Ms. Margaret E. Turner, affectionately referred to by many as ‘Betty,’ is a retired office manager for the state of Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. During her 34-year tenure with the department, Ms. Turner’s primary responsibilities included the management of office operations and inspection of export grain quality for certification purposes. As the first female licensed grain inspector in the United States, Ms. Turner was a pioneer in the agricultural industry. One of the most challenging points in her career occurred during the 1970s when a massive fraud scandal caused the federal government to audit all exporting businesses and request documents to verify honorable accounting practices. Ms. Turner worked in conjunction with undercover agents to produce documents from the general accounting office, which maintained her department’s integrity and reputation. Following her retirement, Ms. Turner continued to work part-time with the department, assisting with advancements in grain packaging with containers and training new employees on inspection techniques.
With her background in secretarial and administrative work, Ms. Turner was dedicated to accuracy and efficiency, as can be seen in her motto “check and recheck.” Her accounting knowledge and patience for a demanding job in a male-dominated industry distinguish Ms. Turner as a true pioneer and inspiration to those who wish to enter her field.
Currently, Ms. Turner dedicates her time to various community service efforts, particularly a local battered women and children’s homeless shelter through the Norview Ladies’ Alumni Association. Though she recently underwent chemotherapy treatments, Ms. Turner is a survivor determined not to let cancer defeat her. She previously served as a committee chairwoman for the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation and is a charter member of the Pilot Club of Chesapeake. Continue reading