Fewest of the Few, Proudest of the Proud
Meet the U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant turned Team Rubicon CFO.
Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dane Barata immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 10 years old. By age 17, Barata had become a naturalized U.S. citizen; soon thereafter, he also became a U.S. Marine.
Barata served as a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant during the Desert Storm Operation era, followed by a 20-year career in the private/for-profit sector. Today, he’s Team Rubicon’s Chief Financial Officer.
Did your heritage influence your decision to serve in the military?
No, my heritage did not influence my decision to serve in the military. I will note one interesting fact and observation from my military time: The demographic composition of those who served in the military in the late 1980s and early ’90s were significantly different than what it is today, all the way around. One notable fact is that AAPI represented 3.6% of the total U.S. military force in the 1990s. That percentage is even lower, at 2.2%, within the U.S. Marine Corps. It was not common for AAPI to join the Marine Corps, let alone as an enlisted Marine. I supposed I can be somewhat honored to be “the few, the proud” within the overall The Few, The Proud, the Marines.
How, and why, did you end up at Team Rubicon?
I’ve always wanted to have a complete career that’s also defined by a broader social purpose. When I saw the opportunity to join a veteran-led organization—Team Rubicon—it was the perfect opportunity to be part of a purpose-driven organization that positively impacts so many lives.
You were a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant during the Desert Storm Operation era. How does that experience lead into finance, and especially to your work as the CFO for a nonprofit?
It took me a very long time to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Entering the Marine Corps was a choice I made in order to both serve and help figure out what career path I wanted to take, which is what I did during my five years of service with the USMC.
Growing up, I had always been attracted to service-oriented careers—military, first responders, and social impact work. To be honest, I really can’t recall what ultimately made me go into the business world instead of continuing my service path after the Marines. However, the skills and traits that I had acquired during my time in the Marine Corps definitely contributed to my success in the private sector and in finance. My progress in the corporate world was definitely helped by the valuable skills and traits the Marines helped instill in me—leadership, organizational management, problem-solving, discipline, and teamwork.
Interestingly, 25 years later I’ve come full circle back to the service and social impact side that I’ve always wanted to be part of. Being around the veteran community and working in a veteran-led organization have felt like an easy fit as I transitioned from the private business sector into a nonprofit.
What has been the most meaningful, or memorable, part of serving with Team Rubicon?
One of the most meaningful outcomes in the 2.5 years here is that we continue to expand. Never for a moment have we been complacent, not by any standard. Not only have we doubled our full-time employees, but our capacity and capabilities have been expanded to allow us to maximize our impact on the ground and to communities in need. Additionally, we’ve been able to scale exponentially while maintaining the great culture and the great people that make it all happen. It’s been great to be a part of a rapidly growing organization with the dual-purpose Team Rubicon has. Each one of us is contributing to building an organization for decades to come.