Whenever I see Erika, she's in jeans. Glitzy cocktail parties or kids at her knees . . . all the same. She knows herself like a cannonball knows the inside of a cannon, and knows exactly where she is going, lobbing her brains - fuse lit - straight into her target.
I love her success story because it starts with a Sociology/Philosophy major at Colby College - one of those impractical degrees for which she studied . . . people. Groups of people. Relationships. I want to say that is the secret (okay, one of them) of her juggernaut career. That she's interested in what people want and need.
After getting warmed up at Fidelity Investments in the legal department and learning what she didn'twant to do with her life, Erika took a drastic pay cut to play with the creatives in the Advertising Department - eventually landing the title of Chief Marketing Officer at AOL.
Some time and a start-up later, Erika learns that a company she has always loved - the irreverent, massively popular, often controversial Barstool Sports - is looking for a CEO. She targets it, fuse burning, and beats out 74 men for the job.
Let me introduce our newest Face of Ibu, ace of the internet, captain of the Stoolies, and Boss Lady of a 100 million dollar company built on 'what guys talk about at a bar'. Because it's all about people, groups of people, belonging to something. You know, sociology.
I met this power woman in a group of Power Women, and noticed how she never grand-standed or strutted her job or bothered with how she looked. I noticed only that she was genuine and passionately curious; easily bored with tame and same. Erika wants to feel the fire in her veins - that's what I concluded - more than most. She'll take the hard job, the controversial post, the challenging team in order to learn more in the process of trying to make it better. I'm inspired.
She comes to Ibu with her kids, and while they build a fort in our pillows, burns off generous advice on building our movement. She beams her magnetic smile on our efforts and jumps at Yes when I ask her to be a Face of Ibu and spread the word to her world. (Men on barstools need to join the movement, too.) Why'd she say Yes?
I celebrate women who are alive in their being and light the way with their fire, their courage, their fearlessness. This is Erika. A torch bearer, unafraid to live out exactly who she is. I want that much fuse in my cannon.
Here's to fearlessness, to Erika, to you ~