Erin Elizabeth Santerre Nelson
Position: Senior Consultant (Healthcare Strategist)
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN CHARLOTTE AREA?
Since June 2012
TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOU?
My favorite color is yellow because it’s bright and because my older sister doesn’t like the yellow sweet tarts, so she always saves them for me.
This leads me to my next fact…. I try to eat healthy, but I love candy.
I have a great support system in my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without my family and friends.
I’m terrible at watching movies because I always fall asleep.
I own more sneakers than any other type of shoe.
DURING YOUR TIME VOLUNTEERING FOR A COMMUNITY ACTIVITY OR PROJECT, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORIAL MOMENT?
Every season of Girls on the Run brings a new special group of girls together, but I’ll never forget when I met Sarah, a middle school student at Belmont Middle. After walking around the track with Sarah at the end of our first lesson I learned that she had recently moved into a homeless shelter. Her mom wanted her to participate in Girls on the Run but she wasn’t sure if it was really for her. Although I was limited in what I could do to help her home life, I vowed to make her Girls on the Run experience a positive one. By the end of the semester Sarah had made new friends in the program and was jogging around the track instead of walking. I was so proud of Sarah for powering through her doubts and for finding a positive outlet, like exercise, to address the stressors in her life.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY?
I’ve been a hospice volunteer for Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region since 2012. I am assigned 1-2 patients at a time. I visit with my patients regularly and occasionally have the opportunity to interact with their family members. Sometimes my patients don’t have any family so I’m one of the few non-medical related visitors he/she gets during the day. Each visit is usually 30-60 minutes and involves me providing companionship to the patient. Sometimes we’ll sing and listen to music and other times I’ll do their hair. On days when my patients aren’t up to socializing, I will sit and hold their hand or rub their back. No one should have to be alone and no one should have to go through their last stage of life in a hospital. Hospice makes this possible.
I am currently a mentor at Ardrey Kell High School through the ACE (Architectural, Construction, Engineering) Program. Catalyst (my employer) is owned by Haskell, which is a construction company. With my accounting degree and masters in health administration I never thought I would work for a construction company, so one of my goals in the mentorship program is to make students aware of the breadth of opportunities that exist in these fields, and show them how they can enter different careers through non-traditional routes.
I was a coach and assistant coach for Girls on Run at Belmont Middle School in Gaston County for 4 seasons. When Belmont Middle didn’t have enough students to form a team, I volunteered to help in the 5k race at the end of the season. This is a phenomenal program that helps young girls learn to love themselves and their bodies. I taught lessons that teach the girls how to respect themselves and the others around them. I am the youngest child of 3 and I always wanted to be a role model for a younger sister. Girls on the Run has provided me the opportunity to teach middle school girls how to cope with peer, school, and family pressures by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a positive self-image. Also, a huge shout-out to all my girls (over 30 girls in total) because they all finished the 5k at the end of each season!
Catalyst has a volunteer day every quarter. Our team has volunteered sorting clothes, preparing food, and spreading mulch at organizations including Levine & Dickson Hospice House, Care Ring, MedAssist, Friendship Trays, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Crisis Assistance Ministry.
Our non-profits couldn’t survive without contributions from our community. My husband and I donate annually to United Way, the Alzheimer’s Association, St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Council for Children’s Rights, Camp Blue Skies, the Salvation Army, and WFAE.
PLEASE LET US KNOW ANY AWARDS OR RECOGNITIONS YOU’VE RECEIVED IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER:
This would be the first official award I’ve received since college. Professionally, I think I’ve grown significantly over the last 6 years and have had some amazing opportunities that most 20-year olds wouldn’t expect to see until their 40s. On a regular basis I am leading meetings with senior-level health system executives and helping them make decisions about multimillion dollar capital investments. The president of my company took me under her wing as at early age and allowed me the autonomy to make my position what it is today. As the first Catalyst intern, I’m now afforded the opportunity to run the Catalyst internship program and recruit students to Charlotte.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR INTEREST?
I’m most at peace when I’m outdoors. I love hiking, biking, paddle boarding, running, and walking just about anywhere. These activities are even better when I’m with friends and family or at the Whitewater Center. I never thought I’d say this, but I love CrossFit too!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE THAT YOU STAND BY?
“Lean into chaos”. A friend coined this phrase when my husband and I were overwhelmed with work, wedding planning, and house hunting. Since then, we’ve made a point to try to embrace the chaos in our everyday lives and avoid sweating the small stuff (this will be a life long journey!!).
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? 10 YEARS?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned before 30 it’s that I can’t predict where life will take me. All I hope for is the strength to handle whatever life hands me and seize the opportunities before me. I want to continue to grow in my career and to be a great friend and loving, supportive wife.
CAN YOUR SHARE ONE THING THAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
You can’t be given a name like Erin and not aspire to go to Ireland – erin go bragh!
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED YOUR PASSPORT?
I used my passport last summer when I went to Montreal. Two weeks after I came back, it expired, and I haven’t renewed it yet…
WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?
I love to hula-hoop
WHO IS YOUR HERO?
I think all moms are heroes, but I’m a bit biased and put mine at the top of the list. She’s selfless, beautiful inside and out, and makes the best pumpkin pie. Despite the fact that I talk to her just about every day, she always finds something to talk about. She’s always sending guardian angels to watch over me and I aspire to be as loving as her.
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
TBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley. I’m always grabbing something from the “little free libraries” around Charlotte!
WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (It took me three days, no joke, to get through the whole movie. Good thing we have DVR.)
WHAT WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU SAW?
An Elton John and Billy Joel cover band at the Fillmore. It was awesome! P.S. Elton John is my favorite artist.