By JEFF CLEMETSON
Rolando resident Erin Liddell comes from “pioneer stock” as a fifth generation Oregonian. She grew up in Portland and most of her family still lives there.
Growing up, she developed a love for theater that led her to undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, as well as to more important life events.
“I met my husband doing a Shakespeare festival in Boise, Idaho then we decided to move to New York City where we worked as actors for seven years,” she said. “After 9/11, we both wanted a change and the gallery I was working at in New York as a survival job was hiring in San Diego. My husband received his MFA in Theatre from USD and we visited beautiful San Diego for a friend’s wedding and decided let’s do this, let’s move there.”
The Liddells moved to San Diego in 2003 and Erin started employment as an Art Consultant at the Chuck Jones Gallery, owned by Academy Award winning director and animator Chuck Jones.
“Then after 12 years, I decided to move more towards marketing, and fundraising and worked as marketing and communications manager at the Gaslamp Quarter Association,” she said. “COVID unfortunately got me laid off from that position, but I realized that I loved working with non-profits, small businesses, and helping a community of people who are passionate about their neighborhood and the people that support them.”
Liddell has now started a new company, FAME STUDIO — FAME, an acronym for Fundraising, Advertising, Marketing, Events. Her expertise in those areas led her to becoming event promoter for the local Soroptimist International fall fundraiser. The College Times Courier recently caught up with Liddell to learn more about her life as a Difference Maker.
What inspires you to volunteer, to become a difference maker? What kinds of community service roles have you done?
Living in New York City really got me interested in volunteering. As I traveled on the train into the city from Queens every day, mixing with people from all over the world I realized that I am not the only one on this earth. That I can be inspired, educated, and loved by others. And that it is very important to find out about people you run into every day. There are so many good people in this world (bad too) but mostly talented, interesting people. I love seeing what makes people light up, and I enjoy surrounding myself with that kind of energy. I also notice that there are a lot of people out there like me who also like to help others. I’m inspired by them and their passion which in turn inspires others.
How did you get involved with Soroptimist International? What is that organization about?
One of my best friends told me about Soroptimist International and their wonderful mission which is to help fund women and girls in their education so that they can achieve economic empowerment. I went to a few meetings and was overcome by its membership of women, some who have been members for over 30 years, organizing, networking, and having fun too! This year is Soroptimist International’s 100th anniversary.
What is your role there?
I am a brand-new member of the organization, serving on the board and volunteering as Fundraising Chair. Our first fundraiser is coming up soon and I would love to invite your readers to attend!
On Friday, Sept. 24, there will be the “Catch A Rising Star” event at the Bankers Hill Club from 6–9:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy great food from Pacific Pizza Catering, sips of elegant wines and beer, live jazz, and an outdoor patio with a beautiful view of the bay, as well as the starry night sky! This event is geared to raising funds for the education of women and girls locally.
Tickets are $60 and $65 at the door and more information can be found at www.sisandiego.org.
For other women interested in giving back as a difference maker, what kind of advice do you have for balancing time, judging what organizations are a fit, etc.?
I think there are so many people who have the same drive and passion as I do to help others. It’s funny, the more I volunteer the more I learn about people around me, about the things I can and cannot do, the challenges that I can manage, and the opportunities that get me to another level. Each experience good and bad becomes very rewarding in the end. My advice is really put yourself out there, explore the opportunities in your community, find out about what makes you and the people around you light up!
— Reach editor Jeff Clemetson at firstname.lastname@example.org.