Client Focus: Brand Strategy
Russ started Oliver Russell in 1991. He’s committed his career (nearly 30 years) to social responsibility, first inside the corporate world and then as an entrepreneur who’s started four companies and five nonprofit causes. Russ is the author of "Rise Up - How to Build a Socially Conscious Business," and his creative work has been honored with local, regional, and national creative awards. These days, Russ focuses on brand strategy for clients, spreading the Certified B Corp love, and connecting kindred spirits to multiply social impact.
What was the first concert you ever attended?
So how’s this for a first concert: It was The Who at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon. Keith Moon was still banging the drum kit. When they played “See me, Feel me-Listening to You,” it was a real mind blower.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
Coffee, black and strong, from a farmer’s cooperative somewhere in Central America.
What’s worth fighting for?
Human rights, water quality, and a bone fish on the flats at Deadman’s Cay, Bahamas.
What would you eat for your final meal?
Pizza, always. I’ve been eating it since I was five years old and can remember specific pizza events all the way back then. Does that say something?
Tell us about your favorite cause.
The YMCA. It crosses all socio-economic classes, is welcoming to all, turns no one away for inability to pay, and promotes youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. It’s my home-away-from-home.
Would you rather ride a bike, a horse or a motorcycle?
Hello! My bike IS my car (most days, anyway).
Change can be hard. How do you make it easier?
I once had a guy tell me that the minute I started getting comfortable with the business here at Oliver Russell was the moment I became uncomfortable, so this one’s kind of tough – I’ve always been a creature of change.
List 3 of your favorite books.
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Big and bold in its generational telling of the dark and light in this world and that in the end, we all possess free will. “Timshel."
- Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. It’s light hearted and funny as hell, until it’s not; you’ll never forget the character of Alex.
- Sea Biscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. You couldn’t script a better story and cast of characters and a confluence of events at an intriguing point in our country’s history.
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