Yasmine Murray Esq.
“I want people to know, it doesn’t matter where you start,” said Yasmine Murray.
Born into a poor family, she grew up in St. Lucia with no indoor plumbing and remembers having to collect water from the local public water stand. Because there are no institutions for higher learning on the island, while young, her parents left her to pursue educational opportunities in the United States.
Among adults having a conversation, just 8 years old, Murray learned about the pirating of local musicians’ music around the island. That sparked an interest in wanting to help people. At age 13, her parents brought her to the States. And, by the time she entered high school, she knew she wanted to be a lawyer or ambassador.
She went on to Bay Path University, a predominately white, all-female institution in Massachusetts and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies with a Concentration in Business Administration. “I received a phenomenal education at Bay Path, and I did a lot to help diversify the community,” she said.
Beginning in the second semester of her first year, as a President’s Scholar, she worked as an ambassador helping to get the word out about the school to other minorities. Minority enrollment improved year after year. As a result, the school established and presents an “Excellence in Leadership” award annually, in her honor.
Upon earning a bachelor’s degree, she spent many years working at various firms alongside attorneys who often complained about the balance between career and personal life, which turned her off from the practice of law. She became introspective and considered missionary work.
But, H. J. Russell & Company called. She never worked in corporate yet accepted the position of Corporate Paralegal and Assistant Corporate Secretary. It was at H.J. Russell & Company that a colleague motivated her to further her education. She holds a Juris Doctorate with honors from University of Georgia School of Law.
“I am grateful to Eric for encouraging me to go to law school,” she said. “Being able to work in-house directly after law school is a rarity. To be five years out of law school and have a seat at the table and a voice within a company is virtually unheard of.”
She said H.J. Russell & Company enabled her to grow and flourish. She served as Corporate Counselor and Risk Manager prior to accepting her current position. As General Counsel, she manages the company’s legal affairs and works diligently to mitigate risk company-wide. As Corporate Secretary, Murray serves as the liaison between the board of directors and the company. She is responsible for all corporate governance matters as well. “I am the CEO’s right hand,” she continued. “I help bring his vision and goals to fruition.”
As the Russells are entering third generation of ownership, Murray is honored to serve a minority company that has truly built a legacy. “That means a lot to me. I do my part to protect that legacy,” she said.
Aside from her professional career, she’s involved in her church and supports St. Jude. She also supports activities that promote education for young people.
“I know how important education is and appreciate the gift because so many before us didn’t get the privilege. I’ve been taught and fully believe education is something that can never be taken away from you,” she said.