The Trusted Adviser April/May 2011 | Volume 4 • Number 3

Update from ATG Administration

ATG Elects Robert F. Russell as Chairman of its Board of Directors



A New Five-Member Committee Was Also Signed On

Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG) has elected Attorney Robert F. Russell of Princeton, Ill., as the chairman of its board of directors. Russell is a partner in the Princeton law firm Russell, English, Scoma & Beneke. He is the third generation of Russells to practice law in Princeton, following his father, Fred G. Russell, and his grandfather, Judge R. L. Russell, who first opened his office in Princeton in 1897.

ATG is widely known as an advocate for both lawyers and the clients they serve. Subsidiary companies owned and operated by ATG include: ATG Legal Education, LLC; ATG LegalServe; ATG Trust Company; The Judicial Sales Corporation; and NLT Title, LLC.

"It is my goal to maintain ATG's industry-wide reputation as the premier lawyer service organization for both the legal profession and for the public," Russell said. "We have the right people to ensure we continue providing unsurpassed service to attorneys and their clients. Being chosen to lead this complex and innovative company during a time of extreme uncertainty in the national real estate market is a true honor. I look forward to working with our management team and my fellow board members to meet and surmount the challenges that face us."

Peter J. Birnbaum, president and CEO of ATG, stated: "We are pleased and proud that Bob will be serving ATG in this important leadership capacity. Not only is Bob a top-notch lawyer, he is also a great leader. He has the ability to build consensus in even the most complex and challenging circumstances."

In addition, ATG's new executive committee was voted in October 2010, and includes the following members (all of whom are practicing attorneys):



  • Robert F. Russell, chairman, Princeton;

  • Ward F. McDonald, vice chairman, Champaign;

  • David S. Dunn, secretary, Bloomington;

  • John G. O'Brien, treasurer, Arlington Heights; and

  • William W. Austin, immediate past chairman, Effingham.

Russell has been a member of ATG's board of directors since 1995. He also serves as chairman of the board of The Judicial Sales Corporation, a subsidiary of ATG. Russell is a frequent lecturer and author throughout Illinois on real estate and township law.

Very active in the legal profession, Russell has been a member of the Illinois State Bar Association since 1974, and is active on its Real Estate Section Council. Russell is a director with the Illinois Township Attorneys' Association, and has been the vice president of that association since 2009. He is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association, and is a Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation. He previously served as president of the Bureau County Bar Association from 2002 through 2004. Russell was also appointed as a member of the Educational Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar from 1993 through 1995.

Russell and his firm concentrate in real estate, estate planning and probate, business organizations and agricultural law, insurance defense, and local government law and zoning.

He is chairman both of the A.H. Shoemake Community Foundation and the Bureau County Metropolitan Board, a director of the Princeton Park District Foundation and a member of the Princeton Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Russell's past activities in the community include previous service as chairman of the board of Perry Memorial Hospital, chairman of Amcore Bank North Central and a member of the board of directors of the First State Bank of Princeton. He is a past vice-chairman of the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation, and served three terms as a member of the Princeton High School Board of Education. He has also served as a director of the Bureau County Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Prairie Arts Council, and the Illinois Valley Central Health Systems Agency.

Russell has also served as the fundraising chairman for Bureau County United Way and as the chairman of the recent Gateway to the Future Foundation Capital Campaign.

He earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law at Champaign/Urbana in 1973 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1970. A graduate of Princeton High School, Russell and his wife Debra reside in Princeton and have three children — Margaret, Andrew and Elizabeth. With Russell's son, Andrew, recently joining the practice after graduating from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Andrew is the fourth generation of Russell family attorneys to practice law in Princeton.

"I enjoyed having the privilege of practicing beside my father for a few years," Russell said. "Now I'm looking forward to working with my son."



THE TRUSTED ADVISER is published by Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., P.O. Box 9136, Champaign, IL 61826-9136. Inquiries may be made directly to Mary Beth McCarthy, Corporate Communications Manager. ATG®, ATG® plus logo, are marks of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. and are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The contents of the The Trusted Adviser © Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.

[Last update: 4-26-11]