Introducing Cohort 8 of the Clay Hunt Fellows Program

Michael Davidson

The Clay Hunt Fellows Program (CHFP) was established in 2012 to increase volunteer engagement and build leadership within Team Rubicon’s domestic disaster response initiatives. The program was inspired by Marine veteran and original TR member Clay Hunt (1982-2011), who embodied service, commitment, sacrifice, and loyalty. Through their role, Fellows not only receive the mission, community, and self-worth that Clay sought, but they are charged with building similar opportunities for others within the organization.

Team Rubicon proudly names eight veterans to Cohort 8 of the CHFP. After seeing the success of the Cohort 6 who were charged with leading Harvey rebuild efforts in Houston, Cohort 8 is selected to lead Team Rubicon’s year-long recovery assignment to rebuild homes impacted by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

These Fellows, like Cohort 6, will serve as full-time employees of Team Rubicon for a full year beginning in September 2018. They will be tasked with leading the efforts on the ground as the organization trains and engages volunteers in recovery work downrange. Cohort 8 will also participate in YouSchool, a self-discovery program designed to help Fellows develop goals in achieving a successful life and transition after their time in uniform.


Team Rubicon Proudly Presents Cohort 8:


Billy Dempsey
U.S. Navy, 2010-2012
Joined the Seabees as a Construction Mechanic where he worked on armored vehicles and heavy construction equipment. Billy deployed with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40 to Afghanistan in 2010 and Guam in 2011.
Resides in: Boston, MA
Currently: Billy just completed his final semester of college at Wentworth Institute of Technology. While there, he played on the men’s rugby team and was a member of the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society.
Education: Graduated in August 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology.
“Service is about giving back and being a part of something bigger than yourself. College has been great the past four years, but being a student never gave me the same sense of purpose I found in the military. I think working with Team Rubicon can.”


Nicholas Elter
U.S. Marine Corps, 2003-2007
Served as a Combat Illustrator and Photographer.
Resides in: Baltimore, MD
Currently: Prior to joining Cohort 8, Nicholas worked as a skilled tradesman in plumbing and carpentry.
Education: Nicholas earned his associate’s degree from Coastal Carolina Community College in 2012.
“Serving others is highly infectious and if executed properly, the results can be incredible.”


Nicholas Lumbert
U.S. Army National Guard, 2001-2008
In Iraq, Nick served as a .50 cal gunner on a quick reaction force while supporting training.
Resides in: Houston, TX
Currently: Nick is heavily involved with Team Rubicon and serves as a volunteer Logistics Manager for the greater Houston area. He is also on the resource team for Team Rubicon’s Houston rebuild.
Education: Graduated from the United Indians of All Tribes in Seattle.
“Service is something that has allowed me to have faith in something bigger than myself and truly persevere no matter what fear I had to face.”


Erica Mater
U.S. Navy, 2002-2007
Served as a Navy journalist connecting military personnel with civilian media to provide impactful stories aboard hospital ship, USNS Comfort during Operation Iraqi Freedom and healing stories from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.
Resides in: Lubbock, TX
Currently: Prior to joining Cohort 8, Erica served as a Peace Officer in the Lubbock Police Department.
Education: Erica got her Bachelor of Science in sports medicine from the American Military University in 2007.
“Splinting a broken leg. Rebuilding a home. Holding someone’s hand when there is nothing else you can do; these are all acts of service, service to those who have a deeper need. A need to know that when their world has been turned upside down, someone out there is willing to be by their side. That is why I serve.”


John Moore
U.S. Air Force, 2009-2015
Served as an Aircraft maintenance C5 Crew Chief where he oversaw and inspected equipment used for aircraft repair. John held many roles including but not limited to Senior Airman Crew Chief.
Resides in: Foley, AL
Currently: John is involved with local volunteer clean up groups in Foley and the American Red Cross.
Education: Earned his associate’s degree in arts and sciences from Germanna Community College in 2017.
“Service is a sacrifice of time, energy, and even emotions to help others in need for a greater cause. Helping others makes you stronger, more kind, and a better human all around.”


Ronald Najarro
U.S. Marine Corps, 2002-2006
Ronald deployed to Iraq twice where he served as a squad leader.
Resides in: Live Oak, TX
Currently: Ronald is a cook at Alonti Catering where he manages multiple roles in the kitchen all while creating an exceptional product.
Education: Graduated from Downey high school 2002.
“Looking at what I had growing up and comparing it with what I have today makes me grateful. Now it is my turn to return the favor of service to others and put a smile on their face.”


Eliot Tucker
U.S. Army, 1999-2013
Eliot was a Signal Support Specialist in the Army and was stationed from Ft. Knox to Korea and any where in between. Eliot served tours in Iraq from 2006-2008 where he was personal security detail for the vice president of Iraq, Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
Resides in: Newkirk, OK
Currently: A proud parent of seven wonderful kids and has been happily married to his wife, Stephanie, for 21 years. Eliot has been with Team Rubicon since 2013 and has been on many operations. He serves as an active instructor in several fields as well as the field operations manager for Oklahoma.
Education: Eliot received his degree in Behavioral Science from Northern Oklahoma College along with his CNA from Pioneer Technology Center Vo-Tech in 2014.
“Service is not just a word, it is a civic responsibility for all of us. I served my country proudly all my adult life and even though I don’t wear my army greens does not mean I can’t continue to serve.”


Manny Vega
U.S. Army, 2006-2016
Manny has served as part of a security maneuver platoon and forward support company as well as heavy vehicle operator and communications/logistics specialist.
Resides in
: Lutz, FL
Currently: Manny is retired but continues his service through his dedication to help others. After joining TR in August of 2017, he was awarded the 2017 downrange award at TR’s national leadership conference in Texas.
Education: Graduated in 2005 from Roosevelt High in St. Louis and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts.
“At my core, I believe service means helping people. Service is reminding those who feel forgotten that we love them and have their backs.”



Thank you to the Bob Woodruff Foundation for supporting the Clay Hunt Fellows Program.

Applications for Cohort 9 of the Clay Hunt Fellows Program will open Oct. 1-15, 2018
Team Rubicon is seeking military veterans to commit to one year in Houston and continue the rebuild effort spearheaded by Cohort 6. 

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