FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA (September 14, 2020) – Russell A. Hitt, Chairman Emeritus, died peacefully at home on Monday, September 14, 2020. The son of Warren and Myrtle Hitt, who founded W.A. Hitt Decorating, Co. in 1937, Russell was born on April 12, 1935.
“Russell was a friend, teacher, inspiration, and the leader whose vision led to HITT Contracting’s growth and success. He was a personal mentor to me and left an indelible mark on my life as a leader,” says Kim Roy, CEO of HITT Contracting.
Russell Hitt’s career in construction began at a young age, working for his parents during school breaks and summers. After serving two years in the U.S. Army as an Ops Radar Specialist, he became an estimator and project manager for the family business. By 1978, Hitt was overseeing the daily operations of company. Alongside his son and son-in-law, Brett Hitt and Jim Millar, co-chairmen of the Board, he led the company’s growth into one of the Top 100 General Contractors in the nation.
Co-Chairman Brett Hitt says, “My dad’s focus has always been an incredible work ethic and taking care of the people around you. These principles are the core ideology of HITT today.”
In 2015, Hitt was the recipient of the Virginia Tech Myers-Lawson School of Construction Award. The Myers-Lawson award was created in 2006 to recognize the most outstanding leaders in the industry, their achievements and exceptional contributions to construction. Later that year, Hitt was selected by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce to be inducted into the Arlington Business Hall of Fame.
“Russell would never ask you to do something he wouldn’t do himself,” says Co-Chairman and son-in-law Jim Millar. “That approach set the tone for how he did business, and in turn how the company operates. For Russell, it was all about service—getting answers for clients, completing jobs on time, delivering quality work, treating subcontractors fairly, and, most importantly, treating the people who work here fairly, too.”
Hitt was a native of Arlington, Virginia where he attended Washington and Lee High School, followed by Fishbourne Military School. After attending Georgia Institute of Technology, Hitt remained a dedicated alumnus, helping to grow the university’s Building Construction program.
Hitt was an active member of the local Washington, D.C. community, giving both philanthropically and through his personal expertise and leadership. The Hitt family’s most recent donation helped to fund a new Northern Virginia-based addiction prevention and recovery program launched by the Inova Health System. Hitt was deeply committed to growing career opportunities in construction management and gave generously to both his alma mater and Virginia Tech, a recognized leader in construction education. Passionate in his dedication to serving others, Hitt held numerous board positions and contributed his time to the Salvation Army and Boys Scouts of America.
Hitt is survived by his loving wife of 66 years Joan, four children, 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, many of whom work for HITT Contracting today. His legacy will live on through his family, his impact on the community and business success, and all he mentored and taught during his life.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Russell Hitt Memorial Fund for supporting construction education.
About HITT Contracting Inc.: HITT provides a wide range of construction services, from core and shell building and renovations, to interior fit-outs and service work—there’s no job too large (or small) for us to deliver. With 2019 revenues of more than $2.4 billion and 1,100+ team members in 12 locations nationwide, HITT is ranked one of the 25 largest general contractors in the nation. We’ve been told we have elevated standards, sometimes beyond what seems necessary. But we believe that those who care the most about the little things, care more about everything. Every little detail, done right every time, adds up to something big—an incredible building experience.