Turkia Awada Mullin
Turkia Mullin is an attorney, a finance professional, a real estate broker, a business leader—and a decorated Army veteran. From her years in the military through every role she’s held over her 25-year career, she’s led with purpose and with the future in mind for both industry and the people she serves. As chief development officer of Wayne County Michigan—the 13th largest county in the U.S.—Turkia spearheaded some of the most notable developments in the county and saw her team recognized as one of the Top 10 Economic Development Groups in the country. She then went on to found her own firm, APIS, LLC, in 2013, serving as the owners’ representative on large-scale, multifaceted real estate developments, with a focus on analyzing issues affecting development, legal, finance, workouts, restructuring, receivership, and tax considerations. Now, Turkia brings it all to bear as the chief of staff for The Ciena Group, a Michigan-based provider of skilled nursing and rehabilitation care services with 10,000 employees and facilities in five states. In support of its mission to “Redefine Excellence,” she deploys her expertise in both the public and private sectors, her skill as a strategist, and her forward-thinking mindset. Underlying it all is a philosophy that has guided her entire career—that leaders can do well by doing good.
Through the myriad hats of her storied career, Turkia gained an uncommon breadth of knowledge and experience—and a reputation as a powerful strategist with an unwavering personal belief that passion and care are the two most critical ingredients for being a good leader and community steward. It is precisely this unique combination of expertise and commitment to the service of others that drove her through an eight-year commitment in the military, where she was awarded Army Commendation and Achievement Medals; years more in government service as both a principal attorney for the Wayne County real estate department and a municipal leader; and then into her own thriving firm before being recruited by The Ciena Group in June 2021. “I love the challenge and I am fortunate to love what I do,” she says. “I’m loyal to both the organizations and the communities I serve.”
In her role with The Ciena Group, Turkia serves as a trusted advisor, working with senior leadership on key matters such as strategic planning, political advocacy strategy, addressing operational challenges, and promoting effective communication between various organizations, and leading and executing the CEO’s top initiatives. When asked what she enjoys most about her work, Turkia took no time to contemplate. Her devotion to the betterment of all shone as brightly as it did that day long ago as an 18-year-old stepping into boot camp: “Making a meaningful impact. The fact that I’m able to leverage my knowledge and experience to help others, I really love that I can do that.”
Turkia Awada Mullin
Founder & CEO — APIS, LLC