Listen to the interview (approx.. 55 min.) or download it.
Graduated on 2006 with a major in Professional Music. Principal Instrument: drums.
Position: Regional Executive Director of the Greater Hartford YMCA, which has over 1000 employees, 13 facilities, and an annual budget of over $30,000,000. Eric’s responsibilities are split between fundraising, being part of the community, budget management, marketing programs, and supporting day-to-day operations of the regional YMCA.
Overview: After graduation, Eric moved back to Connecticut. For the first couple of years after Berklee, Eric (barely) made a living playing lots of gigs, teaching drums part-time at a high school, and teaching music to pre-schoolers. Hoping to make more money, Eric applied to join the U.S. Navy band, and was tentatively accepted, but ultimately that job fell through after a year of living in Virginia and subbing in with it. In late 2009 he moved back to Connecticut resumed what he was doing, and looked for a day job. A local YMCA (New Britain-Berlin YMCA)was looking to hire their first “Arts and Humanities director.” Eric found the job listing on Craigslist, applied, and got it in early 2010.
Eric quickly realized that he needed to raise money to make these new programs he was starting happen, so he completed an online program in non-profit fundraising. His fundraising efforts were so successful that he was promoted to grants administrator, then overseeing all financial development (The #2 position) on top of the artistic job. However, this was a local YMCA, and Eric realized that in order to progress in his career he’d have to be part of a larger organization, so in early 2015 he applied for an got a job with the Hartford YMCA as Director of Membership, Sales, and Service. Working in an extremely poor community was gratifying, but extremely tough. A year later Eric was ready to move on. He applied for and got his current job in early 2016.
You can see Eric’s LinkedIn profile here.
“I wake up every day excited to get to work! I get to see firsthand how being kind and giving our talents, time, and treasures really impacts everyday people People coming into our programs are happy and excited to be there. We don’t turn anybody away because of financial need, because we think everyone deserves that experience. As an individual person that’s something I couldn’t provide, but as part of this organization I can do exactly that!”
“We just build a brand new facility in Glastonbury. My focus was to make not a typical YMCA but the strongest arts YMCA in the state. There’s still a gym, but our large space is a 100-seat music theater.”
“Berklee taught me that nothing is just handed to us. To be succesful in music, you have to network, go out there and aggressively market yourself. That’s really what I do every day. I make sure there’s nobody who doesn’t know who I am and what the YMCA does so that people think of the Y when they plan to make something happen.”
“If there’s something you’re passionate about, give it your whole self and do whatever it takes to make it happen. You’re not always going to be doing exactly what you want to do but as long as you can see a good path, take it and do everything you can to get to that next level.”