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Get to Know Team Rubicon’s New COO

Art delaCruz, the former Director of Strategic Planning at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems and a retired U.S. Naval Officer, has been appointed the Chief Operations Officer of Team Rubicon.

When did you first hear about Team Rubicon and what was your initial impression?

It didn’t take long to find Team Rubicon; after retiring in 2013, I saw that TR was located in El Segundo, CA and made my way over to see what it was all about. I was able to meet a lot of the team and observed a meeting being held in response to a disaster. I’m a believer that you get one chance to make a first impression and I was hooked – culture, the people, the mission, and the impact left a lasting impression.

What most excites you about stepping into the role as COO? 

There are so many aspects of the opportunity that are exciting. If I have to prioritize, I’d say it’s the people, from our staff to our volunteers and supporters. They will be the key to all of our successes, innovation, and growth. The opportunity to work with such a fantastic team in developing a strategy and executing it is really energizing!

You’ve been around the office to get a sense of this team for a couple weeks now. Any surprises? 

The only surprises so far have been due to the reality of TR exceeding expectations. I always had a suspicion that the culture and people of TR would be amazing; I undershot in a big way. The second thing that really stood out is the pace. It is a startup – you never know what you’ll be doing at the start of day, but know it needs to get done.

Tell us a little bit about a person or event that had a significant impact on your life. 

Outside of my family, I have to say that my Navy journey had the greatest impact on my life. I had the opportunity to participate in a 22-year journey that took me around the world, put me in a position to fight for our country, and allowed me to experience things not many people get to do. It also afforded me the opportunity to grow, lead, and immerse in a unique culture and mission that affected and shaped me a person. I loved every minute of it and is foundational in all I do.

If Team Rubicon asked you to select the first song on our soundtrack, what would you pick? 

“I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. This song always reminds me of my last squadron and my last port of call.

Are you a hand-shaker, back-slapper, or bear-hugger? 

I’m a complex man. I personally like the hand-shake, to pull-through, half-hug, to back-slap finish.