Introducing Cohort 5 of the Clay Hunt Fellows Program

Team Rubicon Welcomes 12 Veterans to Its Year-Long Fellowship

The Clay Hunt Fellows Program is a 12-month leadership and training program for veteran members of Team Rubicon. The intent of the program is to develop competent professionals capable of competing in the civilian workforce, and as leaders within Team Rubicon.

These members represent the organization in the spirit of Clay Hunt, and through their role, Fellows will not only receive the purpose, community, and identity Clay sought, but they’ll be charged with building similar opportunities for others within TR. Congratulations to the 12 future Fellows who will serve on Cohort 5:

Andrew Hanna

U.S. Army, 2000–2004. Served as a company mortar team leader in the 82nd Airborne Division for two combat deployments.

Resides in: Libertyville, IL

Currently: Andrew works as a research and writing paralegal while serving in multiple leadership roles with Team Rubicon, including incident commander during disaster response operations.

Education: Obtained his Bachelor of Science in History Education in 2008 and his Juris Doctor from Phoenix School of Law, magna cum laude, in May 2012.

“Service is an act of gratitude that gives me purpose. It took me a long time to realize this after I took off my uniform. I kept seeking it without understanding what I was really looking for. The jobs I chased and the studies I undertook pushed me in a direction of helping other people. But identifying this goal of serving others makes the path clearer and gives a much deeper meaning to why I have walked as I have. I know that I have a lot to offer, and I know that sharing it with others fulfills me.”

Traci Rankin

U.S. Army, 1989–1993. Served as a Multichannel Communications Systems Operator, Network Switching Systems Operator, Company Clerk, and first sergeant driver.

Resides in: Dodge City, KS

Currently: Retired Police Lieutenant who now serves in several leadership roles with Team Rubicon, including Incident Commander with the organization’s National Incident Management Team. She is also a school board member with Dodge City Schools and sits on the board of The Alley, Dodge City’s teen center to promote healthy, safe activities for local youth.

Education: Studied Criminal Justice at Dodge City & Garden City Community College in Kansas, and Human Resources and Organizational Change and Leadership at Friends University in Wichita, KS.

“I feel my purpose on earth is to serve others. My entire adult life has been spent in uniform in service first in the Army and then as a sworn law enforcement officer. Though I had to medically retire from law enforcement, I am still very capable of making a difference and help bring calm to chaos. I truly believe in karma, for all good deeds we do serving others, we will be repaid during our lifetime.”

Brandon Callahan

U.S. Marine Corps, 2008–2016. Primarily served in communications.

Resides in: Charleston, WV

Currently: Brandon works as the Resource Director for the West Virginia VOAD’s Disaster Case Management Program, while serving as Deputy Operations Manager for Team Rubicon Region III.

Education: Obtained his Bachelor of Arts in History and Criminal Justice from Piedmont College in 2014 and a Master of Science in Justice, Law, and Criminology from American University in 2016.

“My passion for Team Rubicon stems directly from the impact it’s had on my life as well as the impact I’ve witnessed in others. I have neither seen nor been a part of an organization that was so effective at embracing people from all walks of life and uniting them with a simple yet powerful sense of purpose. I intend to do my best continually as a leader, follower, and mentor to engage as many people I can.”

Sandra Rollings

U.S. Army, 2005–2010. Served as a medic, administering routine healthcare in detainee prisons during her first deployment to Iraq and then attached to a security team in an infantry unit performing patrols in Mosul, Iraq during her second deployment.

Resides in: Nampa, ID

Currently: Sandra is pursuing a career as a firefighter, serves as a part-time group fitness instructor, and is a former Veteran Services Coordinator at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, ID.

Education: Received her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Medicine from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho in 2017.

“To me, the only way to feel true fulfillment in life is to know you have made a positive impact and the only real way I see to do that is to live a life focused on how you can help others that may or may not be as fortunate as you. It’s creating a world of givers and not takers. I feel that the world gets so wrapped up in finding success that they forget how to step out of the ‘me’ for a minute and see what a life-changing difference they can make for someone else.”

David Dodds

U.S. Army, 2000–2005. Served as a Senior Intelligence Analyst.

Resides in: Falls Church, Virginia

Currently: David is the Director of Government Programs at Ncyber. He has also held several leadership roles within Team Rubicon and currently serves as the Region III Field Operations Manager.

Education: Currently attending Norwich University.

“The two defining motivations in my life our service to our country and service to others. I am a true believer in the idea that people helping people and communities helping communities is the fundamental way to change our world for the better. I’ve found, that by helping others, I’m also helping myself. In today’s politically charged and divided country, service unites those from different walks of life, different political ideologies and schools of thought. We often see people unite in the aftermath of disasters, when they unselfishly serve others in a time of need. I believe we should bring that attitude to our everyday lives.”

Michael Lloyd

U.S. Navy, 1986–1991. Served as a Aircrew Photographer, focusing on maritime intelligence gathering and air interdiction.

Resides in: Denver, CO

Currently: Michael serves as the Region VIII Field Operations Manager and also works as a designer and fabricator of hand-built products at LiftLine Design.

“I have asked myself what is my ‘why?’ I still do not fully understand what it is, but I’m getting there. What I do know is, service is something learned and embraced. I believe using life skills as an act of service is necessary and life-changing. Giving away knowledge and guidance is both personally and professionally gratifying, is also is becoming my ‘why’. Learning and embracing is not just a single act, it is a continual exertion of choice and a willingness to incorporate ideas and other experiences to improve myself, my family and community.”

