John Russell was featured in the Orlando Business Journal (OBJ) on September 30, 2016 as one of the 2016 Veterans of Influence honorees.
John Russell's dreams of following in his father’s footsteps out to sea initially were dashed when he landed a shore-based position in the U.S. Navy. But Russell, 53, said it ended up providing a basis for the firm he founded, which provides simulation and training services primarily to the U.S. Department of Defense.
In the last year, Russell expanded his firm’s relationship with defense department agencies; created a fully functional flight-training simulator for use by airlines, universities and flight-training schools; and opened an office in Taiwan.
How did you transition to a civilian career? While on active duty, I was a training deviceman, and I worked on S-3A Viking flight simulators. I was discharged in July 1985 and went to work for Singer Link the next day, which was the manufacturer of the simulator that had a contract at North Island.
How have you applied your military experience/skills to your business operations? Simulation and training is all I have done since 1982.
How does having veteran employees impact your company’s work culture? Veterans are natural leaders. They have had super training and do well in positions of leadership.
Your advice to veterans: You may not think your training in the military would transition to the civilian workforce, but it does in every way possible.