We would like to introduce you to each of our team members. This week, please meet Russ Norwood, Founding Partner and Managing Director.
What is your background?
I have worked over 30 years in the financial services industry since graduating from the University of Texas in 1986 with a degree in Business Economics. I spent 24 years at Merrill Lynch and was a Managing Director in the Private Banking and Investment Group, an ultra-high net worth advisory organization. What most people don’t know about me is that if it had not been for the 1980’s oil crisis I would have likely been a petroleum engineer. My father was an engineer and two of my three brothers are engineers. As the fourth son in college, I was under a mandate to graduate in four years. The starting annual salary for petroleum engineers was under $10,000 during the crisis, so my dad suggested I transfer to the UT Business School. I maximized my transfer credits by going to the School of Liberal Arts and getting a degree in Business Economics in 1986.
We lived in Pensacola, Florida for nine years when I was growing up. Pensacola is a primary training location for Navy aviators. I believe this is where I first became interested in one day becoming a pilot. I am an instrument rated private pilot and have been flying for nine years. I fly some for business but mostly for pleasure and personal travel. I have logged pilot time in nine different aircrafts but my favorite is a 1976 Piper Super Cub that I purchased three years ago from the original owner. It was an inspiration for the yellow wing in the Venturi logo.
What do you look forward to at Venturi every day?
I look forward to every day at Venturi. Our firm has grown into the best team of professionals I have ever worked with in my career. The reward I feel each day for what we have accomplished together is incomparable to any other achievement in my career. I feel truly blessed for being given the opportunity to do this and for the vision, resources, and people that make it a success.
What are you currently working on or reading?
My near hour commute each day leaves a lot of time for Audible audio books. Currently, I am also reading a paperback book published in 2010 called, The Age of the Unthinkable, subtitled “Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us”. This was a post-financial crisis bestseller.
Outside of work, what are you doing?
I am adjusting to being an empty nester. My two daughters are both in college. Alexis graduates from Baylor University in the spring of 2018 with two undergraduate degrees in Finance and Entrepreneurship. She plans to attend law school. Ashley is a freshman at the University of Arizona studying education and wants to pursue a five-year Masters of Education program to teach children with special needs. When I am not in the office, I try to attend as many UT basketball games as I can and enjoy playing tennis.