This month’s people that “echo” in Santa Cruz County is Linda Rushton. She has been living in Nogales for 7 years in November. She is the founder and chair of the non-profit organization Santa Cruz Nature & Heritage and the Santa Cruz International Film Festival. “Nogales is one of the most important cities in our state. It is a safe and nice community to retire. People have been extremely welcoming,” said Linda Rushton.
Ms. Rushton is originally from Ashtabula, Ohio. “Johnny Carson made Ashtabula Ohio a household name. He would always joke about sending people to my hometown on a week’s vacation,” said Ms. Rushton. She lived there for 21 years before moving to Philadelphia where she lived there for 21 years before moving to Phoenix, Arizona. She lived in Phoenix, Arizona for 21 years before moving to Nogales to retire.
Linda Rushton came from the banking sector.She was the first woman on the east coast to become an officer of the commercial lending site, when a large majority of women were heading into administrative careers. “I started out as a secretary with the company and was later promoted to a position of an officer. It was quite an accomplishment for me as I was the first woman in the banking sector in Philadelphia to serve as a commercial lender banker,” said Linda Rushton.
Before moving from Philadelphia to Phoenix she was offered an interview by the law firm Lewis and Roca a position with United Bank, which later transitioned into City Bank. She later served as VP for Chase Bank in Phoenix Arizona during the late 1980’s. “I had an opportunity to visit Nogales and decided to move here. I like Nogales and want to make sure people are aware of what a great community this is,” said Rushton.
Rushton has also been a board member of the Santa Cruz Senior Center for over 2 years. It is a role she deeply enjoys. Besides her dedication towards supporting the senior center her goal is to work on reviving business in downtown Morley Avenue and helping to get the area to be recognized as a historical site. “It is a project I am extremely passionate about. I think it is important to help revive businesses in that area by working with retailers, the City of Nogales, and the Nogales Community Development to help keep businesses there from closing. Downtown Morley Avenue has a lot of potential for us to bring new businesses, and tourists to this historical area,” said Rushton.