Rud Browne is serving his second term on the Whatcom County Council, which began January 2018. He represents Council District 1. Councilmember Browne's term ends January 2022.
In 2021, Councilmember Browne is the Executive Pro-Tempore and chair of the Finance and Administrative Services Committee. He is also a member of the Public Works and Health Committee and the Planning and Development Committee. In addition, he represents the Council on a number of community boards and committees, including the Business and Commerce Advisory Committee, Homeless Strategies Workgroup, North Sound Behavioral Health Executive Committee, Opportunity Council Board of Directors, and the Washington State Association of Counties Board and Legislative Steering Committee. He is also a member of the World Presidents Organization, the Rotary Club of Bellingham, the Bellingham Angels Group, and the Bellingham City Club.
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 Capital 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 the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce Green Business of the Year. Rud has previously held board positions on:
Bellingham City Club
Bellingham Public Development Authority
Brigid Collins Child Abuse and Family Support Center
Entrepreneurs Organization (Vancouver), as Vice President for Ethics
Northwest Economic Council
St. Paul’s Academy
Western Washington University College of Business and Economics (CBE) Advisory Board
Whatcom County Ethics Commission
Young Presidents Organization, Pacific Northwest chapter
Rud has also served as an Aircrew member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Rud’s passions are his family, friends, and community service.