WWW.CITISCAPES.COM | 25 uss was born in 1959 and grew up in Rolla, Missouri, with two brothers. He lived there for the first 19 years of his life. He says his mom is “a country version of June Cleaver” and that his father has always set a great example for him. “You know the saying, ‘The greatest thing a father can do is love a child’s mother,’ and he certainly does that well,” Russ says. The summer before his junior year in high school, Russ began working for the Rolla Walmart. His older brother had attended the Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, and Russ imagined he would follow in his footsteps after graduation. But as his high school graduation drew closer, he began thinking that he didn’t want to spend more time in a classroom. His store manager came to him and suggested he move into the Walmart management trainee program after graduation. “I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do that, either, because I knew it was going to be six days of hard work a week,” Russ says. “But my parents suggested that I give it a try. It turned out to be great advice.” In 1979, at the age of 19, he began the trainee program and, subsequently, was promoted to assistant manager at a nearby Walmart. Russ says it wasn’t really the retail part of the business that excited him, but he really enjoyed the people and being a part of a team. “Walmart was such an amazing place to be. Opportunities were coming up very fast for those who were willing to work hard,” he says. “I didn’t really have a path or a plan, I just worked hard and treated people right.” RUSS ROBERTSON Russ Robertson has had personal challenges in his life. The kind of challenges others might hear about and wonder how he and his family ever got through. The kind of challenges that might rock a family to its core and destroy it. But that didn’t happen. Instead, Russ and his family grew stronger through those challenges. These challenges taught him much about life and love and that blessings can be found in everything. “I put Christ in the center of everything I do, that is my first identity, then as a husband, father, grandfather and friend,” Russ says. Leading Regular Folks R