John Russell (GS-70, Choral Music) is a native of Asheville. He is in his 13th year as Executive Director of The Montford Park Players, North Carolina's longest running Shakespeare Festival, where he has increased attendance by 900% and revenue by 750% in that time.
John holds the Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. He serves and has served on various committees for the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Institute of Outdoor Theatre, and the Southeastern Theatre Conference, and has lectured on Strategic Planning at several international conferences. He is a Charter Member, Past President and currently serves as Secretary of the Rotary Club of Asheville-Metro, and is a Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Foundation. In 2017 Governor Roy Cooper appointed John to the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Arts Council. In his spare time he plays golf poorly but enthusiastically and volunteers at Manna FoodBank. In 2018 John was named the recipient of the Mark R. Summer Award by SETC for outstanding contributions to outdoor theatre.
John encourages every alumnus, parent, and friend to contribute to the North Carolina Governor's School Foundation..