A conversation with THE BASA JUDGES

Rachel Russell

I connect with business leaders of high-growth companies and strategically position EY’s brand in the Los Angeles market.

The Best of America Small Business Awards recently welcomed Rachel to the BASA Independent Judging Panel and invited her to share her story in a short interview.


Rachel, can you tell us briefly about your background?


I was fortunate to start my career at Deloitte. I worked on several field marketing events from there, including the 2015 Special Olympics at the L.A. Coliseum. I am now with EY, working on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Greater Los Angeles Awards.


Can you describe your job in one line?


I work with entrepreneurs to build relationships between companies and successful business owners.


From your first day at work to now, what are some of the biggest things you've learned?


Build working relationships with people you trust and admire. If there's someone to mentor you, invest in that relationship.


What is your vision for the future of small businesses?


I'd like to see more emphasis on supporting small businesses. Chain stores are great, but small businesses bring enthusiasm and a different approach. I want to see that continue to grow.


"You may think everything exists, but there are problems in people's lives that still need solutions."


What makes a successful business in this industry?


Identifying a need in the marketplace. It can be hard to do because sometimes it feels like everything already exists, but there are gaps where people still need solutions. With a targeted approach, some amazing businesses have brought that transformative innovation.


Why do you think it's important for small businesses to win awards?


Recognition is so important. Hard work deserves to be appreciated. Providing a platform for small businesses to promote themselves is key as it provides a means for them to gain respect and stand out both in their industries and the marketplace.


"Entrepreneurs are working hard. They deserve to be appreciated."

Anna Stella - Best of America Small Business Awards