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Russ Hale

VP | Strategy

With 40 years of experience in branding, advertising, communications and business management, Russ Hale seeks the ‘aha’ – that quintessential element that sparks growth and brand distinction. As a marketing strategist, he helps businesses discover their unique space in the market and works closely with them to develop a brand and messaging strategy that fits.


In the 1970’s Russ taught writing (grades K through college), served as Poet-in-Residence for the National Endowment of Arts and Tennessee Arts Commission, and started a company developing insured financial plans for business owners. He founded an ad agency in the 1980’s, then became Vice President of Marketing for one of his customers in 2005. The company, a major provider of services in the hospitality industry, averaged better than 15% growth through his 11+ years as VP of Marketing.


On his way to earning a Master of Arts degree, Russ chose a small university in order to have more opportunities for a comprehensive learning experience. In the fine arts, he minored in art, won the Award for Excellence in Creative Writing three times, and edited a creative writing magazine. In sports, he played on the baseball team and made the basketball team as a walk on. In music, he performed in the orchestra, band, and chorus, and he played the lead role in the musical South Pacific. Throughout his work career, he continually challenges himself with new learning experiences.


Russ has a love for family, faith, fine arts, fine food, and any sport with a ball. An avid hiker, he has breathed fresh air from the mountaintop trails of the Great Smoky Mountains to the river paths of Yosemite Valley.

In His Own Words

“I look forward to every day, every moment when I can help someone toward realizing a worthy dream – whether in business or in life. Too often people / companies think they need a win-at-all-cost edge to succeed. Not so. I've found lasting success begins with establishing a personal and business compass based on immutable values. Once you know where true north is, then you can begin to chart a course and your destination becomes inspiration.”