Russ Leach

Senior Project Director

Russ offers clients an impressive background in fundraising, economic and community development, strategic planning, business management, and domestic and international trade. He excels at guiding organizations through strategic planning and major funding initiatives, possessing highly effective project management and investor solicitation skills.

Full Bio

Over the past 14 years, Russ has directed thirteen fundraising campaigns and studies raising over $70 million in funding. These projects ranged from countywide to regional efforts, small to mid-size to major market areas, and goals ranging from $2 to$10 million.

Past professional experiences include serving as Executive Director of the World Trade Center Cleveland, Director of Michigan’s International Trade & Investment Bureau, Managing Director of the State of Michigan’s European Office, and Director of Business Attraction for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. Russ enjoys the complexity of public/private partnerships, equally adept at working with business and government.

Summary of Experience

  • Past clients include Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance (VA), Saratoga Springs Economic Development Corporation (NY), and Greater Louisville, Inc. (KY).
  • Conducted more than 1,200 successful solicitations including hundreds of five, six, and seven-figure investments from individuals, corporations, foundations, and public entities.
  • As Director of Michigan’s International Trade & Investment Bureau, recruited $190 million of foreign investment, created 1,300 new jobs, and assisted Michigan companies in generating more than $100 million in export sales.
  • Earned Master’s (Foreign Language and International Trade) and Bachelor’s (History) Degrees from Eastern Michigan University.
  • United States Coast Guard veteran.