Erin Hudson AEDC Marketing & Communications Specialist
Erin Hudson, AEDC Marketing & Communications Specialist

Erin Hudson’s passion for her city is evident the moment you ask her what she loves most about Allentown and her face lights up. The Lehigh Valley transplant, who was born in Oklahoma City, grew up in Pittsburgh and attended West Virginia University, moved to the area almost a decade ago. After the initial months of settling in and learning her way around, she discovered just how much she enjoyed being here.

“I love living in the West End, running in Trexler Park, seeing shows and movies at the Civic Theatre, shopping the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers’ Market, taking my dog for a walk at the Rose Gardens… I could go on and on!”

Hudson is taking that love of her adopted hometown and putting it to work in her new position as Marketing and Communications Specialist for Allentown Economic Development Corporation. A newly created position, she’s in charge of implementing marketing strategy and bringing awareness to the organization’s three main programs: the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center for manufacturing business incubation, Urban Made, and Urban Sites.

“When we market Allentown for business relocation purposes, I can relate to how convenient we are within the Mid-Atlantic,” Hudson said. “I personally take advantage of our centralized location to the Jersey shore, New York City, and Philadelphia. So, I can understand how it is attractive for companies to relocate here.”

Her initial tour of Bridgeworks during which she met the entrepreneurs running manufacturing businesses left her feeling inspired and invigorated. “Speaking to entrepreneurs who are so driven and passionate about what they’re doing is a humbling experience,” Hudson explained. “When you walk through the building you can hear, see and even smell the progress being made by these client companies. The people inside each suite are the future of manufacturing.”

When asked about the work she will be doing in her new role with AEDC, she said “Economic development is the process of creating jobs and increasing a community’s quality of life and doing it in a sustainable way. That’s something I believe in and want to be a part of. I am proud that the work I will be doing to market and promote this organization will have a direct impact on the economy of the Queen City.”

Besides her passion for Allentown, Hudson also has a love of long-distance running, having recently completed her first half marathon. And the discipline that goes into the training for a race along with the mental focus and physical endurance is something she also applies to her work.

“From running I’ve learned the importance of setting a schedule and sticking to it,” she said. “I also find it helpful to have a mantra as a way to envision the outcome. Plus remembering that you need to chip away one piece at a time at any challenge you are dealing with because it won’t go away overnight. And not being afraid to ask for help and support, but to also give it willingly in return. Entrepreneurs need support. Employees need support. Friends and family need support. People need to help people.”

As a community volunteer, she’s been active with Truth for Women, assisting with marketing and programming, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Council, and the TEDx Lehigh River marketing committee by helping to plan the March conference.

“I’ve been extremely blessed to connect with several amazing female mentors and business leaders who encouraged me to get involved in the community,” Hudson said. “Doing so not only allowed me to become part of the community but it helped introduce me to people that I now work with in business.”

And when it comes to being a diehard Steelers fan in Eagles country, Hudson takes it all in stride. “Since moving here, local friends have been trying to convert me to an Eagles fan. I love the Lehigh Valley and the people here, but not enough to be disowned by family on the western side of Pa.! You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh, but you can’t take Pittsburgh out of the girl!”