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Reflections from My Mentor

Van Denton, Director of Communications

North Carolina Education Lottery

About Us


In the first 20 years of my career, I have had the privilege of working alongside and learning from an amazing array of colleagues in diverse disciplines. Here are recommendations from some of those outstanding professionals.

Colleagues at Issuer Direct Corporation

Chris is a unique PR and communications professional, the kind of valuable utility player you need and want on your team.

Writer. ✔️ Editor. ✔️ Designer. ✔️ Social media guru. ✔️Strategic thinker. ✔️ Media pitchman. ✔️

He’s got the smarts, the talent, and the experience. And he’s got the technical skills. And when he does runs into something he doesn’t know, he figures out how to do it.

I know what Chris brings to a PR team because I had the privilege and fun of working with him for seven years on the Communications team of the N.C. Education Lottery. He’s the person you want around when things start to falter. He steps in and fixes them. He’s the one who always wants to tell the story better. He cares greatly about the work and cares greatly about the team.

It was a good seven years - yes seven is a lucky number - and due to Chris and his talents, smarts, and drive we did a lot of good work for a good cause.

Brian Balbirnie

President & CEO

Chris was new to FinTech and the arenas of compliance and investor relations when we hired him to be our content strategist. But he grasped our business quickly to become an authoritative writer and social media manager for the company I founded.

The blogs, whitepapers, customer case studies, email campaigns, and social posts he wrote helped us pivot to expand our virtual platform business, driving strong quarterly performance we were pleased to present to our shareholders. As new clients came in, I tasked Chris with QA responsibilities to assist our onboarding department. 

Chris elevated our social planning and measurement systems and was an affable member of our team. Due to a rapidly evolving business environment, we shifted resources for the content strategist role into other initiatives. But I am glad to offer an unqualified recommendation for the value Chris will bring to any enterprise.

Karen Reynolds

Director, Agency Relations

I had the pleasure of working with Chris at Issuer Direct. He was a terrific teammate — willing to jump in to help on projects and go the extra mile to meet tight deadlines.

One thing that really stood out for me was how thoroughly he researched when doing a writing project. He could go from novice to expert very efficiently and it was reflected in his content- from white papers and blog posts to even social media posts. He adapted very quickly to a new industry.

I also found Chris to be very responsive to collaboration and brainstorming. He always brought fresh ideas and a unique point of view — especially helpful when trying to launch a new product.

As a sales person, I look to marketing and content collaborators to support my mission and I felt at all times Chris had my best interests and the best interest of the business aligned with his work.

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Chris is an excellent writer, communicator, and marketing content creator. He never missed a deadline and was a great team member and a pleasure to work with. Chris also has a great mind for marketing strategy and was a valuable asset to have in the room when discussing department goals and plans. I would recommend him highly, he would a valuable asset to any organization!

Eran Kreitman

Marketing Automation Manager

Colleagues at The North Carolina Education Lottery


Meredith Amoroso

Account Director - PR/Social

I had the pleasure and privilege of having Chris as a client during his tenure leading Social Media with the North Carolina Education Lottery. Not only did we have an excellent rapport, but we were able to work together in a way that allowed us to learn from one another continuously about the ever evolving social landscape. Chris is a perfect blend of creative and strategy - a rare breed. He understood when strategy needed to adjust due to consumer feedback or just a general shift in platform UI. He also understood how to properly apply and execute a creative idea in a way that supported KPIs and marketing objectives. What I truly admired about Chris was his ability to remain open minded at all times. He had amazing ideas, but also knew how to adapt to work as part of a team. This is an incredible quality when working in a creative field, where right brains and egos can often present hurdles. He didn't fall victim to any of that. I would recommend Chris for any position that involves content creation - either written word or design - and execution strategy. His skills and personality would make a great addition to any team.

