Erika Rodriguez
This month we profile Erika Rodriguez, the District’s new administrator.  We want the membership to get to know Erika as she will become a great asset to our clubs and membership.
Without further ado, let’s meet Erika.  
Like all good stories, we’ll start from the beginning.  Erika was born in Santa Barbara.  Her father Javier is an entrepreneur.  He owned a couple of restaurants (Javier’s Cafe) before owning used car dealerships (Family Motors).
Her mother Maria worked at the restaurants before working for the County of Santa Barbara.  Maria works on the COVID team serving as a care taker for seniors.
Erika’s third parent, Nancy, works at the car dealership with Javier.
Erika has two brothers and a sister.  Brother Javi works as a mailman in Solvang; brother Alex works at the car lot with father Javier; and sister Mirley is a business owner.  This is a close knit family.  Javi got Erika into sports and following sports like the Philadelphia Eagles - boo!!
Erika went to Santa Ynez Union High where she soared to great heights as a pole vaulter on the track and field team.  She topped out at 10-feet.  Oh, the thrill of going over the bar.  That spirit is what makes her a Pirate.
It was in high school where Erika was first introduced to Rotary.  At the suggestion of a school counselor she joined the Interact club.  She was with Interact for four years becoming their vice-president.  As a senior she went to RYLA at a camp in Ojai.  This caused her to skip her prom.  Truly, a small price to pay.
As part of her high school experience she traveled to Australia for a few weeks of study abroad.  She was based in Sydney and took in the whole experience.  She loved the people and meeting students from around the region.  The highlight of this trip was going to New Zealand which she found most enchanting.  This would be the beginning of Erika’s life long desire to travel.
After high school, Erika chose the University of San Diego as her college of choice.  She became the first in her family to attend and graduate from college.  This Torero earned a Bachelor in Business Administration in Marketing.  Also a Bachelor in Business Administration in International Business.  And that’s not all.  She attained a Certification as a Nonprofit Professional.  Not too bad.
Besides graduating, there were two significant things that happened to Erika in college.  First she joined the school’s Rotaract club in her  freshman year.  As a senior, she became the club’s president.
Second, Erika spent her semester abroad down under in Australia.  Her schooling was at the Macquarie University campus in Sydney.  There she made friends with her roommates from around the world.  Of course she joined the school’s Rotaract club.
After graduating, Erika did not sit back and kick up her heels.  She kicked up a storm by chartering the Pacific Beach Rotaract club.  This go-getter recruited classmates from college, sorority sisters and USD Rotaract members to join.  She personally recruited all 15 members to charter the club.
Erika, if you couldn’t already tell, has a strong work ethic.  She began working in the family restaurant age six.  She worked at every position possible: hostess, busgirl, waitress and dishwasher.  She was all in.  After college she worked at Zipcar as the marketing coordinator and Lyft as a marketing specialist.
She recently started her own company: Nadi Marketing.  District 5340 is one of her clients.
Among other things, Erika will update the District’s web site.  Even though our web site was voted the best web site in Zone 26/27, we believe the web site can be even better.  And, Erika will make that happen.
Erika will be support for our bookkeeper Beth Vanta and all the clubs as well.  This includes the Rotaract clubs of which Erika is still a member of the PB Rotaract club.
But Erika is not all work and no play.  She has her own paddle board and often paddle boards in the bay and ocean.  She - watch out for this - is a major kick boxer.  Ouch!!  She has been to five Rotary International Conventions: Sydney (there’s that Australia thing), Sao Paulo, Atlanta, Toronto and Hamburg.  She parlays these conventions into more travel in the regions.
She can’t get enough of the movie “The Notebook.”  She always has a tissue box close at hand.  For her there is only two kinds of music: Country and Western.  Erika’s favorite song is that toe tapper, “Homesick” by Kane Brown.
Given all that, we are very much excited to have Erika Rodriguez as a big part of our District.  Please reach out to Erika and congratulate and welcome her to the family.