions of both leadership character and organization character can be found at

Turknett Leadership Group is an Atlanta-based management and consulting firm that focuses on developing leadership character at all levels of organizations by providing Executive Coaching, Selection & Integration; Succession Planning; Team Assessment and Development; Ethics, Retention and Culture Consulting.

Orrin C. Hudson of BeSomeone, Inc.
Top Award in the Non-Profit Category

Of Orrin Hudson, Lyn Turknett said, “An Air force veteran, former state trooper, entrepreneur and a two-time chess champion, Orrin Hudson has many accomplishments to his credit.  Perhaps the most compelling of his accomplishments is the creation of an award-winning program called - Be Someone. One of the reasons we selected Mr. Hudson for special recognition is because Be Someone‘s mission is to help build and maintain character and hope among youth and individuals – especially those individuals from disadvantaged circumstances.  But another reason is that the person who nominated him gave such perfect examples of leadership character. His integrity is such that after promising a group of children he would work with them, he continued the program even after the funding was cut.  And if you’ve ever been stopped by a car with a blue light you’ll appreciate this from his nomination form – ‘As a state trooper for six years he treated every person he stopped as though they were the most important person in the world.’”

Porter Keadle Moore, LLP
Top Award in the Small Organization Category: 

Bob Turknett gave tribute to this organization when he said, “As stated in the nomination, ‘the principle virtue of the CPA profession is integrity.  It’s the heart of what PKM does.’ Not only does the firm adhere to a strict code of professional standards, PKM also promotes the demonstration of integrity in their associates’ personal lives.  An excellent example of Porter Keadle Moore’s integrity is their ‘communal’ client acceptance process.  While new client development is core to the livelihood of every business – and PKM is no exception – they nevertheless maintain a policy of choosing their clients not on their revenue potential, but rather the ethical soundness of the organizations’ management team.  Potential clients are discussed at monthly meetings and any one of the firm’s seven partners can veto the acceptance of the new client.  Other distinguishing characteristics of the Porter Keadle Moore’s culture are seen in their demonstrated commitment to a healthy life and work balance for their employees.”

Because of the wide range of responsibilities in the Manager Category, 2 awards were given this year.

Ken Murphy, Acuity Brands, Inc.
One of Two Top Awards in the Manager Category

Of Ken Murphy, Dr. Betty Siegel said, “He is trusted by both the Board of Directors and Senior Management to do what is right in all circumstances – and he does so instinctively.  Integrity is paramount to Ken as evidenced by his actions during the restructuring of the company.  Midway through the project, he made the decision to fire one of the five professional firms he was working with because they broke a promise they had made.  The easy way would have been to let it go, but integrity meant more to Ken than a possible disruption in the project.  A good listener who is open and willing to compromise, Ken Murphy affects an attitude of humility, while maintaining a “spine of steel”.  He takes personal responsibility and initiative for transactions and risk across the corporation without regard to organizational influence or power.  Simply put, he is a fearless advocate for what is right for the business.  Because he accepts responsibility for virtually everything that occurs in the company, people defer to him frequently.”

Stacy Bell, BellSouth
One of Two Top Awards in the Manager Category

Conchita Robinson described Stacy Bell as, “…someone who demonstrates honesty and integrity by doing the right thing EVERY time, not just when it’s comfortable.  When a valued and knowledgeable employee in the group was found to be discussing specific business issues that could be considered proprietary with a family member who worked for the competition, Stacy did what had to be done.  As a result of the action taken, and even though the workload was more difficult for everyone, our award recipient gained the trust and respect of the whole team by demonstrating unwavering integrity.  Respected by supervisors, peers and subordinates alike, Stacy is consistently sought after for her advice and opinions.  Listening openly, patiently and caringly to what others have to say, she tries to help them solve their problems or issues.  When a mistake is made, the response is not to scold or blame, but rather to coach and to learn from the mistake.  Ever willing to roll up her sleeves and work along side fellow team members, Stacy leads by example and always encourages different perspectives.  Because of her selfless dedication to and support of the team, team members are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

Dennis Cooper, RTM Restaurant Group, Inc.
Top Award in the President/CEO Category

Oz Nelson said of Dennis Cooper, “As a visionary, he is known not only for his work with RTM Restaurant Group, but for his ability to focus on and enhance the value of the entire Arby’s System nationwide. Like the Leadership Character Model depicts, integrity is the foundation of all that this individual has done in his 30-year career with the RTM Restaurant Group.  As a recognized leader in his industry, he is known for always delivering on commitments and promises, and for his “undying honesty, regardless of the subject at hand.” Throughout his tenure with RTM Restaurant Group, he has served as principal liaison between RTM and professional, cultural, social, educational and business groups within the communities served by the company’s restaurants.  Aptly described as a “servant leader and compassionate citizen,” he has guided numerous philanthropic initiatives beginning with the formation of the RTM Foundation which contributes 5% of the company’s pre-tax profits to community partners and charities.”

MATRIX Resources
Top Award in the Large Organization Category: 

Frank Skinner said of this organization, “MATRIX Resources was founded in 1983 on principles of integrity, fairness, a genuine care for people, and a commitment to excellence.  In 2002, this company formalized their identity, foundational values, and vision into a charter statement.  They hold themselves accountable to the Charter both internally and externally.  An internal survey designed to measure how they “stack up” against the Charter is conducted semi-annually with the results communicated company-wide.  Not only are the results of the survey displayed in the visitor lobby of each office and on their web site, but also each employee proudly presents a copy of the Charter to clients, candidates, consultants and other external business partners as part of their business card.  Also in 2002, MATRIX Resources created an innovative new program that personifies their company values and character.  During this time, their industry was in the midst of a complete reversal.  Thousands of IT professionals were being laid off while few new openings were being created.  They made the commitment to provide IT professionals, at no cost to them, the knowledge and tools they needed to find jobs with or without assistance.”

Frank also added, “…it is neither coincidental nor accidental that there is a driving force behind the values, the culture and the community focus of the MATRIX Resources organization.  And although their CEO prefers to give the credit to others, we know that he leads with uncompromising leadership character.  We know it because he received numerous individual award nominations in addition to his company’s nomination.  I am pleased to present the 2003 Organization Character Award to MATRIX Resources and to Jim Huling, Chief Executive Officer.  Jim, you and your organization have set the bar extremely high!”