I signed up for Team Rubicon just before the Moore, OK tornado in May of 2013, but I say I joined Team Rubicon in June of 2014 when I signed up to go to Operation: Tough Town in Wakefield, NE. When Carol McCoy, our Region 7 administrator, called me to tell me I was going, I was like, “Oh crap, what did I just do?” I am pretty sure I attempted to back out during my conversation with her, but I took a deep breath and started packing.
That was the first step to a whirlwind six months with the best region in Team Rubicon. I arrived to Wakefield late Friday night and did not meet anyone until Saturday morning. I quickly found my deployment sister wife, Victoria; she was on fire singing parody songs about Team Rubicon. Her best is “Wrecking Bar,” sang to the tune of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” She put me in the volunteer center my first day. She knew she busted my bubble by keeping me on the FOB that first day, but that bubble was not busted for long. I quickly realized the importance of every person and job, whether at the FOB or on a strike team.
Victoria is also the one that dubbed me “Brain.” I received my nickname because everywhere I went, I had my notepad and pen in my hand, logging names of folks people mentioned, locations we went, and everything else that looked or sounded important to remember. I was so scared of messing up, I took notes on everything. Whenever they were discussing something, most of the time the person being asked the question could not remember. I would flip out my notepad, flip pages and announce, remind and alert….Red Cross POC is… number is…need to call him by… so we could get folks lunch. I had the answer for everything, and before long, they were calling for Brain over the radios when they needed my help.
Once back from Tough Town, I quickly signed up for the ICS 300 class in our region, where I met Mama Bear, our Regional Administrator Carol, and Papa Wolf, our Ops Manager, Chris (big ears and a bigger heart), his wife April, who is the only one that can keep up with Papa Wolf and makes sure we get paid. That was the beginning of the end for being anonymous and not doing anything more than a few deployments when my time allowed.
After that, I was encouraged to apply for a regional manager position. During my interview for Membership Manager, I was honored to interview with Region VII’s Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Chris, also Region 7’s Communications Manager. What an honor, what a privilege to be able to serve with someone of such stature. Then you have our Logistics Manage Kyle, who keeps us all together and on track. We have great and amazing State Coordinators, who help us weather-watch, plan events, lead service projects, and support our folks in the field.
What makes our Region VII leadership team so unique? We have parody singers, Mama Bears, big guys with big ears and bigger hearts, an Emmy, someone who keeps us focused, great support at the state level, an incredibly good-looking team and of course a Brain. What more could you ask for in a regional team?