Everyone meet Joseph Rust or shall we call him the President?
We won’t spoil why someone might call him that other than to say that he has learned a great deal about leadership throughout his life.
Joseph has been a mentee in EDGE for over a year in Randy Reichmann’s group. You can connect with Joe here.
Enjoy the interview!
First things first, on your LinkedIn profile it says that you are the youngest of 13??? I’m sure that most of our readers didn’t grow up with nearly that many siblings, tell us what that was like?
I come from a very non-traditional family, obviously. My mom was born and raised in Poland and my father grew up as 3rd generation farmer in southern Indiana. To be clear, I am the youngest of 13 but it’s through 2 litters. My dad, married twice, had 7 seven kids with his first wife, and 6 with my mom. Yes, my dad loved kids. Growing up with that much family really taught me a lot of valuable life lessons; how to get along, how to share clothes, how to squeeze kids into a minivan, but most of all it taught me how to love.
Some people only know Seymour Indiana as the halfway point between Indianapolis and Louisville, tell us about your hometown and maybe something the general population might not know about Seymour.
Seymour is a town rich of pride and culture. We are the hometown of John Mellencamp. So yeah, that song where about being born in a “Small Town,” that’s Seymour. We have a fairly large German population so our town festival is the Oktoberfest. We are also the hometown to Miss America 2009!
So you ended going to college at Purdue, why did you decide to go there?
Family, agriculture, and Indiana. Purdue is a state university making its name on the global level in engineering, agriculture, and research. Purdue is known to produce leaders that are resilient problem solvers. Who wouldn’t want that?
You were involved with many things there, including serving as the Student Body President for over 30,000 students, what did you learn from your experiences in that role?
One of the biggest things I learned in that role was the value of commitment. When I started, I did my best to attract the highest caliber student leaders on campus. A few months in, I realized that some of the most valuable members of student government were not those high caliber leaders I recruited but rather the students who volunteered. This showed me that commitment can carry more weight than caliber.
Now you’re Chief of Staff for the Orr Fellowship, tell us about the Orr Fellowship, and the role it plays here in Indianapolis?
The Orr Fellowship converges some of the best components of Indianapolis. It brings together some of the best businesses, CEOs, civic leaders, and fresh talent in an effort to retain and develop the next generation of Indiana’s business leaders and entrepreneurs. It has been a perfect way to transition out of college having a challenging job at KSM Consulting, a network of peers to relate to, and a supportive city fostering my growth as a leader.
What is your favorite memory as an Orr Fellow thus far?
Winter Retreat last February. This is an annual trip for all current fellows to escape the city and our job and focus on each other. To me, the most valuable outcome of the fellowship is how well we are all connected afterward. Through this program, I have developed many relationships that will last a lifetime. As we say in the fellowship, it’s about the who not that what.
Changing speeds, could you tell us about why you decided to join EDGE and what impact it has had on you?
My dad passed away when I was in seventh grade. Since then I’ve seen the value of having mentors in my life, including people like Beau Williamson and Jackson Troxel (2 other EDGE mentees) who both encouraged me to get involved. EDGE mentoring has been a great way to establish a deeper relationship with a mentor over a longer period of time. Randy has done a tremendous job so far in investing in us as young Christians. Plus life comes with a lot of distractions. My EDGE group is a great refresher and reminder to how I need to be living a more Christ-like life.
What are you looking forward to most with your EDGE group in 2016?
To any new EDGE mentees, hold on. The best is yet to come! With time and dedication, your group and mentor will become more ingrained in who you are. This goes with any relationship, the more you invest in it, the more you will get out of it. I am looking forward to getting to that next level in our group where we start to help each other make those key life decisions. This is also the case with EDGE as an organization. We are continuing to grow because of the amount of investments (time, talent and treasure) that people like Dante, Dave, and Jeff are contributing. I can’t wait to see where EDGE is at the end of this year!