H. J. Russell & Company Launches “We Build” to Further Define its Impact on and Legacy Connection With the Communities in Which it Builds, Manages and Develops

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

November marks five years since the passing of H. J. Russell & Company’s founder, Herman J. Russell, Sr. Today, the company he founded, H. J. Russell & Company (Russell), is at number 25 on the BE Top 100 list. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of Russell’s incorporation. The company is responsible for playing a role in erecting or providing construction or program management services for some of the most iconic buildings that define the Atlanta skyline. Some of these structures have truly helped shape Atlanta in terms of providing quality live, work and play spaces – from developing, building and managing affordable housing communities like Maggie Russell Towers for seniors and Capitol Vanira Apartments for families, to constructing office buildings like Georgia-Pacific, Coca-Cola headquarters and 191 Peachtree Tower, as well as public assembly places like The Carter Center, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, State Farm Arena, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium to name a few.

To mark the significance of both occasions, two of Atlanta’s most notable structures, one representing the past (191 Peachtree Tower), and one representing the future (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), both helping to shape the Atlanta skyline, will be lit green the evening of November 6, 2019 to commemorate the milestones.

“As we reflected on how we pressed through the significant economic downturn that started in 2008, we wanted to pause and pay tribute to our founder, a construction pioneer who always saw the possibilities,” said Lonoia Brooks, marketing director, Russell. “Sixty years in business is amazing, and while looking back, we are also celebrating the legacy that the fresh Russell team is carrying forward, helping to not just build structures, but to help build vibrant communities and spaces that make the cities in which we build and operate thrive,” said Lonoia Brooks, marketing director, Russell.

Herman J. Russell’s legacy and dreams continue along with the new ones of his children, Michael B. Russell, CEO, and H. Jerome Russell, Jr., president, who provide day-to-day leadership of H. J. Russell & Company. Their sister, Donata Russell Ross, serves on Russell’s board of directors while also serving as the CEO of Concessions International, LLC, a sister company their father started in 1979 that provides airport concessions in eight airports in the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 “We’ve had the fortune of building off the legacy of two incredible men of their day, our father and our grandfather, coupled with all the support from our mother,” said Michael B. Russell, CEO, Russell. “Since I took the helm in 2003, we’ve had our ups and downs, but what remains true is our steadfast commitment to improving the working, living and playing quality of life for Atlantans and wherever we do business, and doing so with integrity and excellence. Some of our most recent complex projects we’ve worked on with joint venture partners including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, City of Atlanta Water Supply Program and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, not only make us proud, but lets the industry know that this privately owned firm has all the talent it takes to tackle just about any project on the table.”

During a day of celebration, including the launch of the “We build” campaign at a VIP luncheon at Paschal’s Restaurant within the Russell Hospitality campus, and a bus tour around the city to discuss the iconic landmark structures Russell helped build, the Russell family will also host influencers and supporters at an evening “We build” reception at the future home of the Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, a lasting legacy to the economic power of entrepreneurism.

“Our father always believed in owning your own so you could control your own destiny,” said H. Jerome Russell, , president, Russell. “He believed you were bigger than your circumstances and that only you could limit your dreams. Through the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, we plan to help launch many dreams with the active involvement of the third generation of the Russell family as well, making this truly a family affair our father and grandfather would be proud of.”

Russell recently announced the groundbreaking of the Stockbridge Amphitheater, the first-ever amphitheater in Henry County, along with the development of the King Memorial Transit-Oriented Development in conjunction with MARTA and is renovating 23 Fulton-County Library System libraries.