Erika is the Founder and CEO of Local Orbit, the supply chain platform for people who are creating a new, connected food economy. The Local Orbit platform enables institutions and restaurants to efficiently purchase from local farmers, food makers & aggregators, while maintaining complete supply chain transparency. Local Orbit provides sales and business management tools for local food hubs, aggregators and suppliers. It also provides supplier management, data and supply chain services to high volume institutional buyers.
By enabling efficient, decentralized supply chains, Local Orbit saves money for foodservice buyers and enables them to meet customer demand for local, sustainably sourced food, while increasing market share for small and mid-size food producers.
Prior to Local Orbit, Erika co-founded and ran an entrepreneurial arts organization, producing cross-sector partnership events in the US, Great Britain and South Africa. She also co-created, directed and produced 15 plays. She led the renovation of a vacant building in Detroit into a theater, gallery and bar and worked with vendors to source local food for events.
Erika was inspired to create Local Orbit through a series of interviews she conducted for a project on the History of Eating. She spent time with people in fields, barns, warehouses, processing facilities, delivery trucks, kitchens, offices, cafeterias and restaurants. She talked to policy makers, business owners, food writers and nutritionists. And she identified the need for a platform that could support the new and evolving businesses and innovators who are transforming our food system.
She has also worked as a technology and business process consultant, focusing on strategic planning, collaboration, operational efficiency and communications strategy. Throughout her career, Erika has created collaborative environments that facilitate learning and action.
Erika is a graduate of University of Michigan, has an MFA from Columbia University, and studied Interactive Technology at NYU. She comes from a family of fruit peddlers, meat processors, restaurant owners and wholesalers. She is a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow. Other awards include Crain’s Detroit Business 40 Under 40.