Kris Rush Honored as Champion of Character for "Diligence"
Diligence Begins Early
Kris Rush’s pursuit of diligence stems from the conviction that, “God provides food for every bird—but He doesn’t put it in the nest.” She was honored by her husband, Dick Rush, and the Character Council of Edmond as Champion of Character before the Edmond City Council during their regular meeting, March 25, 2016. Diligence played a major role throughout Rush’s life from childhood, her work with the Chambers of Commerce and the launch of a cutting edge news website.
Growing up on a small ranch in California, she learned the importance of diligence. Her parents were hard workers and she developed a strong work ethic from their example. With seven mouths to feed, everyone needed to help in the routine operation of the ranch.
One morning before Christmas, Rush says her dad received delivery of “20,000 day-old baby chicks,” his income for the year. Rush had a date that evening, which began with the greeting, “Your ranch is on fire!” The fire spread across the ranch and destroyed the brooder house and the chicks. They went to bed not knowing what to do or where the money would come from to rebuild. Kris remembers, “We were devastated beyond belief.”
The following morning the family awakened with a barrage of friends, neighbors and friends of neighbors arriving with food and supplies to help them rebuild. The community’s diligence made a life changing impression on her. They continued coming every day and “rebuilt that brooder house, the ranch—and our spirits beyond belief,” said Rush. They did all that in addition to doing the work on their own farms.
Rush spent six years working toward a degree in social work while employed full time. Later, she returned to college, earning a degree in Journalism in one year. After graduation she found her niche co-laboring with business leaders to revitalize their chamber and discover new ways to stimulate their local economies.
Her career working with the Chambers of Commerce included working as the Director of the Visalia, California Chamber. Rush said, “The Visalia Chamber was a magical job with great leaders who helped me grow the Chamber into the largest chamber of commerce in America on a per capita basis.” Her hard work and accomplishments caught the eye of the London, England Chamber and she was invited to help them reverse a decline in their membership.
“In 1993 I joined the US Chamber as Director of the 12-state Southwest Region in Dallas,” said Rush. She began with a team of seven, but due to funding problems the team was cut to two, Kris and one other member. Resourced with their laptops, the duo covered the Southwestern region by themselves. Rush said, she wasn’t home much in those days, but “… met the marvelous people everywhere committed to growing jobs and prosperity in their communities.”
Rush’s current project, JustGOODNews.BIZ, was born out of the Prosperity Project that she was involved with to educate voters about the companies that promoted jobs and the economy. It grew into an online news magazine that Rush says, “… delivers positive business stories and opportunities – who’s hiring, who’s expanding, plus innovative companies and communities – state-by-state, sector-by-sector, free-of-charge.”
As “the early bird catches the worm” in the old English proverb, Kris Rush begins each day around 3:00 a.m. “For Dick and me, our work is worship. We start our days with that in mind,” she says. When encountering difficulties she’s learned to ask questions, analyze and discover what needs to change. She related how a financial challenge “stimulated keen focus like nothing else.”
Dick Rush in his nomination of his wife for Champion of Character wrote, “Kris is the most tireless executive I have ever known in 43 years of Chamber work. … Due diligence is her trademark.” Kris and Dick Rush celebrated their 20th Anniversary in February and have been members of the Edmond community since their marriage.
On behalf of the City of Edmond and the Character Council of Edmond, Kris Rush was honored before the City Council as a Champion of Character for exemplifying the character trait of diligence, “focusing my effort on the work at hand.” The Character Council is a grassroots, nonprofit organization committed to creating a citywide initiative to build Edmond into a "Community of Character."
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