Russell '96 and Tara Ormerod Conrad '95: The World is Their Life
The Conrad family at Wat in the “Golden Triangle” between Thailand, Burma and Laos.
By David Officer ’67
Russell Conrad '96 met his wife, Tara Ormerod '95, at St. Lawrence, and the world has been their life ever since. "Both Tara and I did semesters abroad, and that gave us the hunger to venture outside of the United States for work,” says Russ, who studied in Costa Rica while Tara went to London. “St. Lawrence gave us the academic underpinnings but also the confidence and desire to tackle something not within the normal comfort zone.”
Russ was a history major and Spanish minor; Tara majored in English. After a brief stint with a bank in Massachusetts immediately following graduation, Russ took a position with ServiceMaster in Santiago, Chile, and Tara learned how to teach English as a second language in order to land a meaningful position in South America. "It’s is a great way to open the doors to new opportunities and new contacts,” she indicates. “Living abroad post-graduation introduced me to a new culture and new foods and opened my mind to how unhealthy the American diet can be. It was from this experience that my passion to pursue a career in nutrition was born."
In 2008, Russ became regional managing director for Admax Network, helping to build the firm into Southeast Asia's digital network of choice for top agencies and advertisers. In 2010, he took on an initiative to help bring digital media audience measurement standards to the region. Today, he is regional director for Effective Measure International, a global pioneer in best-of-breed audience measurement for the digital world.
Tara, meanwhile, worked toward her master’s in nutrition while she volunteered at a Thai orphanage for children with HIV. After completing her degree, she started her own business, independently working with clients as well as counseling diabetics and children with learning disabilities, eating disorders and drug addictions. Now she works at international schools, establishing healthy menus for school-age children.
"Living abroad has given me a chance to make a difference that I might not have had in the U.S.A.,” she says. “Making a healthy menu for 1200 students ages 3-18, and knowing they are getting a balanced, nutritional meal every day, is extremely satisfying."
While abroad they also started a family, which today comprises two boys, Owen and Riley, ages 5 and 7.
"Our hope is to send them to St. Lawrence when the time comes,” they say.