Early in Chris Russell’s life, she thought she would become a teacher. Instead, she fell in love with her job at UNC Greensboro and has supported faculty and staff for decades.
On August 1, the Office of Financial Planning & Budgets presented her the Richard Caswell Award. The North Carolina Office of State Human Resources gives the award to state employees with 45 years or more of service. Russell began working in Payroll in 1977. Eleven years later, she moved to Financial Planning & Budgets where she is now the EHRA budget analyst.
Russell says a walk around UNCG reminds her of how valuable her work is. “All you have to do is look at the campus and see how beautiful it is. If it wasn’t for the budget providing the groundskeepers, we wouldn’t have this. There’s so many things going on behind the scenes that people don’t realize.
“Chris is always reliable, willing to help others, extraordinarily patient, and interested in and excited to learn more things,” says Reade Taylor, former vice chancellor of Business Affairs.
Interim Assistant Budget Director Michele J.B. Laudenbacher says, “She has taught me that it’s important to make a difference in all that I do – a lesson I take seriously. The career milestone of 45 years of service that she has reached is nothing short of astounding.”
Steve Rhew, former associate vice chancellor of Finance, says, “Chris has always been excellent with people at all levels, treating everyone with respect but also holding them accountable.”
The friends Russell has made is one of the highlights of work. “My life would not be as rich without them,” she says.
As for retirement, Russell says she will begin thinking about it in a few years, but she is still excited to come in to work every day.
When asked what she would say to students about to get into the workforce, she says, “Make sure you find something you love.”