Call the philanthropy office about a donation or attend one of our intermission lounges next season, and you’ll likely be greeted by Meany Center’s new kid on the block: Philanthropy Coordinator Erin Candee. A 2014 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Erin moved to Seattle sight-unseen.
“I always wanted to come here,” she says. So after college, she decided “Why not?”
Erin joined the Meany Center team in May 2018, after two years as assistant bookstore manager at Chihuly Garden and Glass at Seattle Center. It turns out there aren’t actually many books in the Chihuly bookstore (except those by Dale Chihuly); Erin’s real job was selling art.
Not a bad first job out of college for an Art History major, though she soon discovered that much as she enjoyed the people part, meeting and working with collectors, the retail side was less enticing. What she really wanted to do was combine her love of the arts and her people-skills with another passion: fundraising.
While enrolled at University of Pittsburgh, Erin had worked at the Student Calling Center where she eventually became a manager. She enjoyed the Call Center since it was an ideal place to connect with people around a shared love for the University.
One of her favorite memories of that time was calling an alum who was thrilled to hear from her alma mater. “I think she was going through a rough time,” Erin said. “She was so happy to hear from the University—I was on the phone with her for an hour, just talking about the school, her old haunts, what her student days had been like.”
“She didn’t give us any money,” Erin adds, “but we became Facebook friends afterwards.”
Erin laughs about that call, but she also points out that “At some point in the future when that woman has some money, she’s more likely to give because of her experience with me.”
That, in a nutshell, illustrates why we’re so happy to have Erin as part of our team.
So the next time you’re at Meany Center, be sure to say hello to Erin—she’ll be happy to meet you!