Team Rubicon Announces First Class of Clay Hunt Fellows Program

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Program Gives Veterans Opportunity to Grow as Civilian Leaders

Clay Hunt, Marine veteran and member of Team Rubicon, during the response to an earthquake in Chile, 2010. Tragically, Hunt took his own life in 2011. Team Rubicon is honoring his memory by helping other vets through the Clay Hunt Fellows Program.

Not only are these fellows some of the best America has to offer, I’m confident that they are going to make a true difference—not only with Team Rubicon, but in their own communities where they continue to serve.

Team Rubicon has announced the recipients of the inaugural Clay Hunt Fellows Program, a year-long leadership and training program for military veterans.

The intent of the program is to develop competent professionals, capable of competing in the emergency management workforce, as well as strengthen the veteran-led disaster relief organization.

“Today’s military does a tremendous job preparing veterans with numerous ‘soft skills’ such as: leadership, teamwork, risk analysis, priority tasking and work ethic,” said Jake Wood, cofounder and CEO of Team Rubicon. “However, many veterans leave the military unprepared with the ‘hard skills’ necessary to thrive in a tough, civilian job market.”

Seven fellows, from across the country, were named for 2014. Fellows will gain cross-functional leadership experience, a career focus, and be equipped with the basic skills required for nonprofit and emergency management.

The fellows will also complete a Capstone Project, in which they will assess the region they support and come up with a project idea – how they can improve one aspect of Team Rubicon. Results will be presented to Team Rubicon leadership for potential implementation across the organization.

“The Clay Hunt Fellows Program is the cornerstone in Team Rubicon's approach to developing the future leaders of this organization,” said Matthew Runyon, an Army veteran and director of program operations for Team Rubicon. “As Team Rubicon continues its growth, we will lean heavily on these fellows to ensure mission success.”

The fellows will receive a $12,000 stipend for the year, thanks to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring injured service members and their families are thriving long after they return home.

In addition to the skills they will acquire, the fellows are expected to represent Team Rubicon in the spirit of the program’s namesake, Clay Hunt, holding the program and the organization in the highest regard.

Hunt, was a Marine veteran and an original member of Team Rubicon. Hunt served in the infantry alongside Wood, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007, he was wounded in action by an enemy sniper. Upon his return home, Hunt struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Hunt repeatedly stated that the opportunity to serve humanity around the globe with Team Rubicon was the most therapeutic experience he’d had since the Marine Corps; however, he lost his battle with PTSD, taking his own life in 2011. Family and friends agreed that at the core of Clay’s trouble was his lack of mission, community and self-worth—three things that Team Rubicon provided, albeit not on a large enough scale in early 2011.

“Clay was one of my dearest friends, like a brother,” said Wood. “We owe it to him, and all who serve, to ensure that our veterans are afforded a successful transition home. Not only are these fellows some of the best America has to offer, I’m confident that they are going to make a true difference—not only with Team Rubicon, but in their own communities where they continue to serve.”

The 2014 Clay Hunt Fellows:

Dee Clancy, Dickson, Tenn, served in the U.S. Navy for ten years, and deployed to the Persian Gulf.

Elana Duffy, New York City, served in the U.S. Army for 10 years, with tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. She is a Purple Heart recipient.

Ryan Ginty, Hartford, Conn., served in the U.S. Air Force for four years, including in the Middle East to support operations in Iraq.

Allen Kennedy, Denver, Colo., served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years, with two tours in Iraq.

Andres Lazo, Syracuse, N.Y., served in the U.S. Army for five years, including in Iraq. He is a Purple Heart recipient.

Pat Lucas, Avon, Colo., served in the U.S. Navy for four years, including in Iraq.

Donna Weathers, LaGrange, Ga., served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years.

Since its founding in the wake of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Team Rubicon has grown to nearly 14,000 volunteers and launched 50 missions to four continents and eleven countries. In 2014, it looks to build on this momentum to not only respond to more crises, but to replicate Team Rubicon in other countries. To learn more about Team Rubicon’s mission, visit

About Team Rubicon: Team Rubicon (TR) unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. TR offers veterans a chance to continue their service by helping and empowering those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. For more about Team Rubicon, visit

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Sam Kille
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