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Executive Team


Cody Markel, Founder and Executive Director

Cody Markel is the Founder and Executive Director of Turner's Heroes. Cody was a part of the same football class at Vanderbilt University as Turner, and they eventually became very good friends and roommates. Cody started Turner's Heroes as a way to honor his late friend and carry on his spirit after his passing.  He graduated from Vanderbilt in December of 2019 with a double major in Political Science and Medicine, Health, and Society.  Cody was awarded the 2019 Southeastern Conference Brad Davis Community Service Leader of the Year award, the Vanderbilt Athletics Community Leader Award, the Vanderbilt Athletics Jim A. Robbins Character Award, and the National Football Foundation of Middle Tennessee C.R. Bickerstaff/Coach Bill Pace Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for his work on Turner's Heroes.  Cody is originally from Middleton, Wisconsin.  

Board of Directors


Noelle and Randy Cockrell

Randy And Noelle are the loving parents of Turner. They are also the parents of Parker and Katheryn. Noelle and Randy reside in Georgia where they have been for the last 23 years. They are both native Virginians having both graduated from Virginia Tech. Randy is a career law enforcement officer and Noelle is an educator. They are grateful for the support shown to their family from the compassionate people of Acworth, Nashville, and beyond.


Martin Penny, Chairman

Martin Penny is the Associate State Director for Advocacy for the AARP of Tennessee. Martin excels in activating voices throughout different communities to achieve a common goal. Martin holds a bachelors and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Tennessee. He received a second master’s degree from Lipscomb University in Environmental Studies. Martin is a member of Belle Meade United Methodist Church and the Phoenix Club, supporting youth services. Martin resides in Nashville, with his wife Kathleen and their daughters, Emerson and Greer. 


Linda Lance, Treasurer

Linda Lance is currently Director of Administration and Operations at Cooley Public Strategies. She previously worked at Bridgestone Americas Holdings and has a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Middle Tennessee State University. She resides in Brentwood, TN, with her husband, Chris and their son, Charlie.

Alison Wenzel headshot.jpg

Alison Wenzel , Secretary

Alison Wenzel is the Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development at Vanderbilt University. She oversees all Career Development, Personal Development and Community Outreach initiatives for the student-athletes. Outside of her job, Alison is busy spending time with her husband Justin and two children, Calla and Casey.​


West Wells, Member

West Wells is a Project Manager for Reflection Window + Wall. He is a Certified Public Accountant and previously worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers as an Audit Associate. West attended the University of Mississippi where he received his Bachelor and Masters of Accountancy. West also serves as the treasurer of the We Stand Together “WST” Foundation for Mental Health. In his free time West enjoys golfing and the Ole Miss Rebels. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Associate Team


Hannah Schwarz, Occupational Therapy Fellow

Hannah Schwarz is a third-year Occupational Therapy student at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She will graduate with her entry-level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy this May. Hannah has lived in Dallas, Texas for most of her life, and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Education with a minor in Business Administration from Baylor University in 2019. Hannah is excited to be partnered with Turner’s Heroes for her capstone project. As part of her project, she will be working to develop and share information that will help to improve the social-emotional well-being of children living with cancer and other chronic illnesses. Hannah will also be hosting virtual social groups for kids to be able to hang out and play together. Outside of graduate school, Hannah enjoys watching sports, spending time with her dogs, and playing board games with her friends and family.

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