Born and raised in the newspaper business, Russell has vast experience in the media industry. Prior to launching Social-Impact.com, Russell owned and operated several weekly, monthly and bi-monthly newspapers in Minnesota and Florida. His 40-plus years of experience includes website development, newspapers, magazines, radio sales, and internet marketing. In 2009, he led his newspaper teams to several first place finishes in the Florida Press Association Newspaper Contest, including the coveted First Place in General Excellence.
He is currently active in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and serves on the board of directors in the capacity of Past-President for the local PRSA chapter, a National Delegate, and on the National nominating committee.
Russell began his newspaper career in 1965, sweeping floors in the offices of his parents’ weekly paper in Blackduck, MN. He was later promoted to “hot lead melter” on the Linotype machine and eventually operated several presses including a Heidelberg, AB Dick Offset and a Goss press. Seeing his potential, his parents added advertising sales to his duties at the age of 16.
Russell joined Tuff Publications in 1985, where he served as sales manager in Blue Earth, Minn. In 1989, Tuff Publications moved to Collier County, where Russell served as publisher of the Everglades Echo, the Golden Gate Gazette and several other Florida publications.
He launched his first website in 1997 and was a featured speaker for the Florida Press Association about the importance of web-based community newspapers on the web. Russell launched several newspapers and accompanying websites for three community weeklies and a Spanish language weekly for Naples News Media Group (an EW Scripps company). During his tenure, he served in the roles of Publisher and Executive Editor Community Publications at Scripps. His duties included advancing a chain of community newspapers to collaborative journalism, utilizing electronic marketing, to heighten the quality of journalism within the communities they serve.
Russell has been president or director for many organization including church councils, chambers of commerce, economic development advisory boards, planning commissioner to local civic and non-profit boards.