Conversations With Kendra: Women in Business Featuring Britt Ruby

Britt Ruby is behind the scenes and the woman behind the man. She is our Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at The CORE Headquarters. We thought this would be a great way for you to get to know her a little bit better and see the major impact she has on The CORE.

Britt came here from Austria, so what brought you to the United States and what was your first job?

I was 19 when I came to the States, as an au pair. Truthfully, I came here because I had just had my heartbroken and I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be. My dad actually suggested it and said why don’t you go somewhere, learn the language, and figure out what you want to do with your life. And now 33 years later, I’m still here, that was not his plan but that’s kind of how life takes over.

My first job was as an Au Pair, but I don’t really consider that to be a job as I didn’t get paid. The next thing was I worked in a deli making sandwiches. And then slowly I started getting different jobs in the hospitality industry.

So, is that where you met Rick? We all want to know how he landed you.

No that was quite a few years later. Probably about 22 years ago we met working for the same training company. We met traveling, I did their roadshows, and he was a speaker for them.

For you guys that don’t know, when we talk about COO, Britt runs our operations, but she also runs our events. She’s the one that goes in and finds the hotel, negotiates, gets those fabulous meals that we get to enjoy while we’re there, and makes sure that her staff provides amazing client service for you guys when you’re at the event. We know you guys appreciate that and that all falls under Britt’s wheelhouse as well.

Working with your husband can be very difficult, tell us one of the hardest things about working with your spouse.

I did not think that I would ever want to work with my spouse. You only hear bad things about it, or I did before I started doing it. I fought it but Rick was adamite about it and that was the vision he had when we started The CORE together. And I will have to say it’s been really awesome. I don’t think our life would have worked out the way it did if we didn’t work together. It\’s such a big part of our lives. Most of the things come down to my own insecurities. I always struggled with making sure I prove my worth and contribute to my family’s success. I always have this insecurity of people thinking, “oh, she’s only here because she’s the wife.” I want to be here because of my skills, my hard work, and my results. So, proving that is probably one of the hardest things. Another is just accepting, daily, that Rick is the boss here.  And sometimes I have to catch myself with the way I talk to him since it is probably not the way I would talk to him if he wasn’t my husband. I have to respect that and acknowledge that.

And then just making sure… you always want to do a good job for your boss. And with him being my boss, when I fall short or I don’t bring in the results that he expects or I didn’t protect him in the way I should, I feel really bad or probably worse because it\’s my spouse. I want to impress him the most of all people.

I would definitely say that they are Yin and Yang. And when it comes to the hard work one doesn’t outwork the other one. They are super committed to their success and their hard work, and they are equally fitted. They complete each other. And I think what you said was, “I don’t want to be just the spouse.” She is definitely not just the spouse. Where Rick is the out front, go get it, sales-sales-sales; Britt is behind the scenes making sure every little detail is taken care of.

And believe me, if I constantly was to drop the ball, Rick would not blink and let me go.

She earns her keep here, is what she’s saying!

What is your favorite job here? Rick always tells us that Britt is the rule person, and she doesn’t love that. But she is the person that makes sure that this operation gets opened in the morning and closed at night and does it with a lot of finesse.

Well, I do enjoy the Summits and booking the events because that goes back to my background a little bit. It comes easy but that’s just really fun. But it\’s not all the time.  Something I do every day is really the CFO part. It’s the numbers. It’s the spreadsheets. It’s the bank reconciliations. It’s P&L’s.  I can dive into that and lose myself in it. Numbers don’t have feelings and emotions. They are just what they are. I can figure it out. So, I think that’s where I find my happy place here.

For Realtors, we all just shuddered. Numbers and spreadsheets, oh my gosh!

Alright, this is a fun one. I know you are a big tv watcher. What are you watching right now and what is a lesson from that you bring in for us as a team?

I don’t watch as much tv as Rick, but yes, we like some good shows. I do watch a lot of sports. So, lots of tennis channels, football, I love the Olympics. But when it comes to shows, I have one all-time favorite that I am feverishly waiting for the fifth season, Last Kingdom. It’s on Netflix. I like a lot of historical dramas. They teach you a lot of lessons. They teach you about life and it is interesting because that show takes place in the 9th century and people dealt with the same issues with fewer tools than we have nowadays. I love watching and seeing where we all came from and how it all started.

And then, of course, Yellowstone is another good one we have been watching.

Tell us, what is a big takeaway from Yellowstone?

I love watching the whole family dynamic. And now there is a prequel that is about the great grandfather and how they came across the United States and settled and now to keep it going and keep the family tradition and legacy going.

That’s kind of is like what it is here, right? A family business and how you really run a family business and what is the legacy when you’re not here.

My last question, I will put you on the spot. What do you do for fun?

Well, tennis is my all-time favorite. I’ve played it since I was a little girl so that’s my escape. Especially working with your spouse, we do a pretty good job of separating work and our private life. We do a lot of things to take us away from work and tennis is my escape. I don’t even want him to come watch, it just needs to be mine. I follow it on tv. I love going to tournaments, playing myself but also watching.

And then another thing, with being an introvert and dealing with a lot of people, my husband, in particular, I do need to make sure I have a lot of quiet time to recharge on my own. I like to read and relax. And of course, animals. That’s my ultimate happy place. And that will probably be my retirement sanctuary, something with animals.

So, know you know a little bit about Britt Ruby. She is the woman behind the man and The CORE would not be here without her passion. She keeps us all going. We are super grateful for the opportunity to work with her.

Stay tuned for another episode of Women In Business next month with another member of The CORE that you may or may not know. Make it a great day!

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