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Melissa Pepper Joins as Chief Strategy Officer


Russell is proud to announce and welcome Melissa Pepper as the newest team member to join our growing ranks. Melissa will be joining Russell in late August in the newly formed executive team role of Chief Strategy Officer.

Melissa comes to Russell from Total Solutions, where she currently serves as President and Chief Strategy Officer. Melissa’s leadership accelerated Total Solutions’ growth and earned them a Better Business Bureau Torch Award for 2020.  Prior to serving as President, Melissa joined Total Solutions in May 2018 as a Business Development Partner focusing on sourcing and developing new clients.

Melissa is passionate about serving the community and serves on numerous boards and committees, including Genesis Health System (Board Member), United Way of the Quad Cities Individual Giving Campaign (Co-Chair), IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union (Board Member) and is the founder of the Lead(h)er mentorship program. She graduated from Augustana College with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and English and earned her MBA from The University of Iowa.

In the newly formed Chief Strategy Officer role, Melissa will be responsible for all business development, marketing, and talent initiatives. More specifically, Melissa will focus on: Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Personal and Professional Development, Culture, HR Management, Employer Brand, Marketing, and Business Development.

“This role is instrumental in supporting our corporate mission of building great people, relationships and community. At Russell, we don’t let our mission and vision statement sit on a shelf to collect dust. We live them every day. We incorporate them into our strategy and the actions we take to achieve our goals. As a company in growth mode, we are looking to a future where Russell is a larger organization in expanding markets, which will require more strategic attention paid to people and relationships. The addition of Melissa’s role will help us achieve our long-term goals,” said Jim Russell, CEO of Russell Construction + Development.

“Russell has always been a company I have admired for their leadership, rapid growth, and culture. I am excited to contribute and build upon such a strong foundation,” stated Melissa.

Welcome to the Russell team!