Meet E!C's Board of Directors: Earl Pike

Earl Pike's HeadshotName: Earl Pike Current company position:  Nonprofit Consultant, working in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years with a wide range of organizations and issues.

How long have you lived in Cleveland?  18 years

Why did you choose to be on the E!C board of directors?  More and more, young professionals are coming to recognize Cleveland as a vibrant, forward-looking, dynamic community with a wide range of options for career growth, family, and community engagement—and it’s vital that we champion the emerging leadership of YPs in creating that community.  E!C serves as the hub of that effort—an epicenter of programs, initiatives, and activities that will continue to attract young talent to Cleveland, and help them grow deep roots in the community.  It’s exciting to be part of an organization where younger professionals are consciously supported as community leaders.

What do you see E!C looking like/what will E!Cs role in CLE be in the future?  E!C has already become to “go-to” organization for “all things YP”—employer initiatives, networking, community involvement, leadership training, talent support, inclusivity and diversity.  As times goes by, an ever-growing portion of the community will recognize that role, and approach E!C for any number of needs.

What is your top tip for young professionals in Cleveland?  Be fearless about meeting new people, discovering what’s happening in the community.  Cleveland is one of those towns where you can pick up the phone, call someone who is an already established leader, and say, “Can I buy you a cup of coffee and find out about what you do?”—and chances are, they’ll reply, “of course!”  Learn the history, the neighborhoods, the stories that make up Northeast Ohio—that’s how you’ll begin to wave yourself and your aspirations into the life of the community.

What is your favorite thing about Cleveland?  Opportunity, borne out of hardship.  Cleveland’s been down and out; there’s no doubt about that.  But in recent years, that experience has fostered a new wave of risk-taking, opportunity, change.  There’s a feeling now that you can try new things—start a business, tackle a community need, change a neighborhood—and chances are, you’ll find at least two or three other people who have similar interests.  Unlike bigger cities, where young professionals can end up feeling like just another one of tens of thousands with a degree and an ambition, Cleveland, right now, is a community where anyone can have a truly meaningful impact.