Rush Harris is the Executive Director of the Marshall Economic Development Corporation. Harris has worked in just about every capacity a rural economic developer can over 9 years from speaking with 4th graders about fun jobs that require special skills to signing a $50 million expansion project with a multinational corporation.
Harris received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and is a former intern with the United States Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center. From 2002-2004 Harris volunteered with the United States Peace Corps in the Agricultural Marketing program in Guatemala. He obtained a certificate in International Marketing from the US Peace Corps during his time there, as well as Advanced level fluency in Spanish from ACTFL. In 2008, Harris pursued an MBA at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, where he graduated with Honors from the internationally recognized business school. While at Thunderbird, Harris participated in an emerging sustainable markets program while studying abroad in Brazil. He also obtained certifications in Conflict Mediation and Global Business Communications. Harris returned to his native Marshall in 2011 to start his work with Marshall EDC.
Harris is an active member of both the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and Texas Economic Development Council. From 2016 to 2020 Harris attended the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute (OUEDI), receiving his OUEDI Economic Development Certification. In 2020, Harris became one of 1100 active Certified Economic Developers (CEcD) in North America, having passed the requirements for the professional designation.
Harris is active in many local and regional organizations and currently serves on a number of committees and boards related to economic development, workforce development, and education. In addition to his economic development experience, Harris has worked in various capacities within the distribution, farming, timber, oil and gas, financial, professional services, and information technology sectors.
Harris is married to Dinora, whom he met while living in Guatemala with the United States Peace Corps. Dinora and Rush have girls, age 12 and 10. His favorite job is being a Dad.
Board Member Spotlight
What’s your favorite mode of transportation, and why?
I like planes because you can see the big picture, however I probably like my truck better for exploring new places and meeting new people.
Are there any transportation projects that you’re particularly proud of?
I can’t wait to see I-369 become a reality. This is a game changer for Marshall’s economic development. I look forward to the day when the hourglass reaches the I-69 Corridor.
Is there an upcoming project that you’re especially excited for?
The next one.
What do you enjoy most about being a board member?
Infrastructure and education are big ticket items to develop the economies of a town and a region. I often get to work with education and workforce development. This board allows me to look at large infrastructure projects as well. I like the concept of regional development. The current phase in Tyler may not touch as many in Harrison County, yet. It’s got to start though, and this pushes the ball closer.
What is one of your favorite hobbies?
I love to drive, and I am the self-appointed chauffeur for my girls’ dance competitions, singing lessons, theater classes, volleyball games, and family road trips. When I’m not driving my bosses around, I love bushhogging and working on the tractor at our place in Harrison County.