J. T. Russell Goes Green

Most asphalt producers are looking at warm mix asphalt as a way to "go green." J. T. Russell, on the other hand, takes going green to an entirely new level: literally.

The late J. T. Russell, Jr., one half of the family business' second generation ownership, took up golf when he semiretired at the age of 58. In true Russell family tradition, he took such a liking to the game that he decided playing other courses wasn't enough. He wanted to build his own golf course.

The family had purchased a tract of land in 1950 close to Lake Tillery in central North Carolina, which served as the perfect location for a golf course. In 2000, The Tillery Tradition Country Club and Golf Course was open for business. The nearly 7,000-yard, 18-hole course features an ambitious routing through the dense hardwood forests on the western edge of the Uwharrie Mountains, challenging even the most seasoned golfer. It was voted one of three "Best New Courses" in 2000 by North Carolina Magazine.

According to Jim Russell, secretary/treasurer and CEO of J. T. Russell & Sons Inc., the golf course is no cash cow by any means. However, "it creates relationships and business contacts for the construction side of the business."

It also gives the Russell family and J. T. Russell & Sons an opportunity to give back to the community. Along with several other charity tournaments throughout the year, every September The Tillery Tradition holds its annual "Shooting for Caine" clay shooting and golf tournament charity event. Caine, the youngest son of Jim Russell, is diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy.

This year, the event helped to raise money for Victory Junction, a charity dedicated to providing life-changing experiences for kids with chronic medical conditions.