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Executive Spotlight: Derick Trask, CFO of CACI’s Operations & Support Sector

Derick Trask,



Executive Spotlight: Derick Trask, CFO of CACI’s Operations & Support Sector

Derick Trask currently serves as chief financial officer of CACI’s operations and support sector. He began his career at Northrop Grumman, holding a variety of senior leadership roles in both the intelligence and Department of Defense divisions. He later held executive positions at Hexagon and Freedom before joining CACI earlier this year.

In a recent interview with the Potomac Officers Club, Trask shared his leadership strengths, reflected on his core values and highlighted the executives that have shaped his career.

Read the full interview below:

What do you believe are your core strengths as a leader and what lessons taught you the most about driving success?

My core strengths as a leader are building high performance teams, delivering consistent execution and creating a culture of accountability. Throughout my career, I’ve been very fortunate to build and lead talented teams that are committed to delivering outstanding results, and I do this by leveraging the strengths of each individual employee to maximize team performance and achieve organizational goals.

Consistent success doesn’t happen by accident – it is imperative to execute deliberately and with intention and communicate frequently with candor. Effective communication occurs with timely direct feedback and transparency horizontally and vertically across the organization. I view one of my key responsibilities as a leader to be an enabler, clearing my team’s major obstacles. 

Leaders should develop the strategy, create the roadmap to execute it and hold the team accountable for delivering results. They should also establish short-term and long-term imperatives that are realistic, timebound and aligned with organizational goals.

One of the most important lessons I learned early in my career was to start with building the right team for the business and establish common goals, then the rest should follow. A great organization starts with establishing the leadership team, ensuring the team has the right individual for each key role, setting team performance expectations and then holding everyone in the organization responsible for delivering on their commitments. 

Who are the executives that have inspired you the most over the course of your career?

I’ve learned a lot from great mentors and leaders throughout my career. The four leaders who stand out as the most inspirational include a key mentor early in my career at Northrop Grumman: Gordon Foster. He had a significant influence on my approach to many aspects of the different positions I’ve held throughout my career. Gordon demonstrated the importance of the strategic intersection of finance, operations and business development to drive revenue growth with increasing margins. 

Another key mentor I had at Northrop Grumman was Bob Barone. Bob has a talent for strategically identifying, shaping and winning new business opportunities. During the over three years I spent working with Bob, our organization won over a couple dozen prime new business opportunities across varying customers and markets. He has a phenomenal mind for how to develop strategies to win new work and retain existing contracts.

More recently in my career, Tammer Olibah reinforced the value of quickly building meaningful business relationships. He is adept at building rapport with almost anyone he meets, and those first meetings grow into long-standing strategic partnerships. He is a charismatic leader who has a large rolodex of valuable relationships he has created over the years.

Currently, a leader that I work with and have great respect for is Meisha Lutsey. Meisha’s leadership style and qualities are inspirational. She is an outstanding leader who has a tremendous command of all aspects of the business and easily transitions from the strategic to the tactical. Meisha cares deeply about every employee in her organization. She values diversity of perspectives and is an inclusive leader. She identifies key talent on our team and places big bets on talented employees to deliver for the organization.

What are the core values that you believe are essential to build a great team and establish a foundation to drive success in such a competitive industry?

 The core values that I believe are fundamental to building a high performing team are accountability, adaptability, commitment, humility and teamwork. 

Creating a winning culture means building a talented team that can pivot when circumstances change and remaining committed to achieving the organization’s business objectives. It is critical that the team is humble, collaborates well and holds each other accountable. 

The team must know that their contributions and opinions are valued. Diversity of talent and thought across the team will lead to better decision making. Establish an organizational mission and cultural values, then build the organization based on those values and reinforce the values through consistent repetition. 

If leadership takes care of its team, they will deliver outstanding results and take care of their external and internal customers. Success demands a great team, timely candid communication, trust and a bias for action.

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