Eli Rivera

U.S. Coast Guard, 1984–1989. Served as an interpreter as part of a drug enforcement detachment. Also served in the Army Reserves as a military police officer before transferring to an infantry unit as an assistant instructor.

Resides in: Keene, NH

Currently: Eli currently works as a Cheshire County Sheriff after retiring from the Keene Police Department (1991–2012). Eli also serves as Commissioner on the Higher Education Commission of the New Hampshire Department of Education and the State Membership Coordinator for the state of New Hampshire.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in General Studies at Franklin Pierce University in 1997.

“At an early age, my parents said, ‘Remember to always lend a hand, help the weak, and be humble.’ Those words resonated throughout my life. My passion to help others grew over the years, which ultimately led me to join the United States Coast Guard, and later the Police Department. Service to others is what defines me, and I am honored to have found Team Rubicon, an organization that allows me to continue to serve my community and nation. Lending a hand and serving those in need, strengthens my soul and is part of who I am today.”

Crista Casas

U.S. Marine Corps, 2005–2016. Served as a Platoon Sergeant and Logistics Specialist.

Resides in: Fort Collins, CO

Currently: Crista is a reserve firefighter and EMT for the Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue in Windsor, CO. She is also a independent personal trainer, serves as Team Rubicon’s City Lead for Northern Colorado, and became certified as a wildland firefighter and chainsaw operator.

Education: Crista is currently a pre-med student at Colorado State University en route to becoming a physician assistant. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California — Berkeley, and attended Front Range Community College to become a Emergency Medical Technician.

“Putting on a grey shirt was the most fulfilling experience. It was the ultimate feeling of security, knowing that from now on, nothing could take me away from a life of service. The military has its limits: four years, maybe 20 if you are lucky. Being a Greyshirt, however, is a mission that will never end. I could give a hundred reasons why service matters to me, but the truth is, it’s in my bloodline, and the only life I can have.”

Tyler Bradley

U.S. Army, 2005–2011. Served as a Infantry Rifleman, Bradley Fighting Vehicle Driver, Team Leader, Instructor, and Squad Leader.

Resides in: Salem, OR

Currently: Studying civil and mechanical engineering while serving as the Deputy Regional Logistics Manager in Region X, a Regional Chainsaw Instructor, and completed the S-212 Wild Land Fire Sawyer Training with Team Rubicon.

Education: Currently pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at Linn Benton Community College.

“My view of service used to be defined in a sort of masochistic way which is almost a necessity in the Infantry. Through Team Rubicon, I now understand the impact that a few people with big hearts can make. I understand the joy you can bring to an elderly woman just by shoveling a bit of snow. And I understand how service can save a struggling veteran find himself again and shift his worldview.”

Jordon Daniel

U.S. Navy, 2002–2016. Served as a Master-At-Arms, attached to the Navy’s embarked security team operating out of Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

Resides in: Thornton, CO

Currently: Serves as the Military Operations Manager for Adaptive Adventures, a nonprofit that provides adaptive sports programming for youth, adults, and military veterans with physical disabilities. Jordon has also deployed on multiple operations and held numerous leadership roles with Team Rubicon.

Education: Attended Front Range Community College.

“My role within this organization has been much the same for my first days on the ground on my first deployment to the present. I have a passion for the mission that Team Rubicon brings to the table. Being able to motivate my fellow volunteers and turn a hard day’s work in the field into bonding time with one another is a form of service all on its own. It makes the days go by fast and the muscles not hurt as bad.”

Miguel Rocha

U.S. Army, 1994–2012. Army Reservist with four deployments, two to Iraq, with much of his career dedicated to training and leading soldiers before he was medically retired.

Resides in: Bellbrook, OH

Currently: Works as a a Major Command Representative for the DLA Disposition Services, a defense logistics agency, and serves as a district coordinator with Team Rubicon in the state of Ohio.

Education: A Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 2004 and a Master’s Degree from American Military University in Transportation and Logistics Management in 2010

“When I think of service, I think of giving from the heart to those in need or just a smile that assures someone that everything is going to be OK. The service of others during my teen years made me the leader I became in the military. I feel an overwhelming satisfaction when I give back to the community and veterans, like in some way I am silently saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s ever unknowingly taught me compassion, humility and the meaning of service.”

Aristeas Tzovaras

U.S. Army, 2010–2017. Serves as a Civil Affairs Company Commander. Also a Purple Heart recipient.

Resides in: Albany, NY

Currently: Aristeas is a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves and just completed law school. He recently wrapped up an internship with the New York State Law Enforcement Officer’s Union and US Attorney’s Office, serves as the Region II Deputy Planning Manager for Team Rubicon, and also served as Chair of the New York State Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disasters.

Education: Aristeas received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Siena College in 2010 and his Juris Doctor Degree from Albany Law School this spring.

“I’ve always believed that if you want to see any kind of change in the world, you’ve got to be willing to step up and do something about it, which is what service is all about. Like most of us that served, I saw the towers fall on September 11, I knew on that day that the world was forever different but also that I wanted to make sure I could have a part in changing it for the better. Team Rubicon has given me a chance to strengthen communities after disasters, but it’s also given me a chance to strengthen myself through continued service.”

The Clay Hunt Fellows Program is Sponsored By: