Maureen Russell ... President & CEO
Beginning her career in sales for a building materials company in the 1970s,
Maureen Russell’s presence in a male-dominated industry was extremely unusual.
With a combination of determination and business know-how, Russell quickly
became a highly successful saleswoman. In 1990, when she purchased
R.M. Waite Co., Russell immediately recognized the opportunity
to expand the company’s distribution services by offering specialized export
Enthusiastic and knowledgeable in the business communities of Asia and Micronesia,
Russell has guided R.M. Waite’s highly successful and thriving expansion
into the export management industry. Determination, in-depth market know-how
and a willingness to experiment have been key components in the company’s success.
Facing deflating export markets and slowing sales during periodic economic downturns,
Russell rose to the challenge of overcoming these hurdles by investigating ways
to diversify and strengthen her company’s export markets. For example, Russell
did her research and gained intricate market knowledge of the many nuances of
U.S.-China trade. The aggressive growth of R.M. Waite is proof of
Russell’s tenacity to find creative solutions to her customers’ diverse
Above all, Russell maintains our greatest assets are our customer relationships,
the guiding principal of R.M. Waite's continuing success.
Read more about Maureen Russell’s entrepreneurial successes in
Exporter Rides Out Economic Swells in Asia by Stephen Brown.
Awards and Recognition
- 100 Largest Women-Owned Businesses in the Bay Area
- Women in Leadership Award, 1998-2002, San Francisco Business Journal
- Presidential Invitee, 2002 U.S. Dept. of Commerce Conference, Washington, D.C.
- Panelist, 2002 China Trade Conference, Oakland, CA
R.M. Waite ... Founder
Bob Waite was born and educated in Seattle, a graduate of the University
of Washington. Like so many others of his generation, his college education
was interrupted by World War II, and after three years service with the
Army Air Force, he returned to complete his education, majoring in the
field of foreign trade.
Soon he was on his way to San Francisco, regarded then, as now, the hub of
export business to the Far East.
Employed by a major trading firm, and based in Guam, Bob traveled extensively
throughout the Pacific Rim before returning to San Francisco to establish his
own company, R.M. Waite Co., specializing in the sale of American-made
building materials throughout Asia.
Bob Waite established the company’s impeccable reputation with both customers
and principals, which continues as a lasting influence in the company to this date.