Around the office with KCI's Cheston Turbyfill

A Q&A with the VP of corporate communications and marketing.

Around the office with KCI's Cheston Turbyfill

What do you check first thing in the morning?
Email to get caught up on anything from Asia and Europe. After that, The New York Times, MassDevice, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and then Twitter.

What is your morning commute like?
My commute varies. I live in Chicago and work in San Antonio. My life revolves around Lyft, United Airlines and good WiFi.

What are the first few hours of your day like at KCI?
No two days are the same, but generally I begin by checking in with my team and colleagues on key projects and initiatives.

You’ve been on the in-house, and the agency side. How does a day in a comms department differ from the halls of Hill+Knowlton or Weber?
In-house you have a better and more complete picture of the factors and personalities impacting business strategy and the communications that support it. That’s empowering because you have skin in the game. That said, the energy level on the agency side is sometimes hard to replicate. I’m always striving to recreate the pace and intensity of the glory days of H+K, working with AnnaMaria DeSalva, Tom Hoog and Gene Reineke.

So much business news comes out of LA, New York and Silicon Valley. Is there a distinct flavor to business life in San Antonio?
Without a doubt, Texas is a dynamic place. Sometimes the perception is that San Antonio is overshadowed by the scale of Dallas and Houston or the buzz of Austin.

The reality is that San Antonio is rapidly remaking itself to accommodate growth — it’s ambitious but without pretention. It’s been interesting to see it evolve and expand so quickly yet still retain its flavor and identity.

Describe your most embarrassing early career misstep and what you learned from it.
An over-reliance on autocorrect led me to substitute incontinence for incompetence. Since then, I’ve done my own spell check.

Does the wound care space KCI works in present unique comms challenges people outside that part of the industry may not appreciate?
Working in this space, I’ve come to realize that patients can sometimes suffer for many years with these chronic, hard-to-heal wounds that significantly impact their quality of life, the lives of their families and can be tremendously expensive to manage.

However, because of the general public’s lack of awareness of this burden, it presents us with challenges in getting the topic the level of attention it deserves. It’s rewarding to see your work result in that spark of understanding and empathy for what the patient goes through when communicating about our company, therapies and technology. It’s incredibly gratifying to work with patients whose lives we’ve impacted.

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