Joyce Hicks

Communications Specialist

I worked alongside Chris as a communications strategist at the North Carolina Education Lottery. Among his many duties, Chris was responsible for maintaining and expanding the lottery’s social media presence, designing and writing for our newsletter, creating brochures, and drafting press releases to publicize the lottery’s big winners and lesser-known and less exciting contributions such as funding school construction, preschool programs, and college scholarships. Chris has a natural talent for putting people at ease and extracting key details that will elevate your copy. As a designer, he has a keen eye for combining and arranging colors, layers, and visual components that draw the consumer in and keep them there. He’s a key team player with an ability to lead, as well as a quick study, an effective communicator, and a dedicated problem solver who would be an asset to any team.

Ben Bauman

Product Manager

Chris is a talented, responsible professional, and he is highly recommended for any roles that require a mix of creativity, writing, digital media expertise, and a hands-on “just get it done owner mentality.” For two years I had the pleasure of working alongside Chris. His door was always open and he was willing to share intel from his communications department that made me a better product manager.


Chris stepped up big time on a number of projects, doing heavy lifting, and working the necessary hours to get the project done. As a person and teammate, I found Chris to be generous, very personable, and a great teammate in a fast-paced environment.


To any hiring managers and HR professionals reading this, please contact me directly if I may provide any further detail and expand on this recommendation for Chris. He is a phenomenal person and winning teams can never have enough clutch players like Chris Bushnell.

Colleagues at The News & Observer

Andy Medlin

Marketing Coordinator

Chris was a go-to person during his time at The N&O, although, a lot of the time he came to you with ideas and suggestions. He was very proactive and took initiative when he saw something that could be improved, or an area where he could help out.

Beyond that his creativity and execution were top notch in all aspects of his duties — which were quite numerous and broad. He'd be a great asset to any team.

Jennifer Burrows Haga

Sales Representative

It was always a pleasure to work with Chris. His level of creativity was matched only by his desire to complete the work perfectly. As is normal in the newspaper industry - there are always last minute changes and Chris' positive, roll with the punches attitude was a constant. I always knew that if I needed help, even if it was not a project that he was directly involved with - I could ask for help and receive it. Chris' was and is to this day very highly regarded around the News and Observer. He was such an integral piece of the puzzle here that I know wherever he is whatever he does he will be brilliantly successful at it.

David Langley

Creative Services Team Lead

Chris is a valuable asset to any team. He is passionate and enthusiastic about his work. An all around great team member, communicator, and talented designer, he can be counted on to bring big ideas to the table and see those ideas through to completion, all while encouraging others to do the same.

Colleagues at Carolina Small Business Development Fund

Jamie McCall

VP, Policy and Research

It is rare to find a marketing professional who can tackle both high level items (brand management, strategy, etc.) and day-to-day tasks (social media, media story pitching, etc.). I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with Chris because he can seamlessly transition between these types of items. He was effective at working under time pressure while also putting a lot of thought behind work products to ensure they were meeting the needs of the organization. Its also a rare find to have someone who can "translate" complex topics to lay audiences. As a policy and research professional I was impressed with how Chris excelled in this. I can't think of a marketing role that he wouldn't be qualified for at this point in his career.


Mark Royster, Jr.

VP, Chief Credit Officer

In a nonprofit setting, professionals are expected to wear many hats and change gears to adapt to urgent deadlines while progressing toward long-term goals. Chris did this, responding to his internal customers' needs of the day and occasionally devoting extra hours to work on key projects like our annual report, which was produced at a high standard. Chris demonstrated respect for his teammates and it was reciprocated across departments. My father and Chris' mother served on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board together for many years. Our families instilled in both of us a mutual concern for community development and promoting policies that empower all people to realize their full potential, from education to entrepreneurship. I have every confidence that Chris will aim to make a positive difference in any endeavor he chooses.


Emily Stallings

Development Director

Chris is very professional, considerate, and respectful of different perspectives, knowledge levels, and backgrounds. He takes the time to listen to others and offer insight by presenting both the benefits and disadvantages of different courses of action. I trusted his judgment as a team member and appreciated his creativity and willingness to both collaborate and provide feedback on development/fundraising projects. It was a pleasure working together at CSBDF!

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