Meet the Board: Erica Olin

This is the latest post in our “Meet the Board” series. Each Monday, we’ll feature one of our 2017-18 board members, not stopping until we run out of board members (in late January).

Erica Olin, MS, RD, CD
Legislative Co-Chair

Erica OlinI am the legislative co-chair of GSDA. Together with the amazing and talented Katrina Hoch, we help GSDA members stay informed of federal, state and local legislative policies that relate to nutrition. These issues range from tax laws, public health concerns, and food security developments that affect our communities.

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Western Oregon University and my Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University. Currently, I work for Nutricopia, Inc. as Consultant Dietitian inspecting kitchen facilities, reviewing menus and providing nutrition therapy to patients in long-term care. I also work as a clinical Dietitian at Virginia Mason Medical Center providing outpatient care to patients with CKD, diabetes, heart disease, transplant, and pre and post bariatric surgery. Not only am I surrounded by some incredible colleagues, but also benefit from working at two organizations with national accolades.

My goal as a dietetic professional outside of work, is to influence food policy on a macro and micro level in hopes to reduce hunger, food deserts, and increase access to healthy eats. I believe policy is integral in shaping a healthier and more sustainable food environment. I’ve worked with the Foundation for Healthy Generations in providing support for the City of Seattle’s sugar tax legislation, and also spent a few years as the legislative chair of the Washington State Food and Nutrition Council. Currently, I am a board member of the Hunger Intervention Program, a nonprofit that helps bridge the hunger gap in North Seattle, and helps promote/support policies to reduce food insecurity.

I grew up in the Pacific NW and love much of what it has to offer. I love to backpack, ski and find the next best brunch spot. I am obsessed with farmers markets, coffee, CrossFit, and enjoy traveling with my toddler and husband who make me laugh every day.

Favorite meal/food: This is tough! If I had to pick one, it would be veggie pizza. Lots of veggies, but please hold the onions. Just to be clear, any pizza would do. ☺

Favorite form of physical activity: I LOVE CROSSFIT. I LOVE CROSSFIT. I usually hate exercise because it can be so repetitive and monotonous. However, CrossFit is quite the opposite. In addition to being that intensity that ‘brings the burn” and “high,” it is also social hour for me. ☺

Favorite travel destination: I mostly love to travel. I can’t say 100 percent it’s my favorite because I absolutely hate the process of the airport. However, I am a lover of new cities, new foods, new streets and new people watching. Every place I have ever been to is a favorite for me for one reason or another. However, if I have to pick one, Paris wins. What’s not to love; romance, croissants, wine and great food.

Favorite food city: Chicago (ahem, pizza). I don’t need to elaborate.

Favorite hobby: After having a baby a couple years ago, I made some amazing friends that I connected with through running. An activity I never enjoyed prior to. This activity turned into a passion and addition to doing races, it became social with post-race celebrations. I’m not particularly fast and on occasion, I would get tired of it, because it is also very isolating at times, particularly while training. UNTIL…. I discovered Ragnar. I have never cried during a run before, and during my longest distance at Ragnar, I cried. It was challenging, cold and wet, but amazing and incredible. By far, one of the best times in my life. Combining a new love of running with the love of being social and connecting with friends is just too good to be true. Relay running races is where it’s at.

Something that most people don’t know about you: I use to hate kombucha……with a passion.