2017 Keynote Speaker

We are honored to have Mr. A.B. Cruz III, Senior Vice President – Enterprise Shared Services – Chief Legal Officer at USAA and a Retired Navy Admiral, to serve as our special guest speaker at DAABA’s Tenth Annual Awards Night and Reception.

As the senior vice president of Enterprise Shared Services for the Chief Legal Office, A.B. Cruz III leads the legal teams that support the “Shared Services” groups across the USAA Enterprise, which include the Chief Operating Office, the Chief Human Resources Office, the Chief Technology & Digital Office, the Enterprise Strategy & Marketing Office, the Corporate Services Department, the Global Service Delivery Department, and the Real Estate Management function.  He also oversees the company’s Intellectual Property and Labor & Employment practice groups.  A.B. arrived at USAA with extensive experience spanning the business, legal, and military fields.  Prior to joining USAA, A.B. helped lead two global media companies (The E.W. Scripps Company and Scripps Networks Interactive) and a leading specialty pharmaceutical company (Emergent BioSolutions), directing the legal, compliance, ethics, and corporate secretary/governance functions, as well as certain workforce optimization and leadership development initiatives at these three public companies.

In addition, A.B. served in the U.S. Navy for over 33 years, primarily in the special operations, special warfare, and surface warfare areas, including multiple tours of duty within the Navy Expeditionary Combat Enterprise and Naval Special Warfare community, and retired as a rear admiral.  His six command tours were with Navy Region Southwest Reserve Component Command; Navy Reserve (NR) Navy Expeditionary Combat Command; NR Naval Inspector General 106; Harbor Defense Command 207; NR Naval Special Warfare Unit 2; and Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 206.  His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (2 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards). He is a qualified advanced military parachutist (gold wings) and basic diver.

A.B. holds a juris doctorate degree from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America, a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor’s of science degree from the United States Naval Academy.  He has completed a number of executive certificate courses, including one in Strategic Thinking from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and another in Leading Innovation from the Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. A.B. is an active member of the District of Columbia, New York, and Pennsylvania bars.

A.B. has a strong commitment to service leadership.  He currently serves as board chairman for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, an executive advisory council member for Mission: Readiness, a trustee for the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation’s Athletic & Scholarship Program, and life fellow for the American Bar Foundation.  His past service leadership roles include serving as chairman of The Woods Academy Board of Trustees, a director for the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity, the T. Howard Foundation, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the America Red Cross—Cincinnati Chapter.  A.B. also served on the United States Tennis Association’s audit committee.

A.B. and his wife, Jill, are the proud parents of Ben (born 2004) and Ana (born 2007).