Product leadership is about mentoring others by building trusting relationships, holding each other accountable, solutioning through teamwork, and inspiring each other towards a united vision.
Virginia Commonwealth University, Technical Prowess Course (Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture), Adjunct Instructor
I have worked in the design field for 20+ years as an illustrator, graphic designer, college instructor, product designer and product manager. Over the years, I have learned a lot about what it takes to be a mentor and leader in experience design. Here are some of my core leadership beliefs and approaches:
BE AN ADVOCATE
Recognize strong efforts given and great work created from your team
Develop high-performing associates and provide career opportunities and coaching
Empower others to feel a sense of ownership behind every product experience they are building
Lead teams with openness and honesty
Facilitate employee growth through timely and helpful feedback
Set clear expectations for the team on deliverables, including ideation, competitive analysis, research, wireframes and prototypes.
Translate business goals into user centered experiences that get everyone excited
Align projects to roadmaps, and quarterly and annual planning goals
Make good hiring decisions and align associate talents to the needs of the team
"She is a leader through and through. Erin consistently spoke up for her teams, delivered top quality work for her clients, and set aside time to offer advice to younger professionals like myself. She is a fierce advocate for the mentorship of women in the professional tech world, especially young creatives. Erin's wide range of skills and experience make her a strong UX force to be reckoned with!"
– Victoria Griffin,
Senior UX Design Consultant,
"Erin is a strong leader, a passionate designer, and a thoughtful mentor. Her readiness to roll up her sleeves and take on large projects head-on with her team, even when those projects or problems are not directly hers, speaks volumes to her character both in (and out of) the workplace. Erin is invested in the success of both her peers and the larger organization as a whole. She fosters a strong atmosphere of support within her team, while also always pushing ideas to the next level. I’m so thankful for the opportunities I have had to work with her because they have made me both a stronger designer and a better person."
– Daniel Torraca,
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP & INVOLVEMENT
James Madison University, Guest Lecturer / 2021
Guest lecturer for Bluestone Communications, a nationally-affiliated student-run public relations firm at James Madison University on the topic of "Building a Career in User Experience Design."
Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Docent / 2019-2020
Participated and completed 10 month training for the 2019 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts volunteer docent program, dedicated to connecting with our visitors through facilitated, shared gallery experiences centered on the visual arts. Facilitation style focused on engagement through dialogue, an exchange of knowledge between guide and visitor, and helped participants explore critical, creative, and reflective thinking skills.
Christmas Mother Council, Volunteer / 2018
The Henrico County Christmas Mother organization is a nonprofit that provides food, new clothing, books, and toys to qualifying Henrico families, disabled adults and seniors during the holiday season.
FeedMore Backpack Program, Volunteer / 2016-2018
Feed More’s BackPack program provides children who don’t have enough to eat with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food at times when other resources are not available. Served as a warehouse volunteer to assemble backpacks, snacks and create meal boxes for FeedMore Backpack programs.
Richmond Ad Club, Student Mentor / 2016-2018
Through the Richmond Ad Club Mentorship Program, students and young professionals are paired one-on-one with an advertising professional with at least 5 years of agency experience. Volunteered as a mentor to provide mentee with professional guidance in the form of portfolio reviews and book, website and blog recommendations. Also recommended networking events, lectures, forums for the mentee to attend, and helped guide them in furthering their careers.
VCU Communication Arts, Community Board Member / 2013-2019
Met with department staff to discuss trending topics in design, illustration and communication industries. Shared ideas around evolving current course curriculum to meet the demanding needs and skills necessary to be successful within the design workforce.