Erik Hansen's Story
Erik Hansen is a strategic and focused leader who has repeatedly beaten the odds in his career. He enjoys interesting challenges and will not sit still when a problem needs solving. With a unique skill set in consumer-facing, revenue-centered companies combined with community leadership, Erik is an out of the box professional who focuses on the big picture and will doggedly pursue any goal until it is achieved. His successes include launching several successful companies, including one from ground zero to IPO and winning five elections to public office.
Erik Hansen’s professional career began as a project manager for a publicly traded, consumer products marketing company called Amrion. Although he didn’t know it at the time, it was the perfect fit for him to combine his creative drive with the analytical discipline in his work. Promoted quickly from project manager to eventually managing the marketing for the $45 million Bioenergy Nutrients product line, Erik was successful increasing the value of a customer more than 50% with aggressive direct mail campaigns to cross sell new products and ensure repeat purchases. During the sale of the company to Whole Foods Market, Inc., Erik was a key member of the due diligence team. At that time managing the P&L and budget for Bioenergy Nutrients, Erik developed an interactive and sophisticated financial model to project customer lifetime value that helped maximize the sale price of the company.
After witnessing the process of selling a publicly traded company, Erik Hansen was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. He launched a profitable series of coupon books, selling and designing advertising space for local merchants. He consulted with a number of small businesses and helped design, print and mail postcards to their customers. He helped several companies launch new products through radio and print advertising and Internet channels. It was during this time that Erik took his marketing and financial skills and added the technical and operational savvy he has today.
Erik Hansen was hired by Video Professor to replicate his successes at Amrion … make their customers more valuable. While Video Professor had a successful series of training videos, the breadth of their product line was limited, and Erik Hansen developed a series of new products that resulted in an additional $30 million in annual sales to the company. While launching products Erik developed and strengthened operational systems to support these new products. He worked closely with IT to create a database to connect order taking, credit card processing and fulfillment. He traveled nation-wide to call centers to providing training and technical support to customer service agents. He implemented a new company-wide fulfillment mailing system, Smart Mail, which saved the organization millions of dollars in postage costs. For his efforts Erik was named the company’s Employee of the Year.
Erik Hansen began looking for a new challenge, and he was contacted by ID Watchdog, a consumer identity theft protection company, to be their VP of Marketing. With zero customers and rudimentary systems at best, Erik Hansen was tasked with developing a new product, marketing to acquire customers, and systems for credit card processing, databases, and customer service as well as the launch the company’s website. In 18 months ID Watchdog acquired over 150,000 customers through television, radio, print and Internet advertising. During this time he implemented the telephony for an in-house customer call center, hired a dozen agents, trained them on new products, and managed the operation. Erik hired and managed a web developer and database programmer to build a custom database to automate ordering, credit card processing, and E-Commerce. His efforts led to the company’s successful IPO.
After a short stint managing a web development group, Erik Hansen determined he would focus his efforts solely on public service. During his time in the private sector he had also nurtured a successful career in public office, beginning first as a Thornton City Councilmember, then Thornton Mayor, and finally County Commissioner. As Thornton Mayor, Erik became a recognized leader on transportation issues. An opportunity arose when the Regional Transportation District determined that they did not have the funds to complete Fastracks, which if happened would directly harm the city’s residents who would pay taxes for an improvement with no benefit.
Erik was immediately named to the Metro Mayor’s Caucus Fastracks task force to work with RTD to find additional funding for the program. In collaboration with the city manager and city council, Thornton developed a strategy to exert public pressure on RTD to change course. This ultimately resulted in a series of community meetings and the formation of the North Area Transportation Alliance. Erik Hansen has chaired this coalition of 13 local governments and business leaders for four of its nine years of existence. He personally lobbied the Mayors of each jurisdiction to become members, and he led the first efforts to initiate funding, create bylaws, and advocate for priorities.
Over the last six years, Erik Hansen has overcome new challenges. Erik was privileged to take a leading role as the chair of the Airport Coordinating Committee in a negotiation with Denver to amend the historic airport agreement that built Denver International Airport in 1988. The negotiation was conflict-ridden and, the odds for an agreement were long, but that three year negotiation which culminated in a successful citizen vote to amend the agreement for the first time in 27 years. For his efforts Erik received an award for regional cooperation from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. After leaving public office Erik managed a special water district. His efforts helped improved customer service through new technology, instituted stronger budgetary controls, evaluated a potential public-private partnership and conducted a water rate study.
Throughout his professional career, Erik Hansen has valued education and training. He completed a B.A. in political science from Truman State University and an M.B.A. in business from the University of Denver. He believes that continuing education is critical to success, which is why he advanced his formal education at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Public Affairs and throughout his professional career took classes from Mountain States Employer’s Council, the Direct Marketing Association, National League of Cities, and National Association of Counties. He also received a certificate in State and Local Government Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School. Based on his own experience, Erik believes that staff development is critical to the success of any organization.
Erik Hansen’s diverse career in the public and private sector is marked with a record of entrepreneurial creation … building systems, human relationships and strategies, often in difficult situations and under time constraints. He enjoys a good challenge, which is why after beating cancer he reinvigorated his love for baseball and joined a men’s team. His love of the game extends to coaching, as he has now coached both his son’s baseball and daughter’s softball teams as well as umpiring. He takes his responsibility as a citizen seriously because he believes that we are here to make a difference in the world, to build a better community.