Downtime with Erik Anderson

Unwinding with the president of SEDCOR

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What are you reading?

I am currently reading The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution 1926-1930 by Scott Eyman. It’s a fascinating look at the transition from silent films to sound. 

What are you watching? 

I watch a lot of Turner Classic Movies — that’s generally the default channel on the television. I loved Pachinko — a fascinating look at several generations of a Korean immigrant family as they navigate political, social and personal change. 

What are you listening to? 

My usual suspects are artists like Scott Walker, Lee Hazlewood. I also recently found a great new album from Oregon band The Delines, a de facto soundtrack to band member Willy Vlautin’s most recent novel, The Night Always Comes. One podcast I particularly enjoy is from cinematographer Roger Deakins that I discovered during the pandemic. He and his wife bring in a guest each week for a deep dive into their role in filmmaking. 

What is your must-have gadget? 

Just today I left my iPhone in the office and felt totally lost during a two-hour off-site board meeting, which is a little pathetic. I also get a lot of use out of my multiregion BluRay player, which outs me as a “physical media guy” and the subject of much pity from my more tech-savvy friends and colleagues. 

What are your hobbies/interests? 

It’s not hard to guess that I’m a movie guy. The pandemic provided lots of time to explore many rabbit holes of film history, so I have been doing deeper dives into the silent era, pre-code films and film noir. I’m a recent addition to the board of the historic Elsinore Theatre here in Salem, and part of that interest comes from knowing how important these spaces are to communities. 

What was your childhood or earliest ambition? 

I always wanted to own a record store, until I realized that to pay the bills I would have to stock records that people would actually want to buy. That takes the fun out of it for me. 

Where is your favorite place to vacation? 

Last fall I went on a road trip to Monument Valley in Southern Utah. I had been before, but it was a bucket-list trip for my father. If I need to visualize a happy place to calm myself down, it is the dramatic serenity of Monument Valley I conjure up in my mind. 

What is your biggest extravagance? 

My house is filled with artwork as reminders of places I visited or life events I wanted to recognize — basically anything that allows me the excuse to purchase art. I am a big fan of folk art and outsider art, so my collection is not exactly a retirement investment. But I have the luxury to travel to many places and times just by perusing the pieces I have scattered around my house. My biggest challenge now is that I need more walls. 

What motivates you to come to work? 

I stumbled into economic development right out of grad school and over time have found that it’s not about closing deals, but ultimately it’s to make stronger communities. Healthy communities need healthy businesses to provide jobs and revenues to provide a quality of life to residents. 

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