“I tend to get passionate about ideas and programs that help the most vulnerable. In the U.S., we have so many highly trained doctors and nurses with a passion to share their knowledge. Taking their rich talent to parts of the world where doctors need to gain advanced education and skills to help critically ill children is a great way to effect positive change globally.”
Erik Holland has been an honorary Heart-to-Heartnik for many years. His father, Steve Holland, was the chairman of our governing board until his retirement in 2016. Growing up, Erik followed Heart to Heart’s progress and got to know many long-standing, dedicated Heart-to-Heartniks. We are delighted that Erik has followed Steve’s footsteps onto our board, bringing with him business acumen, a strong familial inclination to “give back,” and a diplomatic approach that was his father’s hallmark.
Erik was still in high school when his father first got involved with Heart to Heart through the Rotary Club of Berkeley. The Club had an international project to raise money to purchase a heart-lung machine for one of Heart to Heart’s partner sites in Russia. In order to build broad support, Steve proposed that the fund-raising campaign not accept gifts larger than $1,000. The Club achieved over 90% participation, and Steve traveled to St. Petersburg for the ceremonial delivery of the heart-lung machine. Erik acknowledges that consensus building is fundamental to his father’s leadership style: “He is a people person, but not a people pleaser. He gives everyone a chance to speak, question, and debate, and then he will find the right time, and the right way, to guide a group to a decision—ideally a consensus decision. And that is the mantra from him I try to follow. I enjoy navigating a ship through turbulent waters.”
Erik is president of Fidelity Insurance Service in Berkeley. Most of the firm’s institutional clients are nonprofits, some with robust international operations. In his role as an insurance professional, Erik is both an effective problem-solver and an attentive listener to what he calls “the human stories, the ones that hook you.”
Erik has served on several nonprofit boards, including for his church and the local Little League, where he was also a coach and manager for many years. In 2016, Erik completed his term as chair of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.