Russ received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1989. He is licensed both as a Professional Engineer and a Structural Engineer. He has worked for consultants for a total of 13 years with the remainder of his career as a County Engineer. Russ was named County Engineer at Whiteside County in 2012.
Established on January 16, 1836, Whiteside County is named after Samuel Whiteside, a Colonel of Territorial militia, Representative in the First General Assembly, and Brigadier General of militia during the Black Hawk War.