Russ Howard

Russ is a veteran investor and runs finance and fund operations.

Bio

Russ is the CFO and a Partner with Primary. Russ was a co-founder of High Peaks Ventures in 2003 and has been in the venture capital business for more than 20 years. Russ joined GE Capital’s venture group in 1994 and participated first hand in the internet boom of the late 90’s. Russ then joined The Berkshires Capital Investors as a General Partner in 2000. Earlier in his career, Russ worked in New York City for Equitable Capital Management and Alliance Capital Management and was a strategy consultant with The Futures Group.

With Primary, Russ now focuses on the financial and administrative management of the firm and the Funds. Russ also still serves on the board of directors of Auterra, Inc., a High Peaks I portfolio company. While at GE Equity, Russ led or co-led a number of successful investments, most notably CommerceOne ($500MM capital gain) and CyberSource ($275MM capital gain)—both went public in the late 1990’s. At BCI, among the investments Russ was responsible for were Optasite (sold to SBA Communications) and Everyday Health, which went public in 2014 (EVDY).

Russ is a cum laude graduate of Williams College, where he majored in economics and was a member of the basketball and track teams. Russ also holds an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School.

The Rest of the Story

In addition to my life in the venture capital business, I am an avid youth sports coach—primarily girls basketball and soccer—and active non-profit board member. I have been an active bicyclist for many years and my latest avocation is Nordic skiing. My golf game remains more challenging than I would like. I am a long-time sports analytics junkie  and an avid reader across a variety of genres.  I am married with three teen/tween daughters who are my joys and my ever-present distractions from the venture capital world.

I live in a small town and firmly believe in giving back to the community. Over the years I have served on the town Finance Committee, the school endowment board, as Treasurer of the local Youth Center, and as Treasurer of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. I am also actively involved in our youth basketball association board. I grew up in Storrs, Connecticut and remain a loyal UConn sports fan.

Stuff You Wouldn't Know

First Job: Afternoon newspaper delivery route—getting on that bike every day, rain or shine builds character. I also ran a lawn maintenance business and my first summer learned the hard way to very carefully follow the instructions on the Scott’s fertilizer bag—too much of a good thing and one very fried, brown lawn later….

Greatest Life Experience: Raising my three daughters to appreciate the outdoors, live an active life, and embrace math, science and computers. Mixed results to date, but still working on it.

Most Humbling Life Experiences: Trying to learn to play the guitar as an adult—my fingers are supposed to go where? Getting 3rd and 4th grade girls to execute a pick-and-roll.

Random Fact: I still have a collection of every Sports Illustrated from 1972 through 1980. Favorite cover from that era is Larry Bird at Indiana State for the 1978 college basketball preview issue—“College Basketball’s Secret Weapon”.