Rud Browne is currently serving his first term on the Whatcom County Council, which began January 2014. In 2014, Councilmember Browne is a member of the Council's Finance and Administrative Services Committee and Planning and Development Committee. In addition, he is appointed to several community boards and committees, including the Bellingham International Airport Advisory Board, Flood Control Zone District Advisory Committee (ex officio), and Northwest Clean Air Agency.
Rud Browne was elected November 2013. His campaign, his businesses, and his life have been predicated on one simple message: we can have both economic prosperity and environmental sustainability or we will have neither.
Rud is a proven entrepreneur. He started recycling scrap metal when he was 10 years old. In 1981 Rud taught himself computer programming and spent 30 years in the hi-tech sector. Rud and his family moved to Whatcom County 20 years ago.
From his small family apartment and with his own money, Rud started The Ryzex Group. He built Ryzex into an innovative and highly successful multinational mobile technology solutions company, growing it to $75 million in annual revenues and providing employment for 360 people (140 in Whatcom County).
Rud promoted the recycling ethic within the company he built to the point that the Bellingham facility was able to eliminate all waste produced by the business. The lessons learned became the basis of the popular local program called “Towards Zero Waste,” which has resulted in over 300 businesses and schools reducing their waste by at least 50%, with many making more profits in the process.
Rud sold Ryzex in 2011 and is now Founder/CEO of Ryanna LLC, a local company focused on supporting other entrepreneurs and innovative business models.
In 2004 Rud was recognized as the Whatcom County Business Person of the Year and in 2007 as a winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Under Rud’s leadership, Ryzex received numerous awards, including “Best Places to Work,” and Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce Green Business of the Year. Rud has previously held board positions on:
- Whatcom County Ethics Commission
- Brigid Collins Child Abuse & Family Support Center
- Bellingham City Club
- Western Washington University College of Business and Economics (CBE) Advisory Board
- Young Presidents Organization, Pacific Northwest chapter
- Entrepreneurs Organization (Vancouver), as Vice President for Ethics
- St. Paul’s Academy
- Bellingham Public Development Authority
- Northwest Economic Council
Rud is also an Aircrew member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, a member of the Rotary Club of Bellingham, and the Bellingham Angels Group.
Rud’s passions are his family, friends, and community service.