Meet Russell Cameron, known around the office as Russ. Russ is the president of the Dental and Optometry Groups. His focus in the division is to share the unique opportunities that HPA members are provided. As you’ll read below, Russ has quite the background; and the stories to back it up (we’ve even linked to one of the videos!). In the short time I’ve worked with Russ I’ve come to find that he has a great sense of humor but more than that he is a people person. Russ places a high value on the quality of relationships he has with others; it’s evident in the natural respect he has from the team at the office as well as the beautiful relationship he has with his daughter.
Tell me about your background prior to joining HPA
In my early years, I was in banking and eventually moved on to work in back-office operations at a stock brokerage firm. I moved on to become a stockbroker which then led me into being part of an investment banking group. While working at that group one of the assets we acquired was a television signal. Through a series of events I was put in charge of running a production company which aired a national TV show called “Fishing the West.” At this point I found myself helping to build the TV station and a national TV show, both of which I had zero experience in. I took to heart, dug in, and did everything I could to help them become successful. Three years later we sold the station for a handsome profit to the Warner Brothers Network. After the station sold I decided to move on from that group and continued producing and distributing award-winning outdoor adventure television for the next 20 years.
What led you to join the HPA team?
With the advent of many cable channels and outdoors shows, combined with the consolidation of many outdoor sporting goods manufacturers into larger groups, the market for the type of content I was producing had run its course. More networks and more shows with fewer advertisers was no longer appealing to me so I decided to return to the investment banking world through a company called Whitestone.
One day one of our investors, who happened to be a doctor, expressed his displeasure with a deal he and his associates had gotten into with a Private Equity (PE) firm; many doctors on his team shared in the displeasure. The result was that these doctors did receive some cash but, after taxes, not as much as they had expected. The PE firm also assigned each doctor stock, but the stock is private (not public) and therefore has no liquidity. To top it off, their doctor holding company was now saddled with millions in debt that it has to climb out of.
The doctors are now sitting there with a lot less cash than they thought they would have, illiquid stock, and debt-laden. To top it off they are now employees of the PE firm and being told what systems and processes they must use with many of the systems being inefficient.
Our team went to work to see what we could do to get the doctors out of the mess. Sadly, for that group of doctors, there was no hope for them as the agreement was ironclad. But, during this process, we did find that there was a much better way to move forward and from there we created the Health Professionals Alliance (HPA). As one of the founders of HPA I, along with the team, have taken on the role of “guide” in showing doctors how to capture what Wallstreet is doing for themselves; in essence how to come together in a unified way while simultaneously keeping control of their practices and independence within a vehicle that has tremendous upside
How has your past influenced your career?
I am blessed to be very strong at relationship building and business development that I have been honed by my years in a variety of businesses and industry segments. As the President of the Dental and Optometry group my skill set allows me to easily transition into sharing the opportunity HPA provides Doctors.
How would your friends, coworkers, and family describe you?
My friends say I am a quality person, funny, and tenacious with a positive outlook on life. In a nutshell I am:
- Adventurous and energetic
- Pioneering and courageous
- Enthusiastic and confident
- Dynamic and quick-witted
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I have great pride in the relationship I have developed with God. In 2008 I ended up in a deep valley, but He was there every step of the way and worked with me to climb out.
I also have great pride in how I was a father to my daughter. I wasn’t perfect but always loved her unconditionally and set the right examples for her.
Last but not least, in 1994 I spearheaded and mounted a rescue effort to bring several groups together to save a pod of killer whales that were trapped in an Alaskan lake. If you want to see the story you can watch how it transpired on this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkgjW-NavV8&t=161s
What are you most passionate about when it comes to working with clients?
With HPA specifically, I am passionate about bringing as many doctors together as possible under our model, as I see how dramatically better their lives can be. I also know that when their lives are better the lives of people around them become better including family, employees and their family, their customers, and the community as a whole .