In 1996, Erik helped launch the XPRIZE Foundation and in 2002 he retraced his grandfathers epic 1927 New York to Paris solo flight - raising over a million dollars and 500 million pre-social media impressions for XPRIZE. In 2011 Erik awarded the Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft at the NASA Green Flight Challenge and inspired by the potential, created Powering Imagination and the Quiet Flight Initiative to promote the future of flight - in balance with preservation of our natural resources and soundscapes. Erik’s story is one of triumph over adversity. He won the Washington state gymnastics championship at age 11 and excelled in water-skiing, and alpine and telemark ski racing during his teens.
After climbing and skiing Mount Rainier at age 21, he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and by age 30 was disabled. Total knee replacements and a breakthrough biotechnology drug gave him a second chance at living an active life. Inspired by nature, he is now an avid mountain biker and backcountry skier and has been creating wildwood furniture and sculpture designs for over 25 years. Committed to a life of service to future generations, Erik is a passionate public speaker and serves on the Board of Directors of the Aviation High School in Seattle, and NatureBridge - Olympic National Park.