2020 40 Under 40 Winners

2019 40 Under 40 Logo

Erik Showalter

Baton Rouge General Foundation
Baton Rouge, LA

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  • In total, Erik's fundraising strategies have raised over $100MM in support of healthcare, higher education, associations, and human services organizations.
  • In his current leadership role at Baton Rouge General Foundation, the team exceeded the recent $10MM capital campaign, and he secured the largest gift in foundation history.
  • He transformed the Foundation's office culture helping the organization to achieve a perfect 5/5 employee engagement score on the annual ‘Best Places to Work’ Gallup survey.

Q & A

1. How did you get into healthcare philanthropy?

While working for CCS in Washington, DC I had the opportunity to manage a project at the University of Maryland St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Healthcare was the fundraising sector I’d always wanted to pursue. It is incredible to see how philanthropy impacts patient care in every department throughout the hospital.

2. Why did you choose to make healthcare philanthropy your career?

I’ve always been interested in the medical field. My first year out of college I had the opportunity to tour St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. It was there I saw the power of philanthropy and how it impacted research, patients, families, and entire communities. After that I knew what I wanted to do. 

3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.

In 2018 I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while working here at Baton Rouge General. At that moment I became a patient and an employee. A month after beginning treatment the opportunity to interview for my current role as Foundation President presented itself. My wife and family encouraged me to pursue it and supported me through treatment and the interview process even though chemotherapy took its toll. Pushing forward and achieving not only remission but my current role taught me just how much I was capable of with the love and support of those around me. 

4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?

My first job was running the full service pump and repairing tires at my uncle’s Exxon gas station while in high school. The days were long and hot. I learned a lot about hard work, taking every task assigned to you, and commitment. 

5. What are your future aspirations?

My aspirations are to see our foundation at Baton Rouge General grow and thrive. We have an incredible opportunity here to impact our patients and community. I also hope at some point to be able to speak with and work with individuals pursuing philanthropy as a profession about the reality, responsibility, and challenges we face in our industry. 
Erik_Showalter Headshot-cropped

Fun Fact:

If given the choice I would much rather wear Air Jordans with a suit than dress shoes....

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