“You have to honor the past, but also position the business for the future.” – Michael Russell

Michael Russell is the CEO of H. J. Russell & Company, a family-run construction service business founded in 1952. It is one of the country’s most prominent African American-run businesses and specializes in real estate development, program management, construction, and property management. H. J. Russell & Company has completed over 500 projects and managed over 20 properties. As CEO, Michael is in charge of strategic planning and connecting with other minority-led businesses.

Michael joins us to discuss what it is like to be the CEO of a family-run business with over 60 years of history. He shares his plans to move the company forward while honoring his grandfather and father’s legacy. He touches on the complexity of combining business and family, and why they rarely mix well. Michael describes how H. J. Russell & Company supports other minority-led companies and shares his thoughts on the future of supplier diversity in business.

Topics discussed in this episode of Breaking Barriers, Building Hire Ground:

  • The mission of H. J. Russell & Company
  • The importance of legacy to companies as they grow
  • How reputation and historical impact can make business come your way
  • How Michael honors the legacy of his father and grandfather’s contribution to the company
  • What Michael is doing to move the company forward while honoring the past
  • Michael’s experience as the CEO of a family-run business
  • Why family and business do not typically mix well together
  • The guidelines and expectations for next-generation owners
  • Michael’s interaction with supplier diversity and how it affects the construction side of business
  • How big is big enough to start thinking about supplier diversity
  • Michael’s thoughts on supplier diversity as a minority-run business owner

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This podcast is brought to you by Hire Ground

Hire Ground is a technology company whose mission is to bridge the wealth gap through access to procurement opportunities. Hire Ground is making the enterprise ecosystem more viable, profitable, and competitive by clearing the path for minority-led, women-led, LGBT-led, and veteran-led small businesses to contribute to the global economy as suppliers to enterprise organizations.

For more information on getting started please visit us @ hireground.io today!

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