Family support has always been a driving force in Erin Collier’s life. When she was a child, her family moved to Las Vegas to support her father’s career, and as an adult, she credits her husband, two sons, and other family members with helping her through tough career challenges. The former Las Vegan and successful entrepreneur came home in May, joining the UNLV family as director of organizational development. She plans to draw on her personal and professional experiences to contribute to building a campus culture that encourages managers to play an active part in their employees’ success.
Your role at UNLV
As director of organizational development, I am working with people all over campus to design and develop a training program for anyone who supervises others. We have great people here at UNLV, so it’s important that we invest in them to make sure they have the skills they need to be successful. The program will include compliance-based management training as well as mid-level leadership skills, such as providing effective feedback.
Inspiration to get into your field
When I started college, I thought I wanted to be a doctor and earned an undergraduate degree in biology at UNR. After doing an internship in a hospital, I quickly learned that it wasn’t for me. I wanted to help people for a living, so I decided to pursue counseling psychology instead. I received my master’s in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon and went to work with battered women and sexual assault survivors. Then in 2004, we moved to Tucson and I found it was the perfect time to start my own business. Building on my 18 years’ experience working with organizations and my degree in counseling psychology, I started an organizational development consulting company.
The most rewarding aspect of starting your own company
Seeing the changes that happen in individuals and organizations and the touching feedback that I received from clients.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
Make sure the business you choose is something you love and you have a solid business plan. There will be hard times and that passion will help to get you through. Keep in mind that at the end of the tunnel, you’ll be doing work you feel good about.
Top three characteristics of a successful leader
- High in emotional intelligence
- Visionary and strategic thinker
- Committed to growing their reports
Favorite thing about Las Vegas
My husband and I both have family in Vegas, so we enjoy spending time with everyone. We also love the food in town. One of our favorite spots is a local Italian place in Henderson called Pasta Shop Ristorante.
In your free time…
I’m an avid reader, I practice yoga, and I try to spend as much time as possible with my husband and two sons. I consider the times we are all in the kitchen together to be one of life’s greatest luxuries.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you
I’ve played the flute since sixth grade and briefly was a member of UNLV marching band and flute choir.
Favorite book, movie, or television show
I thought Wonder Woman was truly inspirational. It is refreshing to see a strong female lead character in a movie.
I have a few favorite quotes:
“Clear is kind and unclear is unkind,” Brené Brown.
“Direct feedback shows that you care,” Kim Scott.
“You are capable of so much more than we usually dare to imagine,” Sharon Salzberg
“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful,” Annette Funicello