SAN DIEGO — Less than two years after he was shot in the spine and subsequently paralyzed from the waist down during an Afghanistan combat operation in 2012, Derek Herrera accepted a leadership position at RuckPack, a $5 million peak performance nutrition company. In November of this year, just in time for Veterans Day, Herrera will leave his Marine Special Operations Officer active service title behind him to enter a new chapter as the full time CEO of RuckPack.
“I came on board an already fast-moving company in very solid situation,” said Herrera, who succeeds company founder Rob Dyer, who remains involved. “But what’s happened in the past three months is incredible: an enormous amount of investor activity, growth overseas, new product development, and as a result, the need to hire more staff to facilitate this development – plus so much more to come,” he said.
Herrera’s inspirational story is no secret – it’s live for the world to see on his website, www.derekherrera.com – his attitude and drive to continue contributing to his country at a high level is obvious. After taking over RuckPack, Derek became the first person in the U.S. to own the now FDA-approved electronic exoskeleton device created by ReWalk, which allows him to be on his feet and moving versus always in his chair, despite paralysis. His beautiful wife of eight years, Maura, is trained to assist Derek with the device as needed.
The device was obtained through private donations via MARSOC Foundation, one of the three main organizations that RuckPack consistently supports:
“Giving back is extremely important to me and is engrained as part of RuckPack’s DNA. I’ve greatly benefitted from MARSOC, Navy SEAL and Green Beret foundations and fully support what they do,” said Herrera. “We are committed to giving back 10 percent of our company’s profits, and also work directly with Veterans through our Veterans Distributor Program.”
The company’s Veteran Distributor Program is open to any Veteran who wants to be part of the RuckPack team, offering the opportunity to sell product and retain a 10 percent sales cut as a way to earn additional income. RuckPack is currently managing more than 200 Veteran Distributors in nearly 40 U.S. states, and recently expanded responsibilities to include paid ambassadorships and appearances.
Wrapping up discussions with several important investors and moving forward with concrete plans for aggressive European expansion for RuckPack, Herrera is more than ready for what the next chapter will bring both personally and professionally.
RuckPack is a caffeine-free peak performance nutrition energy shot developed by Marine Corps Major Robert Dyer and tested by his team of Special Operations Forces while on the front lines in Afghanistan. Originally designed to provide core nutrition, razor sharp focus, instant energy and prolonged stamina to military warriors, the shot is now available for life’s warriors everywhere. RuckPack is 80 percent military service member-owned, and maintains a “10% Back Pact,” promising that a minimum of 10 percent of all profits will be donated to charity partners such as the MARSOC, Navy SEAL and Green Beret foundations. Committed to country and service, RuckPack is also the first company to offer veterans nationwide the opportunity to earn cash through commissioned sales via its Veterans Distributor Program. RuckPack comes in Blood Orange flavor and is available in Walgreens and other select retailers nationwide, and online at www.RuckPack.com.