Founder and CEO
Lance serves as the Founder & CEO for Class V, overseeing the firm’s consultative services and relationship development activities. Russell is both a successful technology entrepreneur and nonprofit leader, with experience in youth services, workforce development, education and social enterprise.
"Lance has been both mirror and mentor to me– mirror in that he deeply listens and understands my felt experience of the world as it is, and mentor in that given that reality, he has helped me to push past boundaries and surface a third way towards productive change. When roads are particularly bumpy, that’s when his inner genius is ignited. He’s unfettered by the highs and lows of change, and instead can see clearly through them, and is inspired by them, to find a unique and sustainable path forward."
Lance Russell is devout believer that in order to transform society, we have to create fair opportunities for young people of color- for talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. He believes in the power of education, jobs and entrepreneurship to create and amplify those opportunities.
Prior to founding Class V, Russell built an accomplished career as a technology entrepreneur and nonprofit leader focusing on growing revenue, building high performing teams, and delivering impactful results for stakeholders. Known for innovative thinking, straightforward communication and a results-driven approach, Russell has a unique combination of strategic insight and executional effectiveness that ensures organizations quickly get on track and achieve transformative results.
Russell has held several C-Suite positions with organizations at the forefront of creating sustainable impact throughout the Chicagoland region. He has led teams through a myriad of strategic and tactical pivots, including virtual programmatic shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic, national strategic re-alignments, significant financial restructurings, and turnarounds in school performance and enrollment.
Before transitioning to the nonprofit sector, Russell co-founded and led PointBridge, a technology consulting firm with nearly $20MM in revenue and 100 employees in Chicago, Milwaukee and Boston that was purchased by a publicly-held company. As PointBridge’s Chief Operating Officer, Russell led all finance, human resources and marketing activities, and oversaw the organization's strategic financial and operational due diligence initiatives during its acquisition.
Russell spent several years as a board member at Cara Collective, an innovative workforce development organization that creates 1000+ jobs annually. In his time with Cara, Russell served in a variety of roles, including advising the CEO, leading the jobs committee and created the organization’s technology committee.
A native of Northwest Indiana and the child of public school teachers, Russell earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Indiana University and has completed graduate-level coursework in cultural and educational policy studies at Loyola University. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his two children- an aspiring elementary teacher and a tap-dancing future engineer.
We say what we mean, do what we say, and operate with full transparency.
We are all in, all the time, on the success of your organization and people.
We believe in trying new things and continuously seeking to improve.