Russell C. Petersen

Russell C. Petersen

I love what I do.
I strive to do the right thing, every time.
I strive to make my services accessible and affordable.
I strive to be the same person at work as I am at the family dinner table.
I want to help others achieve their goals. That’s who I am.


I remember my first closing, way back in 1987. At the time, I was the firm’s title examiner at Hudspeth & Benedict in Norcross. The truth is, I liked title examining a lot, even though most people thought it was the most boring job they had ever heard of. It surprised me as well: I hadn’t particularly enjoyed my real estate courses in law school at Creighton University, but here I was, driving from county to county, pulling deeds and plats, abstracting titles, and loving every minute of it. Reg Hudspeth was the managing partner of the Norcross office, and one day, after I’d returned to the office to write up my research, he handed me a file and instructed me to “close this deal”. Let me assure you, there’s a world of difference between searching titles and closing transactions, and I had never even considered the latter. My takeback from that day was that I would “never do that again”.

Well, here it is, 26 years and over ten thousand closings later, and I couldn’t be happier. Somehow, title examining doesn’t hold the same allure for me as it did back in the eighties.

Russell and Shelby Petersen Along the way, I’ve met some amazing people. One of them, Robyn Avary, was one of Reg Hudspeth’s closing secretaries. She was the person who corralled me after my first closing – which didn’t exactly go well – and showed me the ropes, showed me how a settlement statement was put together, and how to explain it to people in a way they could understand.

Robyn is now my closing secretary, and I am truly blessed to have her in the office. Her experience, wisdom, and calm demeanor are invaluable to me and to my clients. She’s truly my not-so-secret weapon.

1989 was a very good year for me. It was the year I opened my first office in Gainesville. But even more significantly, it was the year that I met Shelby Childs.

It is said that behind every good man there’s a great woman, and Shelby has been my closest friend and confidant from the day we met. We were married in 1993, in Switzerland of all places, a fairy tale come true, and we now have two incredible boys, Cameron and Alexander. There are no more precious souls in this world than my family. Being a sole proprietor allows me to choose the best balance between the work I love and the family I cherish.
Russell and Family
I am proud to practice my craft in Hall County. The community has always been extraordinarily supportive and amazingly gifted. My life’s journey has been a winding path, leading me from Kansas City to Gainesville, to Holland and Germany, and back. I have met thousands of wonderful, compelling people, all with stories to tell and lessons to learn from.