Jake Wood is the co-founder and CEO of Team Rubicon.  This amazing organization harnesses the skills of military veterans to respond to disasters across the country and the globe.  Their mission started in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that devastated the country.  Jake and his co-founder, William McNulty, led a small team into the heart of the rubble and did what veterans do – help.

In this week’s episode, Jake shares the founding story of TR and talks about how the organization has grown over the past 7 years.  We dive into:

• The importance of maintain a strong and authentic culture

• Why veterans are well positioned to lead positive change in American communities

• The challenges of leading and growing a nonprofit

• Why it is ok (and sometimes best) to let people go

Jake is a great friend and Team RWB is proud to work closely with Team Rubicon.  His journey from Division I football, to the Marine Corps, to TR is an amazing story and we’re pumped to share it with you!

 

 

  

Chapter: Team RWB Midwest/Madison

Member Since: 2015

Motto: “Be good, do good. The rest will work itself out.”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I got involved with Team RWB after moving to Madison. My job allows me to work virtually, which has pros and cons. One of the cons was not being able to meet people through work. Team RWB gave me the opportunity to not only meet people, but to meet people with a lot of similar interests to mine.”

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“The opportunity to attend the Trail Running Camp 2016 has been my highlight experience with Team RWB. I cannot adequately express how much I benefited from the experience and the people that I met there.”

How Do You Serve Your Community?

“I am the captain of our chapter here in Madison. I am also active in my neighborhoods Homeowners Association, as well as the local Project Management Professionals (PMP) within Madison.

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What Inspires You?

“I am inspired when I can see the positive impact we can have on single person. Many people, myself included, will donate money without ever seeing the impact. Being active with Team RWB allows me to see that impact.”

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“I feel more attuned to my community. I have developed relationships with people and groups I may otherwise never have if I were not involved.”

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“There is not a downside to being part of the team. Whether a veteran or community member, everyone can contribute and have a meaningful impact. The best part is that all you have to do is show up.”

 

Carolyn Furdek is a former Army officer who recently published a book that describes her decade long journey as she fights a lingering battle with mental illness over the course of a decade that leaves the medical community and her family struggling for answers.

In this raw and powerful podcast we discuss her battle, and also the ways in which she’s trying to change the system from the inside to help America better handle treatment of mental health.

Get her incredible book here.

 

  

Chapter: Team RWB Midwest/Madison

Member Since: August 2013

Motto: “The bigger the challenge, the better opportunity to grow!”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I left the U.S. Army as a Gulf War Veteran and upon arriving home I had noticed there wasn’t anything in my area to connect me to my veteran family besides dark and dull bars which I had no interest in. I had been in Patriot Missile units and had been a Post Wrestling coach so I had continued with a fitness regime on my own until over a decade later, a Facebook friend stationed overseas with her enlisted spouse mentioned Team RWB. I looked up the website and was hooked immediately. I drove the 2 hours to Omaha and instantly had connections and camaraderie with veterans and civilians. Team RWB was exactly what I hoped for when I left the service. It was the spark that made me feel complete again as it was so easy to speak to other veterans because we “just get each other”. I now had a much larger family for support. We all have different experiences but the core of what we had built into us never leaves. What I have also noticed is how our civilian members have adjusted to holding those same values, there is nothing better than being surprised that one of our civilian members is not an actual veteran when someone previously thought they were from an interaction. I have traveled to many different races/events in other states and have always been so happy to see more Eagles and connect with them as it seems effortless and just easy to have a conversation and understand one another. I spent a few years in Omaha as the VOD traveling back and forth without any regret and am fortunate enough to have a great Chapter in Norfolk now! :)”

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“My Favorite event is hard to narrow down as there have been so many great interactions and events but I think attending Trail Camp was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will cherish forever. Connecting with such great and inspiring folks just intensified my commitment to continue to lead and spread the ethos. My other favorite events have been gathering all our Eagles and running the Lincoln marathon the last few years. Each year we have witnessed a couple eagles run their first half marathon and do it as a team, there is nothing better than being a part of something bigger than ones self. We have also ran the Market to Market relay in Nebraska for 2 years now and hearing all the spectators yell “America” as we run with old glory through exchange points is not even describable. “

How Do You Serve Your Community?

“I serve my community by continuing to advocate for veterans and locate them to bring them into our family. I work for the State as a Veterans Workforce Coordinator so this helps with many valuable community organizations who have stepped up to reach out and improve veterans lives. I always look to inspire someone while helping them believe in themselves with the outstanding assistance from my great team and letting them know we are all out here just trying to make the world a better place and we have their backs.

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What Inspires You?

“I am inspired by watching someone grow, step out of their shell, or helping them believe they can do something they previously wouldn’t have thought was possible. I really love someone to tell me they can’t or I can’t do something and then seeing their face when we accomplish those goals.”

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“Team RWB has enabled me to connect with people and become something bigger than myself. I used to do all my physical events solo and since becoming a part of Team RWB I have molded more into a teamwork role where we never leave anyone behind and inspire others by our actions. My team wearing that eagle is an example of that daily. Team RWB has also given me a connection to the camaraderie I had missed upon leaving the service.”

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“Whenever I encounter someone or am asked a question about who Team RWB is, it’s easy, I let them know we are an organization that enriches lives by connecting our communities through social and physical activities. I let them know they are valued and invite them in to our family because everyone should have such a great opportunity to witness what we do first hand, that is something to cherish. Even though Nebraska is fairly rural we work together with Omaha and statewide like a brother/sisterhood of Eagles. Our presence and unity shows when we arrive at events or in any setting. I believe we give people a sense of pride, inspiration and nationalism as we hoist Old Glory and set out to do hard work while strengthening ourselves and anyone around us.”

 

Steve Shenbaum is the founder and president of game on NATION and has become a nationally recognized expert on communication, leadership, and character development.  He actually started his career as a working actor in Hollywood and appeared in a number of commercials, television shows, and popular movies.  Later, Steve joined IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida where he began working with top-level performers to improve their communication, teamwork, and mental game.

Since 2012, Steve and his team at game on NATION have brought effective, engaging, and memorable training seminars to world-class clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies, to professional sports teams, to star athletes…even Team RWB.

Steve and I have a really rich discussion that covers:

• Finding your voice and the ability to share it

• How to give your best possible presentation

• The importance of authenticity and real connection

• Why it’s cool to use both backpack straps

• The power of “laughing with”

• And much more…
As a friend, mentor, and supporter, Steve has done a lot for Team RWB and we are thrilled to share his knowledge with all of you!