Russ grew up on a dairy farm in northern Marathon County. In his younger years, he was very active in 4H and FFA where he achieved occasional sales awards and eventually served as a State FFA Officer and later worked through the officer chairs in the newly formed Wisconsin FFA Alumni. Russ took over management of the family farm in 1983 when his father became president of what was then known as Wausau Mutual Insurance Company.
Russ entered the insurance business officially in 1987 working for Rural Insurance in Merrill. During these years, he attained his LUTCF (a life insurance education designation) and was a member of the Wisconsin Valley Association of Life Underwriters.
Six years later he joined Lutheran Brotherhood as an agent, where he obtained his Securities licenses and later Wickes Financial, getting his first experience in the independent agency insurance system. In 1995 he started Utech Agency as a franchise of The Murphy Insurance Group. During these years Russ was an active member of both the “Big I” Independent Insurance Agents Association, and the PIA of Wisconsin.
In 2012, Russ sold the agency to Jeremy and Carrie and later spent a few years working for other agencies, but in 2021 returned to work at Cordova Agency.
Russ does not really have spare time having always enjoyed being involved in community organizations. He is currently a member of the Wausau Elks, Wausau Noon Optimists, Berlin-Hamburg Lions Club where he serves as Treasurer, and the Wausau Area Builders Association in which he is currently serving on the board as a director after several turns in the officer positions and chair of several committees.
Russ has been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Merrill where his children attended school and in years past served on the School Board there.
His latest adventure is assisting his uncle’s family in managing their business, Woodland Trail Winery in Lakewood, so weekends are never boring.
At Cordova Insurance Russ will continue working with customers who have any insurance need, whether it be business or personal.