10 Things About: Chris Olson

Photo by Liz Chrisman

Age: 38
Occupation: Executive Director RussVegas Foot Races Foundation Hometown: Born in and lived in Russellville until 1996 then moved back in 2006.
Family: Wife Lisa, daughter Grace Anne age 9 and son Reid age 5.

1) What is your favorite book and why?

The Bible. It’s refreshing to know what God has done in order to have a relationship with me.

2) Dog or cat?

Dog! A dog looks at you and is thinking how it can make your day better. A cat looks at you and is just mad we’re so big and they are so small.

3) What’s the best thing about living in the River Valley?

The hometown spirit and public schools. It’s nice to live in a place that has community roots. Russellville is growing and will continue to grow. But in the midst of the growth, the hometown feel still remains. Our communities commitment to our public schools is amazing, and it shows in how our kids come home from school and how they are competing with other students across the state and nation. RSD is the reason we moved back to Russellville.

4) What’s something no one would ever guess about you?

I was in the military. I was fortunate enough to spend six years in the USAR, from Fort Benning to Fort Sam Houston. It was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. The military was the catalyst that I needed as a boy to grow into a responsible young man.

5) What is your favorite music genre and artist?

If I would have to choose, it would be 90s hip-hop because that’s what conjures up so many memories for me as I was growing up. But honestly, I love all music because one song can change your day. It brings people together, makes you want to let your hair down, get focused, or give you the courage to try one more time. I love music.

6) What do you nerd out on?

I am the vacation nerd. I’ll spend way too much time finding the perfect rooms, activities, fastest route, and especially best food. It is truly satisfying for me to take family and friends on good adventures.

7) If you could change one thing about the River Valley, what would it be?

I would change the the way we disagree. Even in Russellville, so many of us come to each issue with varied experiences. There is rarely one single correct way and I like to hear and respect others opinion. We may not agree, in fact my own opinion might be unbelievable to you, but we learn so much about one another when we listen, ask questions, and learn to agree to disagree sometimes.

8) Where is the one location in the River Valley you would tell a first-time visitor that they must go?

There are so many, but I would say Mt. Nebo. I have so many great memories on Mt. Nebo as a kid. Now my kiddos are getting to experience the magic of the crisper air, birds-eye view, and the reminder that there is a lot of world out there to see.

9) Pizza, tacos, cheeseburger, or fried chicken?

Cheeseburger. I like good food and appetizers, but from this list, you can’t beat a well made cheeseburger from one of our awesome burger joints or homemade on the grill while hanging out with friends on the back porch.

10) What is your favorite quote? Could be from an inspirational person or an original.

I have two. Every time my wife and I say good bye we say “Love ya, mean it.” It’s so simple but still has a big impact knowing that my best friend knows my faults and successes, but chooses to love me and she means it. Additionally, my dad always told me while headed out for the night in high school and college:”Remember who you are.” Regardless of how the night went, this was a reminder to control my decisions on that particular night, it was and is always in the back of my mind to remember who I am and where I came from.

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