An avid pilot, Erik holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and glider ratings.In 1996, he helped launch the XPRIZE Foundation in St. Louis. In 2002 Erik retraced his grandfathers epic 1927 New York to Paris solo flight – raising over a million dollars and 500 million (pre-social media) media impressions for XPRIZE.
This 9-year “overnight success” story helped to jump-start the private spaceflight industry and is detailed in the NY times bestselling book: How to Make a Space Ship by Julian Guthrie In 2011 Erik awarded the Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft at the NASA Green Flight Challenge and inspired by the potential for aviation, created Powering Imagination to help accelerate the development of the electric aircraft industry and inspire the next generation of innovators.
After nearly a decade working on this industry Erik and his partners have started a new company called VerdeGo Aero to build propulsion systems for the emerging electric aircraft industry which will transform the way people move around the planet. Erik’s story is one of triumph over adversity. He won the Washington state gymnastics championship all-around 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 completely disabled. Total knee replacements and a breakthrough biotechnology drug gave him a second chance at living a physically active life. After years of patient persistence Erik has rebuilt his physical fitness and is now bonafide member of the OGR’s (#OldGuysRockin) as an expert mountain biker and backcountry skier. On the creative side, he has been creating unique furniture and sculpture designs for over 25 years.
Committed to a life of service to future generations, Erik is a passionate public speaker and Co-Host of The Lindberghs Podcast. Mr. Lindbergh also serves as Chairman of the board for the Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, as a Trustee of the XPRIZE Foundation, and served as a founding director of the Aviation High School in Seattle which is now ranked the #1 school in the state.