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George A. Russell Jr.

4/21/2009, 11:52 a.m.
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George A. Russell Jr.

George A. Russell Jr., executive vice president of State Street Corporation and director of the State Street Foundation, will be honored at Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston’s annual Starfish Thrower Award Gala, which will be held at the Seaport Hotel Boston on Monday, June 15, 2009.

Russell will receive the Starfish Thrower Award, presented every year by Operation A.B.L.E. to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of “The Star Fish Thrower Legend.” The legend tells of an older man who, while walking on the beach after a storm, encounters a younger man throwing starfish that had been forced ashore back into the sea before they died in the hot sun.

When the old man told him his actions would not make any difference given the millions of stranded starfish lying there, the young man threw one more back and said, “It makes a difference for that one.”

Throughout a career that began at State Street Bank and Trust Company, Russell’s work has focused on making a difference for individuals and organizations that need help, both in Boston and beyond. He has 30 years of experience in banking and finance, is a trained credit analyst and loan officer, and has worked with small- and middle-market companies as well as Fortune 500 corporations.

Russell has also served as the treasurer and chief financial officer of the City of Boston, and president and CEO of Freedom National Bank of New York. He is past chairman of the board for both the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts and the Financial Services Academy, and now serves on the board of advisors to the African Presidential Archives and Research Center at Boston University.

Russell is a graduate of Clark University, and received his M.B.A. in finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business.