Strong roots. Eric Cruz was born in Guam, just months before Typhoon Karen devastated 90% of the island, an event that sent his family in search of milder climates in the United States. Eric grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, surrounded by a rich cultural blend of American history and military installations. After graduating high school, Eric began working in a Cooperative Education Program as an Engineering Student Trainee at NASA Langley Research Center. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Eric immediately began working as a Civil Servant engineer for the Naval Mine Warfare Engineering Activity in Yorktown, Virginia, and he quickly rose to the position of Division Chief. Seeking a new challenge, he made the decision to resign in 1995 in order to start a business.

A new path. Eric launched a new company, Pyrodyne, in order to produce small explosives-loaded components and devices for aircrew ejection and underwater mine countermeasures. Eric oversaw Pyrodyne operations that provided high-quality products for DoD and commercial customers while his father Iggy provided explosives safety oversight for the company. Pyrodyne also provided engineering services under a subcontract to Cruz Associates, Inc.—a newly formed company led by Iggy and Sue Cruz to provide explosives safety training and ordnance safety and engineering services. Eric joined Cruz Associates in 1996, gaining increased responsibility each year. By 2001, he devoted his full-time attention to Cruz Associates.

Family. Relationships. Growth. Eric’s decision to leave Pyrodyne and to join Cruz Associates full-time proved to be a critical pivot point in the growth of the company. Eric played a key role in growing the company from a half-dozen employees (most of whom were family) to the more than 150 employees at Cruz Associates today. Throughout his time at Cruz, Eric has developed business in Guam and launched Cruz Associates Pacific, LLC, which has successfully performed ordnance handling and inventory management services for the U.S. Navy since 2005.

Balance. When Eric needs a break from the competitive pace of defense contracting, he prepares and drives single-seat open-wheel Formula Enterprises race cars. He participates in various amateur and professional racing series, and he has raced at over a dozen North American tracks including Watkins Glen, Daytona, Sebring, Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Road Atlanta and VIR.