Marlon Cush was about 10 when his family left the South American country of Guyana for New York City’s Queens borough. Growing up in a “family of proverbs,” he still follows this one: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
“Always make sure you’ve got a plan,” Cush said. “But at the same time, you can’t be too rigid because things change. Be flexible and be willing to adapt.”
That explains how Cush, as senior associate general counsel at UnitedHealthcare Global, and his team last year went from managing and pursuing growth of expatriate policies for globally mobile customers to, additionally, combing through the avalanche of COVID-19-related state regulations potentially affecting operations.
It also accounts for how a younger Cush simultaneously completed junior high and Prep for Prep, a program for gifted and talented students of color that prepared him for boarding school at the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy.
Later, Cush adapted again, continuing law school but putting off plans to pursue an MBA at the same time when he and his wife welcomed their first child.
Then the pandemic hit as Cush was completing his Executive MBA at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Like many parents, Cush and his wife, also an attorney, added teaching school to their responsibilities.
“That’s how my life has always been — we’ve made time to take advantage of opportunities,” said Cush, who sees his in-house role as “a business partner who happens to have a law degree.”
“There was a goal. We did what we needed to achieve that goal.”
Cush has served on the board of directors of Breakthrough Twin Cities since 2015 and last year began serving as board chair. The nonprofit helps prepare under-resourced students for college while seeking to cultivate a new generation of educators. He also serves on the board of directors of Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
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