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15 Things You Don’t Know About Erik Westra

by Julie Vollenweider on May 19th, 2011

Whew. Now that we’ve completed our hosting duties for Confab: The Content Strategy Conference, it’s time to meet one of the key bearded players behind the event.

Second in our 15-things-you-don’t-know-about-a-spotlight-shy-staff-member series, here’s a look at Erik Westra, manager of media and events at Brain Traffic.

Erik Westra

(photo by Sean "@tubes" Tubridy)

1.  I’m allergic to gluten. Which tends to be quite challenging in the cake-centric culture of Brain Traffic. Or when mired in week-long extensive cake negotiations with the Confab venue.

2.  The Midwest has been “home” my whole life, with stints in five cities across Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

3.  Refining (and drinking) the perfect cocktail—especially the simple classics—is one of my favorite activities.

Mmm Sazerac
Mmm. Sazerac. (photo by _6ft5, cc licensed.)

4.  I’m just a bit OCD, which is actually quite handy for event planning.

5.  My first job was at a record store.

6.  I’ve stuck with music throughout my career with posts at two amazing clubs—First Avenue (Minneapolis) and the Empty Bottle (Chicago):

The Empty Bottle

The Empty Bottle. (photo by allert, cc licensed)

7.  On the last day of Confab, I found out that one of our volunteers had been calling Clinton Forry “Clifton” for the entire event.

8.  My background is in journalism, and I’ve run two music and art magazines—First Avenue’s Foundation, and Ladies & Gentlemen.

Ladies & Gentleman, Issue No. 2 (with accompanying LP)

9.  I collect records. My LP collection numbers in the 1000s. And no, I am not a hoarder.

10.  There’s a tattoo of a 45 rpm record adapter on my forearm.

11.  One trite-but-true tidbit I’ve picked up in life is: Fake it ’til you make it.

12.  Having been a designer, and now working with content strategists every day, I’ve learned that both roles tend to approach projects in a similar fashion.

13.  My cat’s name is Dignan. His namesake is a character from the movie Bottle Rocket. Like his namesake, he has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for really stupid ideas.

Digs the cat
Diggs just loves cozy, porcelain spaces.

14.  When I have some down time, I tend to spend a lot of time on these sites:

15.  Speaking of baseball … I’m attempting to visit every ballpark in America. I’m sitting around 60%. My current top three? AT&T Park in San Francisco, Target Field here in Minneapolis, and Safeco Field in Seattle.

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