STEM Professional of the week

Rick Lopez      

Rick Lopez is currently the Sr. Director, Quality Engineering for Rackspace, a company that is a global leader in managed cloud and founder of Open Stack. Rick is a strategic and tactical and passionate leader who thinks outside the box to bring creative solutions for creating strategies critical to the attainment of the company’s overall business goals.

Throughout his youth and now in his career, Rick demonstrates a thirst for knowledge and a determination to improve himself, to help his community, his family and his workplace. He grew up in Puerto Rico, the son of two working parents, a banker and an office manager who instilled in him at an early age the importance of an education. He began his technical journey at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, where he hoped to become a mechanical engineer. However, his life path and family history of service to our country would take him to the United States Marine Corps before bringing him back to STEM.

During his four years of service with the U.S. Marine Corps, he would live at Camp Pendleton in California, serving as a logistics clerk and was deployed twice to Somalia and Saudi Arabia. It was during this time that Rick met his wife Victoria and moved to Silicon Valley in California. Living in the technology capital of the world re-ignited his early passion for STEM and he returned to school obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Systems Engineering from the Master’s Institute.

Rick’s current path to success began with his joining MMI Technologies a software company, where among other things, he performed Quality Engineering (QE) tasks for the company’s pre-released products. One of the many aspects of QE is that it necessitates the ability to solve problems before they happen by understanding the requirements of your customer to make sure that your product complies with those and many other requirements. Rick excelled in QE and throughout his career, has continued to take on positions of increasing responsibility in the QE field beginning as Tech Support, becoming a QE Manager with companies like and to Senior QE Manager for Yahoo. He joined Rackspace in 2011 as the Sr. Director Quality Engineering.

At Rackspace, Rick has been instrumental in bringing their Australia data center online, is a key contributor to the success of Rackspace’s global billing system and is key to ensuring that the company’s OpenStack remains a market leading cloud operating system. Rick believes that diversity is being open and embracing people who look different, think different and have different life experiences, and as a Sr. leader within the quality organization, has built a diverse direct leadership team that is key to its success.

He is part of several resource groups within the company such as the Hispanic resource group, VIVA, and the veteran’s organization RackVET. He also makes time to mentor individuals through the Mentor Circle Program hosted by the women’s employee resource group- POWER.

Rick is involved in his community, is married to Victoria and has two sons, Christian and Daniel. He continues to carry with him lessons from his time in the Marines, such as never asking his troops to put themselves in a spot he isn’t willing to put himself in. His leadership is appreciated by his peers, leaders and the teams he leads.

GMiS is proud to feature Rick Lopez as our Professional Role Model of the Week.

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