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Mr. Matthew D. Turner

Matthew moved to Knoxville, TN in 1977 from Chattanooga, TN and has remained a Knoxvillian ever since. After college, he committed himself to the industry of commercial real estate and development. Joining Dominion Real Estate Services in 1997, he was quick to learn that "mistakes", though costly, are valuable lessons. In 2002 Matthew became the Principal Broker of Dominion Real Estate Services and the Director of Real Estate for The Commonwealth Company, a multi-state commercial real estate firm with a primary focus in the development, leasing and sales of; Walmart shopping centers, regional power centers, and neighborhood grocery-anchored centers. In late 2015, Matthew worked with Garrett Jernigan to form a new concise and focused merchant development partnership, and in January of 2016, they launched Graystan Real Estate and Calton Development.

 

Today, Graystan and Calton develop and trade commercial projects in the middle to eastern Tennessee markets, as well as portions of western Carolina to the piedmont.

 

Matthew, with his wife Annie and their family, all reside in west Knoxville, TN.

Q&A

Name one of your strengths and weaknesses.

One and the same I believe, I am a talker. I love to talk with people and learn as much as I can about them through a shared moment of discourse. My maternal grandmother was a champion talker and I feel I got a hefty dose of her genetic code. I do realize however, that brevity has its uses. I just prefer to indulge in banter, and to get a glimpse into someone else's experiences and insights.

 

What did you want to be as a child?

A pianist, a novalist, a comedian. Though not necessarily in that order.

What hobbies do you currently pursue?

All things musical. I have played the piano since the age of 6 and I haven't slowed down since.

What would you like to be remembered for?

I hope to be remembered for being a good father, husband, and friend.

What is one of your most embarrassing moments and what did you learn?

Wow, that's tough to narrow down. Well, here comes the "talker" I told you about...

I was hired during my college days, at the very last minute, to substitute for a pianist who had to undergo an emergency surgery. The job was simple. Learn three "popular" songs that were given to me, and play them during a small wedding service on Saturday, just two days away, for $50. I felt it was something I could handle as I fancied myself a pretty good pianist. The songs were new to me, a genre I didn't listen to and admittedly, never have since. I remember being really nervous about the performance and I practiced those songs so many times that I was fearful I would forget how to play anything else.

 

Saturday morning came and I got to the chapel an hour early. Just to be safe. The "chapel", was huge. The piano was front and right of center, in full view of what felt like a concert hall. Did I say that I was nervous? It's only fair to mention that as much as playing the piano, I do not do so well in front of crowds. I found the minister and asked him what I needed to be doing. He smiled at me like I was the village idiot and pointed at the piano. "When you hear the name of the song, play". So, I meandered over to the piano and sat down. People started to arrive. A whole lot of people. Full house. I was sweating, but I strangely remember my hands being cold. Seemed like a whole week passed by while people were still coming in. Where were they putting these people, there couldn't possibly be enough seats! Then, a hushed wave of silence took the room and I kept my head down and listened intently to hear the name of one of the songs I had learned. And, I waited. And waited. The silence was overly long and it was becoming difficult to focus on the music in my head. I looked up and was horrified to see everyone looking at me. Looking. At. Me. The bride's mother, who had briefly acknowledged me in passing, was gesticulating some type of sideline-sports-signal-calling from the back of the church with such veracity, I feared she was seizing. I was close to blacking out when the minister, still looking at me like the village idiot, sauntered over and whispered with force "Wedding March, son"! Wedding March. No one said anything about playing Mendelssohn's Wedding March. All I could hear was a surf-like noise in my head that was accentuated by the dangerously high speed beating of my heart. Fight or flight mode indeed. The exit door was directly behind me and no more than thirty feet. I knew I could make it, but my legs would not cooperate. The bride's mother was now in my sight-line and coming in hot. It was at this moment I became thankful for the years of piano practice, as my fingers took over. To this day, I honestly don't know what I played. I had never attempted the Wedding March, and due to the harsh aversion therapy I received that day, I have never attempted it since. I comfort myself in believing it must have been close, as the bride's mother didn't place a bounty on my head. As for the remainder of the service, nothing is clearly recalled other than a distinct memory of nausea of panic. I'm fairly certain I heard two separate and distinct "I do's" before my car door slammed shut and I set a new land-speed record getting back to my college.

 

That following Friday I received a letter in the mail. It was handwritten and terse. It thanked me for my incredibly beautiful adaptation of the Wedding March. The sender claimed it was the most beautiful thing she had ever heard. Enclosed was $300 and the senders well-wishes for my future as a musician. It was from the bride's mother.

What did I learn? Several things, in fact. The noise is in our heads is ours alone. Nobody hears our "noise" or notices our inner reservations. If people are looking for something to be beautiful, they will find beauty.  Be bold, be courageous, silence the doubt and noise in your head that holds you back by starting, by doing.

 

But most of all, in all things, be prepared.

  

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