We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin K Flood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erin, how do you think about risk?
I am not risk-averse though I have learned to take the more calculated kind these days than the “jump right in, feet first” kind of my younger days. That carefree or thoughtless (depending on perspective) kind of risk taking was born out of being trauma impacted and having a natural tendency to seek exhilaration.
Years later, having dug out of the consequences of many ill-advised risks, bolstered by that unextinguished joy seeking and possessing an analytical mind, I am today, a person who takes thoughtful, informed chances.
Risk taking is an important agent of change. Change is necessary in order to move forward, personally and professionally. Risk cannot be avoided. One has to put themselves out there in order to reap reward.
I am confident that I have the competencies to take a smart risk on the front end and/or the skills and resiliency should that risk not “work out” as hoped for or anticipated.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career has been a windy road as opposed to a straight path. I have a lot of interests and have been fortunate to be able to explore them through different roles and often paid to do so. I have lived and traveled all over the US, in the Caribbean and Romania, as well as Europe, parts of Asia and South America for work and pleasure.
I have been a jack of all trades and a master of some (as opposed to none). I was a housecleaner, chef/caterer, first mate on a boat, welder and farm worker. I was also an art professor for 13 years, followed by about 8 years as a footwear designer and linebuilder, before transitioning full time into work in the nonprofit sector.
My NPO work has been with people-centric organizations, focused on running programs and operations. I am now the Executive Director of a young nonprofit, Bread Head, in Venice, CA, we address issues of food literacy, food and housing insecurity, intentional community and health and wellness.
It’s not been easy to get to this point. Challenges have been external: naysayers, gender bias, limited opportunities, timing, furloughs, lay-offs, as well as internal: personal hurdles, learning curves, and occasional self-doubt.
I deal with challenges with resolve and grit. I dissect a problem, look for a process to solutions (never only a “plan A”) and get going. I run daily and make art when I can and/or the mood hits. I think these both assist me in surmounting challenges. I just have a sense that I have to keep going or get back up, so I do.
What do I want the world to know about me or my brand/story? Yipes. That’s big. I don’t think of myself as a brand. My story is unfurling. Depending on the day and context, I promote different aspects of my identity and story. I am a leader, an artist, an electric thinker, a survivor of abuse, violence, and trauma, a former substance abuser, a wanna be intellect, an empath and a doer.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oooh! I spent nearly 10 years moving around A LOT (every 3- 6 months). I’ve lived in Los Angeles longer than anywhere in my adult life. I love it! I actually have a google doc I share with folks when they move here with some of my favorite LA things. Here is an abbreviated list:
• Natural History Museum
• Descanso Gardens
• Museum of Jurassic Technology
• Murphy’s Ranch hike
• Musch Meadow hike
• Pt. Dume
• Cholada Beach Thai
• El Monchis Cemita truck
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A book that has resonated with me for nearly 3o years, is the Timeless Way of Building, by Christopher Alexander. He speaks about the “quality with no name” and seeking that in all of my endeavors has benefited me. The road I am on is not a straight one, a number of people, KF, DL, DB, VR, have helped me become steady enough to be behind the wheel.