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Russell is delighted to announce the addition of Thomas (Tom) Banta as the new Director of Business Development. Tom’s focus will be expanding Russell’s brand presence in Iowa City and developing new opportunities and clients in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids corridor.  

Tom comes to Russell from the Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) organization, where he served as Interim President and Vice President of Strategic Growth. Tom’s strategic business development acumen and relationship management skills were instrumental in creating key partnerships and driving growth for ICAD.

Prior to his 10 years with ICAD, Tom served Iowa City as Organization Lead of the Blue Zones Project; before that he served as Director of Corporate Development for the University of Iowa, Henry B. Tippie School of Management. Tom started his career with HNI Corporation, spending eight years in Business Development and leadership roles across San Francisco, CA and Austin, TX. Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Iowa, where he was also a pitcher for the Hawkeye’s baseball team.

In this role, Tom will be charged with connecting Russell to Iowa City businesses and growing our presence in the region. Tom will lead business development efforts by generating strategy plans and building relationships to foster growth in the market. He will develop the action plan for expansion and collaborate with operational project leaders to pursue strategic opportunities.

“We are eager to grow our presence in Iowa City. Our proximity and history of successful projects in the region makes expanding to Iowa City a natural extension of Russell’s services and growth. Tom’s connections will allow him to expand Russell’s brand, presence, and project portfolio in the Iowa City/Corridor area.” said Melissa Pepper, Chief Strategy Officer of Russell.

“I am excited to join the Russell team and help them expand into the Iowa City market. I look forward to connecting Russell with local and regional businesses and growing our presence in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids region,” stated Tom.

Tom officially started with Russell on Monday, August 14th.