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Meet Willis Turner, CAE, President and CEO at SMEI

"I feed on the energy of the members and supporters of the organization, and that truly helps keep my days focused and on track."

Forbes Nonprofit Council members come from a wide range of backgrounds. And with their wide range of experiences, they have a lot to share with fellow members of the community.

To help them share with an even greater audience, we’re profiling Forbes Nonprofit Council members here on the blog. This week: Willis Turner.

//twitter.com/@willisturner">Willis Turner, CAE CME CSE, serves as president and CEO of USA-based Sales & Marketing Executives International, Inc. (SMEI), the only worldwide professional association for sales and marketing, founded in 1935. He is also a certified marketing trainer, speaker, author and nonprofit specialist.

How did your career as a nonprofit executive take off, and what do you attribute your success to most?

I came to the nonprofit world with a background in sales management and marketing, and applying the lessons learned in my previous roles helped me accelerate my career. Most valuable was my prior experience and training in building successful customer relationship models. The trusting relationships developed with key stakeholders in the nonprofit world have really been beneficial in helping advance the causes that we focus on.

How do you keep yourself passionate and driven regardless of how busy you are day to day?

Meet Willis Turner

I feed on the energy of the members and supporters of the organization, and that truly helps keep my days focused and on track. Their passion and vision are such an integral part of my daily business life. In my role as CEO of Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI), the worldwide professional association for sales and marketing, I’m constantly reminded of who our stakeholders are and why they belong through a simple tag line: Passion! For the Profession.

What do you see as the future of nonprofits?

The future nonprofit will be very cause-driven and transparent in how they deliver value to society whilst being able to adapt quickly and respond to their constituents through the use of technology. Nonprofits can learn from the for-profit counterparts and will realize that many for-profit entities are more nimble competitors.

What is your best nonprofit leadership or strategy tip for businesses?

Focus on the mission and vision of the organization every day and use the mission as a door through which all strategic decisions are passed. This is an approach which I have found is also a key to building and maintaining a solid leadership skill set.

Source: https://forbesnonprofitcouncil.com

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