Renée Ferris Turk arrived at City Hall on July 1, 2020 to be officially sworn-in as a first-year member of Salem City Council. By the time she exited Council Chambers that day, she had made local government history.
Turk was voted the first female mayor in the 52-year history of Salem, as she hit the ground running like no other elected official, since Salem became an independent city in 1968. She is the first female to serve as a mayor of either Salem, Roanoke City or Vinton.
But history is nothing new to the Turk family. Her husband David taught history and government at Salem High School for three decades and he also made some history of his own coaching volleyball and lacrosse for 22 years each.
All three of their children are products of Salem City Schools. Michael, 33, is a Senior Manager of Capital Markets and Analytics for Capital One and part-owner of Olde Salem Brewing. Daniel, 31, is a realtor here in Salem for Re-Max and Rachel, 29, is a Dr. and Counseling Clinical Psychologist in the Athletic Department at the University of Richmond.
Mayor Turk is a Roanoke College graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics, and education. She has taught business classes at Salem High School, the general sales manager at Saturn of Roanoke Valley and an account executive for Q99. She retired from Wheeler Broadcasting in 2014.
She currently serves as an Adult Coordinator and Music Minister for the Diocese of Richmond's Discovery Youth Retreats and she is the current President of the Waipani Homeowners Association.
Her current term expires on June 30, 2024 and you can contact Mayor Turk at email@example.com