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Jane T. Russell Award for Leadership and Service

Mrs. Jane T. Russell, beloved wife of NBR’s chairman, George Russell, understood the importance of a strong corporate value system and was instrumental in helping identify and develop the values of the Russell Investment Group (currently Russell Investments) in Tacoma, Washington. The company is heralded today for fostering integrity in an environment of mutual trust and respect. Similarly, Mrs. Russell had a profound effect on the nonprofit world around her, in which she devoted a lifetime of service. It was Mrs. Russell who assisted The National Bureau of Asian Research in the process of developing a value system and building an environment for personal fulfillment and organizational success. To commemorate the accomplishments of the late Mrs. Russell, in 2003 the NBR Board of Directors established the Jane T. Russell Award for Leadership and Service.

The Award recognizes a young professional who has shown exceptional leadership in the performance of his or her duties at NBR and who has provided a positive and distinct service to the institution.

Tenth Annual Jane T. Russell Award Ceremony

On Thursday, September 29, 2014, at a private ceremony held at George F. Russell Jr. Hall, President Rich Ellings, presented the tenth annual Jane T. Russell Award for Leadership and Service to Ms. Sara Itagaki. Ms. Itagaki was recognized for her extraordinary dedication to her colleagues and to NBR. Ms. Itagaki received a cash prize of $500 as well as a globe specially engraved in recognition of her service. Ms. Itagaki will commence her graduate studies in Asian Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Fall 2015.

Jane T. Russell Award Committee

Mrs. Joan Sobba serves as Committee Chair and is the guiding force behind the Jane T. Russell Award. Ambassador Carla Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative and Honorary Chair, presented the inaugural award at a special ceremony at The Russell Family Foundation in Gig Harbor, Washington. Mr. Karl Ege, Vice Chairman and Senior Advisor of Russell Investments and 2004 Honorary Chair, presented the award the following year at NBR’s fifteen-year anniversary dinner at the Tacoma Museum of Glass. Award selection committee members have included: Ms. Lisa Barry, Mr. Charles Brady, Ms. Sarah Cavanaugh, Admiral Thomas Fargo, Ms. Linda Gutmann, Ms. Nina Lesavoy, Ms. Anne Pyle, Dr. Kenneth Pyle, Mr. Richard Russell, Ms. Victoria Thompson, Mr. Richard Woo, and Dr. Daniel B. Wright.

Founding Contributors

Steve and Brigitte Allen
Parks and Ginger Anderson
Robert and Eileen Angelica
Sami Baarma (deceased)
Albert and Connie Bacon
Ernest and Rebecca Bianco
Charles and Viretta Brady
Josi Callan
Michael and Victoria Callen
Dale Chihuly and Leslie Jackson
Larry and Barbara Clarkson
Karl and Carol Ege
Richard Ellings and Marta Korduba
Herb and Alberta Ellison
Don Ezra and Susan Dalgetty
Francis Finlay
Clayton Frye, Jr.
Jim and Dona Fuller
William and Phyllis Gill
Pudd and Lee Gingrich
Joseph and Marge Grills
Robert and Linda Gutmann
Harry and Shirley Hagey
Roderick and Carla Hills
John and Mary Hull
Chris and Maureen Jensen
Nand and Jeet Khemka
Ralph Layman
Randall and Joyce Lert
Nina LeSavoy
Victor and Joan Lichtenberg
Jim and Barry Moltz
Jim and Patty Morton
Sam and Colleen Nunn
Michael and Chantelle Phillips
Ken and Anne Pyle
John and Sarah Rindlaub
Russell Investment Group
John and Joan Shalikashvili
Robert and Madelyn Smith
Walt and Joan Sobba
Walter and Betsy Stern
Vera Trojan
Craig and Nicole Ueland
Tania Zouikin

For more information about the Jane T. Russell Award, please contact Kailani Cordell at the Seattle office.



Left to right: Ms. Sara Itagaki with President Richard Ellings at the 2014 Jane T. Russell Ceremony at George F. Russell Jr. Hall in Seattle.



An Afternoon with Jane

A staff retreat, time to reflect
On how, together, we perfect
Our place of work, our goals, our lives,
The mission t’ward which each here strives.
The day began on Shadowfax,
With time to talk and to relax.
Basked in sun, we peered o’er the rail
As t’ward Gig Harbor we set sail.
We’d come to meet that woman who,
As people ‘round the nation knew,
Was key to Russell’s great success
And awesome talents did possess.
What keeps you up at night? she asked.
A project? Some unfinished task?
Which values guide you through the day?
What attitude do you convey?
Communication is a must,
With honesty, respect, and trust.
Smart people should be on your team
So push yourself and dare to dream.
Wash windows, think outside the box
For as you form the building blocks
For NBR to learn and grow
So too your own seeds do you sow.
Precious hours she did share
Hours in which we fell heir
To pearls of wisdom and advice
To which one can’t attach a price.
And now we try without success
To adequately here express
The honor, gratitude, and gain
We felt that afternoon with Jane.