Former Turner Broadcasting Executive Kellie Raiford Appel Appointed Vice President for Strategic Initiatives


MACON – Mercer graduate Kellie Raiford Appel, a former member of the University's board of trustees and most recently a senior vice president at Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System, has been appointed vice president for strategic initiatives, President William D. Underwood announced today. Her appointment is effective March 9.

Appel, who earned her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Mercer and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, served two five-year terms on the Mercer board of trustees. She had a 19-year career at Turner, beginning as entertainment counsel and later advancing to positions as senior counsel, senior vice president for strategic planning and business development, and, most recently, senior vice president and general manager of Turner Trade Group.

“Kellie brings to this position talents, experience and skills that will help us take advantage of strategically important opportunities that are presenting themselves to the University,” President Underwood said. “She knows Mercer well as an engaged alumna and from her decade of service as a trustee, including chairing several board committees.”

“After leaving the corporate world, I wanted the next phase of my career to be meaningful and rewarding in a different way. I am confident that this opportunity with Mercer will fulfill that aspiration,” Appel said. “I fell in love with Mercer when I visited the campus for a high school debate tournament over 30 years ago. As the first in my family to attend college, higher education always has been of utmost importance to me. I have been impressed with the evolution and growth of the University, and particularly with its focus on service-learning and research. I have great respect for President Underwood and his team, and I look forward to using my background and corporate experience to help further Mercer's mission.”

Following graduation from law school, Appel practiced law with the Atlanta-based firm of Long, Aldridge and Norman (now McKenna, Long and Aldridge) in the areas of bankruptcy litigation and financial restructurings before joining Turner in 1995.

A native of Cuthbert, Appel lives in Atlanta with her husband, Evan, who also is an attorney, and their two daughters, Allie and Carly.

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.