Russ Kathrein is the President and CEO of Aurora, Ill.-based Alexander Lumber, which operates 22 locations throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. He was raised in the greater Chicago area working at his father’s lumberyard. Upon earning his finance degree at Michigan State University, Russ worked for NCR and United Airlines before coming back to Chicago to run his family business. After seven years, he left the family business and accepted progressively larger responsibilities across the country in senior management with 84 Lumber, BMC West and ProBuild. Russ is passionate about the art of Leadership and the people side of business. He has successfully turned around many operations by first getting the people part correct and making sure the team is aligned, then focusing the team on the fundamental issues.