In the Easy Chair with Deb Turrisi

In the Easy Chair with Deb Turrisi

AGE:  48

OCCUPATION:  Community outreach and development director for Stand Up For Animals

RESIDENCE:  Pawcatuck.


RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Planning the 16th Annual Stand Up For Animals Golf Tournament, which will be held on Sept. 14 at the beautiful Lake of Isles Golf Club and Resort in North Stonington, and promoting and bringing awareness to the community about the wonderful things that we do at Stand Up For Animals.

I ENJOY SPENDING MY TIME: Doing anything that involves my children, spending time with family and friends and seeing new places.

MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:  I had a very successful 23-year career at The Washington Trust Company, where I was a vice president/branch manager of the main office; I worked alongside Lisa Konicki and the chamber staff during my 2012-13 chamber presidency, and most recently, I landed my dream job of working for a nonprofit — Stand Up For Animals. However, my family is my proudest accomplishment and the highlight of my existence. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband, Greg, for 27 years and I have two incredible children, Nick, age 20, and Matthew, age 12.  Seeing my sons’ smiling faces, seeing them helping others and watching their successes gives me the most joy.

I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: My willingness to help others, my commitment, loyalty and my sense of humor.

TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST:  To own a lake house while continuing to enjoy the good life.


WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: I fluctuated between a psychiatrist to a dolphin trainer — go figure.

PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST:  My dearest and closest friend, Kristen Holland, who has taught me to laugh at myself (and at her) and has shared and taught me the true meaning of friendship.

FAVORITE AUTHOR:  Too many to list but I tend to reach for Harlan Coben as my go-to author.

BOOK ON MY NIGHT STAND: “Hold Tight,” by Harlan Coben.

I AM LISTENING TO:  Whatever is playing on the local radio stations.

FAVORITE MOVIE: I could watch “Mamma Mia” over and over again and I truly think I have done that.

FAVORITE TV SHOW:  “Blacklist.”

FAVORITE SONG:  Anything from the Mamma Mia soundtrack, especially “Slipping through my Fingers.” and if that doesn’t count then I’d say “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw.

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Pizza, pizza, pizza.


TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE: Honesty, hard work, loyalty and modesty.

PET PEEVE: Dishonesty, resisting change and disrespect.

FAVORITE QUOTATION:  If you asked my kids they’d say I had “too many” but these are my top two:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs

“Worrying is a waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. It just messes with your mind and steals your happiness.”


CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT:  Logically, its food and water but mentally it’s my children.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: My mind is always on fast forward, I love to laugh, I’m persistent when I believe in the end goal, I’m loyal, hardworking and I don’t beat around the bush.  

BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED:  If you believe in yourself then everyone else will too.

ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE:  Keep a small circle of friends, as friendship is about quality not quantity. If you look for friends who share the same morals and values, then you’re golden.  However, my most favorite and probably daily quote is: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde

IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: Delegate the responsibility to someone else.

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS:  Hire a chef because sometimes it’s really hard coming up with dinner ideas! 

I DRIVE A:  2007 Black Nissan Pathfinder SE

I WISH I DROVE A:  2007 Black Nissan Pathfinder SE – I just can’t give it up yet.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE:  Milk and yogurt.

IF I COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, I WOULD INVITE: My staff from The Washington Trust Company because I’d love to catch up with what’s going on with them, their families and their lives.

— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro


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