Russell Bernstein - Founder
Since his athletic dreams of being an Olympian ended pre-maturely almost 10 years ago, Russell Bernstein has been trying to find a new dream to pursue...in business. However, for various reasons, Russell met a lot of resistance in his career path.
Still on a path towards personal and professional development, founding GTP has allowed Russell the opportunity to coach other athletes in their careers beyond sports and to act as a mentor to athletes who may be at-risk of facing similar hurdles.
Russell does not currently accept a salary from funds raised for GTP. Instead, with a dream of becoming a Financial Advisor, Russell supports himself and GTP's expenses through his own income and savings. Currently, Russell works as a bicycle taxi driver in the French Quarter and as a server for the prestigious Dickie Brennan's restaurant, the Bourbon House. In his spare time, Russell volunteers as a coach for the LSU Water Polo Club and pursues ongoing professional and personal development and training through Education for Living.
Before beginning the Quest across the US in GTP's "rookie year", Russell was an instructor for 2 years at the main / flagship branch of Chungdahm Learning, a publicly-traded after-school program for Korean elementary and middle school students with content based on global inequalities, human rights, and politics and skills based on critical thinking, leadership, teamwork, and public speaking. During this time, Russell was also invited to serve as a Team Leader and then a Head Teacher to analyze and improve teacher performance, program development, and curriculum implementation. In his spare time, Russell also volunteered in an executive administrative capacity with a large teacher's association.
Before Korea, Russell’s experience is based largely in administrative support for various Fortune 500 companies, investment banks/funds, and even Academy-Award-Winning Major Motion Picture Production companies. The companies include: UBS Financial Services, Hilton Corporation, Canyon Capital Advisors, Edmunds.com, Ticketmaster.com, The Salter Group, and Crusader Entertainment.
In terms of athletics, Russell is a former professional water polo player in Eastern Europe, where he also was a volunteer youth coach for top professional teams such as Barceloneta, Partizan, and Szentesi Vizisportklub. Before Europe, Russell played on the US National Team for a short period after graduating from UC Berkeley and was a volunteer youth coach through the US National Team and La Canada High School. At UC Berkeley, he was the starting goalkeeper on the MPSF championship-winning team, and he was also the starting goalkeeper for the Premiere League Championship winning team (a semi-pro league in the US). Representing the US, he was the MVP of a gold medal winning team at the 16th Maccabiah Games (the Jewish equivalent of the Olympics). Most recently during his time as an English teacher in Korea, he was a volunteer coach for the Korean National Team and Korea National Sport University. During high school, his team won league and division championships, and he was awarded All-American and All-League honors. Russell was later nominated to La Canada High School Hall of Fame.
In addition to a self-designed BA degree in Digital Media from UC Berkeley, Russell has an MBA in Financial Decision Systems and a Certificate in International Business from Loyola Marymount University, where helped the MBA Student Association's Philanthropy Committee organize events such as Jesuit MBA Service Day and Relay for Life. In high school, Russell worked for La Canada High School's Youth Employment Service (Y.E.S.), was a Boy Scout, and volunteered feeding the homeless, planting new trees, and providing companionship to the elderly living at nursing homes.