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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Ron Turpin was recently voted Volunteer of the Year by the Indiana Association of United Ways.
IN The Lead/ Ronald Turpin

Integrity makes a leader

Lincoln Financial Network VP Ron Turpin believes in giving back

Ronald “Ron” Turpin, 41, is vice president – head of finance at Lincoln Financial Network, the Retail Sales Division of Lincoln Financial.

Community and leadership involvement: Immediate past board chair, United Way of Allen County; board chairman, Leadership Fort Wayne; board member for Indiana Association of United Ways; board member for Kate’s Kart, a non-profit organization that raises money to distribute free books to children in nearly 20 northeast Indiana hospitals ; board member, Tower Financial Corp. and Tower Bank; trustee for Malpas Trust, which was established to provide scholarships for high-potential students, based on need, attending DePauw University in Green Castle; University of Saint Francis Business School mentor; board member, Indiana 4-H Foundation; member of the Knowledge Management Task Force for the Indiana CPA Society.

Most recent accomplishment: Awarded “Volunteer of the Year” by Indiana Association of United Ways; The award, based on his serving in various volunteer capacities for the organization, was presented in February at a banquet in Indianapolis. Turpin has been a United Way volunteer since 1998.

What makes a leader: “A willingness to take a stand, even when not popular and if you are found to be wrong, readily being able to admit it.”

Leadership traits you most value: Honesty and integrity, openness to other ideas, willingness to take a risk

Best leadership book you’ve read: “Not necessarily a book, but going through the Leadership Fort Wayne program not only taught me about Fort Wayne, but helped me be a better servant leader.” Turpin said reading with an open mind, ready to glean information, is important. “There are so many (books) that are out there and I always take a piece out of everything I’ve read,” he said.

Best ways to overcome self doubt: “Take a risk and play to your strengths.”

Time management tips: Turpin has a paper-based file system that organizes everything by number, with a master file that shows what is in which numbered file. “This allows me to find things quickly and be very organized. I keep very little paper on my desk.

Role model(s) and why: My former pastor, Jerry Stipp. Even though he has been gone for a number of years now, he was one of the most honorable and giving people I have had the pleasure to know. He made a significant difference in people’s lives and the world was a better place for him being here.

Describe one leadership challenge and how you resolved it: When Turpin was board chair of the United Way, the CEO resigned and the board had to launch a search for a replacement. “The leadership challenge there was that United Way is a very broad and encompassing organization,” Turpin said. A diverse team to represent various interests was pulled together to vet candidates who could meet the organization’s needs. “I think in time we did address almost all the criteria that different constituencies gave us,” Turpin said.

What are your goals: Turpin said people can talk about the amount of money they want to make or save, but the goals most important to him aren’t necessarily quantifiable. “To serve God and be the best husband, father, employee and community member I can be,” he said.

Hobbies: In his free time, Turpin said he is often lending a hand to various organizations or boards he serves. “Giving back to the community, I believe wholeheartedly in servant leadership,” he said. “When you look at the number of boards I’m on, that’s a high number … That really is how I spend my free time is helping others. I’m not a golfer or a sports guy, so in my free time I’m usually doing some kind of service somewhere else.”

Family: Wife, Kathleen Turpin, who is vice president of human resources at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance; daughter Madison, 12; son Cameron, 10

Compiled by Lisa Green, The Journal Gazette

In the Lead is a monthly profile of Fort Wayne area residents in various leadership roles.