University of Pittsburgh

EMBA Alum Is Leading Closely Held Business To New Heights

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Chuck Turner, President of Turner Dairy Farms, Inc.

In the Pittsburgh region, there are many closely held and family-owned businesses that have been operating for generations. One such business, Turner Dairy Farms Inc., celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2015. What started as a local milk delivery service with just four cows has grown into a thriving operation producing nationally-ranked dairy products.  

Turner Dairy is a family-owned and operated business that exclusively partners with 50 local family dairy farms located in Western Pennsylvania. Chuck Turner (EMBA ’02) is the current president and third generation in his family to lead the company. 

The company was named a 2015 Top Work Place in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and its dairy products are continually ranked among the best in the United States. 

But before he became president of the company, Turner decided to earn an Executive MBA from the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. 

Turner says he was interested in gaining exposure to people from different levels of experience and a variety of backgrounds. 

“The courses and professors are excellent, but I think the thing that sets the EMBA program apart is how much I learned from the other students,” he said. 

Time management was key for Turner to meet the demands of both the rigor of the EMBA program and running a successful business. With the help of his “wonderful and patient” wife, he says he was able to balance the EMBA curriculum while maintaining his full work schedule. 

“The Katz Business School has been very helpful to our family business; both the formal education I received in the EMBA program and the many learnings and benefits three generations of my family received through the IEE program for family business,” he said.

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) at the University of Pittsburgh is Western Pennsylvania’s number one resource for business leaders who are starting, growing, or transitioning a business. 

Founders, owners, and other leaders of closely held or family-owned businesses are invited to attend EMBA’s next event, Sustaining Success for the Next Generation, on March 15 at the Duquesne Club. Executives from Giant Eagle, General Carbide, and Henne Jewelers will share their stories and provide insights into managing and growing closely held and family-owned businesses. For more information and to register, visit