As an entrepreneur and the founder of Rubicon, Morris Industries, and the Morris Foundation, one of the things I’ve learned in my time is that it is the people who make the company, not the other way around.
As Elon Musk once said, “If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.”
The most important ingredient at Rubicon is its people; our employees that make this company run. And one of the most crucial of those is Elizabeth Montoya.
Elizabeth came to Rubicon in 2011 as employee number three, and in her time here she has forged an exceptional career while also thriving in her personal life. She has led a number of transformative projects, including co-authoring the RUBICONMethodTM, our proprietary six-step guide to successful recycling and waste reduction; the creation of our cultural Affinity Groups; and she led the company in becoming a Certified B Corporation. During this time Elizabeth also became a mother, and helped to shape Rubicon into a great place to work for new parents by implementing best-in-class maternity and paternity leave policies.
Today, Rubicon announced that Elizabeth Montoya has been appointed to Rubicon’s board of directors, effective immediately.
As a B Corp, Rubicon meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. Our certification tells the world that Rubicon is a company that leads with its mission, and that mission has a greater purpose than simply tuning a business. It says that Rubicon is a company that sets out to make a difference.
That sense of purpose is one of the factors that drew Elizabeth to Rubicon in the first place. Prior to joining Rubicon, Elizabeth was Director of Programs and Communications at the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C. Before that, she was the Education Program Planner at the U.S. Green Building Council. Making a difference is what motivates Elizabeth, and she has brought that spirit and drive to Rubicon and made an undeniable difference here.
One of my earliest memories of Elizabeth was at a retreat we hosted with investors and team members to establish our core mission and values. I have always believed that our values should come first and guide all other decisions, not the other way around. Elizabeth agreed, and she was instrumental in helping define the values that would make our company a world leader in waste, recycling, and smart city solutions. The values we defined that day, in the spring of 2011, are the same seven that are posted on our website today.
When she first started at Rubicon, Elizabeth had no background in waste or technology, but she shared a passion for sustainability. At that time, Rubicon’s office was little more than a broom closet in one of our investors’ headquarters. Elizabeth impressed me immediately with her intelligence and vision so I shamelessly recruited her to become Rubicon’s first Director of Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) and work as my right-hand. She quickly became, and remains to this day, a key advisor of mine.
It was Elizabeth who moved the clutter out of that broom closet and helped turn that little space into our first real office. There, she worked alongside me every day, learning about the waste industry, crafting Rubicon’s first Environmental Social Governance (ESG) strategy, and ensuring that Rubicon remained at the forefront of the ESG movement. In those early start up days, Elizabeth wore many hats including managing Rubicon’s sales pipeline, marketing, and public relations. Because of our close relationship and the trust they had in her, Rubicon’s investors started coming to Elizabeth when they needed things or had questions. In 2015, she was named Vice President of Investor Relations and started formally managing the relationship between Rubicon and key investors such as Fifth Third Bank, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, SUEZ, Wellington, and the New Zealand Superfund. Earlier this year, Elizabeth was promoted to Chief of Protocol and Investor Relations.
Throughout Elizabeth’s journey at Rubicon, it has become clear that she is a natural leader, a passionate advocate for the environment, and a driven and accomplished professional. As one of my key advisors, she has been a central figure in making Rubicon the company it is today.
I am so excited to see Elizabeth assume this prestigious role at Rubicon, and look forward to working with her as the newest member of our board. Elizabeth will continue to help guide the strategic direction of the company and keep us focused on our mission, which is to end waste, in all its forms.