Russell Cellular, Inc. is an exclusive Verizon Authorized Retailer specializing in wireless communication services. Established in December of 1993, as a home based business, owner Jeff Russell began as a lone sales representative selling Alltel Wireless from the trunk of his old Dodge Omni. Formerly a turkey farmer, Jeff was intimidated by big business and large towns. His fear of cold calling caused him to develop a strong referral program with the farmers and small business owners that were his first customers.
Jeff developed his sales technique and soon hired a few outside sales representatives, all of them selling from the trunks of their cars. By the end of 1994, a customer base had been established and two retail locations were opened. Kym, Jeff’s wife and partner, began managing the home based office allowing Jeff to focus on sales, marketing and finances.
The Corporate Office was moved out of the Russell’s home into a new Springfield, Missouri location and three new rural offices were added. Russell Cellular was recognized as Alltel’s top selling agent. Additional administration staff was hired and a sales manager was brought in to focus on the rapidly growing sales force. Sales continued to soar, and Jeff Russell was awarded the 1998 Small Business Association Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Kansas City District. Russell Cellular continued into 2002 with their first acquisition of a long standing competitor in Springfield, Missouri. Several new locations were added as Russell Cellular expanded into new markets.
The Springfield Business Journal named Russell Cellular as the area’s fastest growing company of 2004. 2007 and 2008 were record breaking years in sales as well as profits. Russell Cellular was named among the 2008 “Dynamic Dozen” fastest growing companies in Southwest Missouri.
In January 2009, Russell Cellular held a 15-year anniversary celebration in their brand new Corporate Office located in Battlefield, Missouri, just a few miles south of Springfield. That same year after the Alltel and Verizon merger was announced; Russell Cellular completed the daunting task of converting their 100+ Alltel stores to Verizon. Russell Cellular was again the winner of the Springfield Business Journal’s 2010 “Dynamic Dozen” award, as the fastest growing company in Southwest Missouri.
One of Russell Cellular’s greatest challenges has been to respond to the pressures of the industry while maintaining the operation of the company in a way that is true to the foundational core values of the organization. In 2012, the leadership team focused on creating a more positive Customer Experience and Employee Experience, adding a Vision Statement and implementing the three pillars of Employee Experience: Opportunity, Value, and Team. In December 2013, Russell Cellular celebrated their 20-year anniversary. This 20-year milestone was followed by a year of exponential growth and record-breaking sales, including 6 consecutive months of record sales in July through December, 2014.
In 2015, Russell Cellular continued its pattern of growth into new states and Verizon markets. The Fall of 2015 ushered in the acquisition of stores in the northeastern U.S. Stores in New York City and locations in central Pennsylvania marked Russell Cellular’s easterly expansion, and it’s first growth into major metropolitan markets. By the beginning of 2016, Russell Cellular maintained over 300 locations in 25 states.
Russell Cellular’s future includes growth of existing store sales, as well as new locations that strengthen the company’s partnership with Verizon. Regardless of the changes the company may experience, Russell Cellular will always strive to maintain its core values and foundational principles that helped drive their success for over 20 years.