All About Erin


There’s a lot to cover. So I’m just going to provide you with a glimpse of my life then, my life now, and my current fascination: “mini-dom.” But, before we jump in, let’s address one very important topic: hair color. You’ll see in my pictures that I sometimes have red hair and sometimes I have blonde hair.

I was born with some red hair, but it all fell out. Then I was bald for 2 years and Mom used to Elmer’s glue a pink bow on my head so people would know I was a girl. And then it came in blonde. So I was born a red-head and I’m a natural blonde. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Red head or blonde?

View Results

Loading …

p.s. My colorist, Jodi, is fantastic. She’s at Dekko Salon here in SF. I go to Joni for my cut and she’s fab too.

Erin Then: My mom, Sam, tells stories about how I would scream bloody murder when placed in the playpen and would try and claw my way out. I also escaped from my stroller every chance I got. Even as a little tyke I didn’t like being caged in.

Age 4: parochial school was no match for me

Age 4: parochial school was no match for me

When I was 14, my parents decided to take some time off, sell our house and relocate to a far-off locale. I still remember the conversation we had around the dinner table one night, when we got out a globe (yes, I’m THAT old), and we decided as a family where to go: Australia!

Only problem was, Australia didn’t want us, so we packed our bags for New Zealand instead. New Zealand! I went to school in Auckland (Fifth Form at Rangitoto College), and we hung around for about 6 months. Dad took some Chinese cooking classes and we all got hooked on the Australian soap operas, especially Prisoners. Then off we went to explore the Pacific Rim, starting in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, China, and Japan.

We landed in Hawaii and were taking a breather, trying to decide where to go next when “we” decided that I should finish high school. (Whatever!) So we stayed put for 2 years until I graduated from Kaiser High, out on the east end of Oahu.

In college I studied International Relations and minored in Asian Studies, so it was no real surprise when after graduation I picked up and moved to Hong Kong with $1,000 (I was rich!), one night’s hotel reservation at the YWCA, and no job or contacts… and that’s when life really began.

Erin Now: Let’s just say I survived the early years (barely) and now I’m off and running! I’ve figured out how to continuing traveling, while running my own consulting firm. I try and travel at least 2 months out of the year.

My consulting firm, Michelson Consulting Group (MCg), provides strategic advisory services to help citizen sector and for-profit institutions grow their philanthropic business. MCg creates business development strategies and implementation plans aimed at increasing assets under management. This is all a fancy way of saying that I’m a professional fundraiser.


For my full professional back story, check out my bio, Michelson Bio In short, I’ve split my career between the corporate and nonprofit worlds, working with the largest financial institutions and brokerage houses, as well as many leading nonprofit organizations.

I even founded and ran my own nonprofit for 4 years: Alliance for Women’s Equality (AWE). AWE provided pro bono strategic planning, communications, and fundraising consulting to women’s and girl’s rights groups. It was fantastic. And then it imploded.

All told, I’ve lived and studied in New Zealand, China, Hong Kong and South Africa. I’ve lived some of the US’ best cities: NYC, Chicago, San Francisco. I now live a wanna-be hermit existence in my mini-house in West Marin, California.

Mini Me: It all started with a growing obsession with the mini-house movement—which is less about living in a small space and more about de-cluttering your life with unessential items so that there’s room to concentrate on the important stuff.

To me, the important stuff comprises:

Family & Friends

Love & Companionship

Physical & Mental Health

Learning & Creativity

A firm believer in the motto “put-up or shut-up,” this year I fully embraced mini-dom and cleared my existence of waste. Check out how I live my mini life:

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 7th, 2009 and is filed under misc.

Join Our Mailing List

Thanks for checking out my global living and giving adventures!

Sign up for my Weekly Update to get a free Charitable Giving Guide and more surprises straight to your inbox. Join the fun!