Director of Strategic Initiatives, West Side Campaign Against Hunger
New York, NY, US
Cohort: Center for Creative Leadership, New York, 2018
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Erika Freund is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at West Side Campaign Against hunger. Freund started there in 2016 to develop their concept of a Mobile Food Pantry from idea to full execution. The program achieved success and has had tremendous impact within New York City and Emergency Food as a whole. Prior to West Side Campaign Against Hunger, Freund spearheaded her own company, starting in 2008 while in graduate school. She spent three months in Tanzania working on a social enterprise project which focused on sustainable craft and artisan stewardship. Seeing real market opportunity, Freund packed her bags and moved to East Africa to start a high-end luxury brand of jewelry, Mikuti. She created supply chains through Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda, sourcing high end artisan talent and sustainable raw materials. Mikuti achieved high acclaim from many major fashion editors of Vogue, W Magazine, Harpers Bazaar, and New York Times Magazine, while being styled by renowned individuals such as Tim Walker and Fabien Baron. The brand went on to participate in various Fashion Week shows in New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and develop a global stocklist. It was through this entrepreneurial venture Freund developed her strong business acumen. In 2018, Freund was named 40 under 40 by the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College on her work to transform the food system. She holds a Masters of Social Work from New York University.