Rusty Branch is the VP of Community Engagement for Innisfree Hotels and the Executive Director of the Hive Foundation. In these roles he is responsible for the organization’s philanthropic efforts and all aspects of community engagement. Prior to this he spent 5 years as the Executive Director of the Escambia County Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). In his role with the DMO, Rusty advocated on behalf of the hotel/lodging industry for the sustainability and promotion of tourism, which is an industry that represents 20,000 plus jobs and over a billion dollars in economic impact to Escambia County. Before his jump into the hospitality and tourism space Rusty spent 14 years with Lakeview Center Inc. where he worked in multiple roles ranging from children welfare specialist to strategic planner. During this time, he led a Quality Work Environment initiative that won a national award. Rusty has also advocated at the federal, state, and local level for the advancement of job opportunities for persons with significant disabilities and led six (6) members of congress to become “Congressional Champions for Disability Employment.”
Rusty is an alumnus of Univ. of West Florida where he received a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and has completed executive education programs through the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Cambridge Judge School of Business. He has mentored youth in Big Brothers/Big Sisters as well as the Take Stock in Children programs and currently serves on the boards of the YMCA of Northwest Florida and Parent University. Rusty resides in Cantonment, FL with his wife Laura and has four children Emma, Elizabeth, Allen & Kuyper.