Lovely and graceful, caring and thoughtful, Lovette Twyman Russell embodies the spirit of philanthropy which is the focus of this issue of the Atlanta Daily World. Throughout the paper readers will note stories that highlight Atlantans commitment to improving the quality of life for all in the community. This spirit underlines our city's history and has been an annual feature of the World during the first week of December for decades.
Russell is a native of Atlanta who received her BA in Psychology from Spelman College. After college she worked as a computer programmer for a small firm in Norcross finishing her corporate career with the Xerox Corporation in sales and marketing.
While at Xerox she met Michael Russell, a native Atlantan and the CEO of H. J. Russell & Company. They were married in 1992 and have two children, Michael Russell, Jr. a first year student at The University of Virginia and Benjamin Russell, a senior at Woodward Academy.
"I am passionately dedicated to health, wellness and education for inner city kids," says Russell. She currently sits on the Board of Sheltering Arms, Zoo Atlanta,GEEARS and the CHOA Foundation. She is also a Trustee at Spelman College, Chair of the Hughes Spalding Community Foundation Board, is an advisor to YouthSpark,is a member of Jack and Jill of America and a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
A former tri-athlete, Russell started racing 10 years ago and has completed four races, including the Honolulu Marathon. Now, despite an auto-immune condition that sometimes wears her down, she continues to train and help women and youths to get in shape.
"I think good health and fitness is a key component to well being," she says, adding with a charming smile, "even if it hurts."
Russell's Community awards and involvement are many and varied. They include:
• 2012 Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
• 2012 recipient of the Mary Caan Volunteer of the Year for the Lupus Foundation.
• 2012 co-chair of the Mayor's Masked Ball which benefits the UNCF.
• Chaired the 2011 Swan House Ball, the annual fundraiser for the Atlanta History Center
• Co-chair of the New Look Foundation's annual fundraiser in 2011
• Co-chair of the 2011 Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce annual awards gala
• Chair of Girls, Inc annual fundraiser in 2011
• Co-chair of the Inaugural Grady Hospital Gala in 2010
• Co-Chaired Zoo Atlanta's Annual fundraiser "The Beastly Feast" for 2009
• Co-Chair for the High Museum's David Driskell Prize 2009
• Past Honorary Chair for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Talent Development Program
• 2007 and 2008 Honorary Co-Chair of the YWCA "Open Your Purse" fundraiser.
• YWCA Woman of Achievement for Community Service
• Atlanta Woman Magazine 2007 "Woman of Achievement"