A man who always looks to the future, John Adams takes pride in the education and family support of his employees and their children. Under Adams’s leadership, on-site, computer-based adult education is now provided for workers at Russell plants, and professional counselors are available to all employees through the company’s Employee Assistance Program. Russell encourages parents to get involved with their children’s education through corporate child care and after-school daycare, paid time off for parent-teacher conferences and honor roll luncheons for outstanding Russell students and their parents.
As president, chairman and CEO of Russell Corporation, Adams has led the company in a Stay in School campaign reaching into all 50 states and 40 countries around the world. The corporation supports the School to Work transition through a scholarship program for students in technical fields and sponsors a student employment program at its headquarters in Alexander City, Alabama. Russell is also a strong proponent for higher education and is a leader in state education reform.
Dedicated to a safe and healthy workplace for its employees, Russell is active in Encouraging Environmental Excellence, an initiative that targets more stringent environmental policies for its members. Its “zero waste” goal is a testament to Russell’s concern for the health and well-being of current and future generations.
Under Adams’s leadership, Russell has expanded into global manufacturing and marketing. The company today has plants in the United States, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Canada and additional markets in Australia and New Zealand. Quality services and products world-wide remains the credo of Russell Corporation.
Adams is a member of the Auburn University Research Advisory Council and holds senior leadership positions in numerous professional and civic organizations including the Business Council of Alabama; International Apparel Federation; American Textile Partnership; and the National Textile Center.
John Adams retired from Russell on April 1, 1998, ending a 21-year career of dedicated service. He continued to have an impact on the textile and apparel industry in Alabama and in the United States through his leadership in the American Textile Manufacturers Institute and the American Apparel Manufacturers Association. Most notably, he was the first in history to serve as head of both organizations. Adams died at his home in Acworth, Georgia on February 25, 2008. He was 69.