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Name - Jon Russell
Age - 47
Job - CEO of Identity Culpeper, Owner of Kelly Street Boxing Club and Chief of Staff for Spotsylvania County Public Schools
Home town - Culpeper
Work town - Massaponax
Education - Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security
Civic and/or church involvement - Member of the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce. My wife Sarah and I host a Friday night prayer and worship group called Wilderness Tabernacle of Culpeper. We have been meeting for almost 3 years. Over 12 different churches are represented.
How would you best describe the county? Culpeper is a great place to live because of our tourist attractions, families and small businesses.
What would you change about Culpeper? I want Culpeper to be the entrepreneur capital of Virginia. If you can dream it, come build it here.
What do you do for fun? I love to travel and visit new places.
What will Culpeper be like in 10 years? I believe Culpeper will become an even greater place for tourism.
How did your previous service on Town Council prepare you to lead Identity Culpeper? It was my honor to serve almost 8 years on town council. My time on the council helped me to identify needs in our community. Over the last year, I have been able to focus on tourism and youth activities.
How important is it for initiatives like Identity Culpeper to become established and serve the community? The Kelly Street Boxing Club serves to help boys from single parent homes form their identity to become strong and respectful men in our community. Culpeper Rodeo serves as our major fundraiser but also drives tourism. Of the 6500 people in attendance, three quarters of them came from Northern Virginia and around the country. This means more business for lodging, restaurants and other attractions.
What could one expect by becoming involved in Identity Culpeper? People can expect the unexpected. We run our non-profit very differently from any other organization. We do out-of-the-box fundraising and community events. We teach youth to make money by balancing a checkbook and starting pop-up businesses. When our youth launch their pop-up businesses, they keep the money they raise. This model helps them understand they can make money honestly.
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