2020 40 Under 40: Eric Florip

Aug. 18, 2020
Eric Florip, Public Affairs Coordinator, C-TRAN
  • One word to describe yourself: Grateful
  • Alma Mater: University of Oregon
  • Favorite hobbies: Making music, gardening, being outside
  • Fun fact about yourself: I play guitar and sing in a church worship band.
  • Favorite station or stop that you have ever visited or frequent (and why): In the C-TRAN system, I’m a fan of The Vine (BRT) station at Washington and 12th Street in downtown Vancouver, Wash. It’s a beautiful location next to a historic church, with vibrant public art that reflects the history of its surroundings.
  • Favorite route you have ever ridden or frequent (and why): C-TRAN Route 25: It’s the start and finish of my commute from home.

Eric Florip joined C-TRAN in November 2015 as public affairs coordinator following years as a newspaper reporter. He made an immediate impact on the agency through his video production and social media work that have upped C-TRAN’s visibility in the community. Additionally, Florip’s own environmental commitment has helped propel C-TRAN’s approach to sustainability.

Florip is self-trained in video production, but his efforts have produced C-TRAN training and orientation videos, public service announcements with the Vancouver Police Department and Evergreen Public Schools Transition program, as well as information videos detailing service changes and a 30-second ad that resulted in a 25-percent increase in job applications.

Florip’s nomination contained a section called “Testimonials to Eric’s Awesomeness,” in which Human Resources Manager Jenapher Dues said, “Eric has managed to bring C-TRAN into the age of social media.”

He has grown C-TRAN’s social media following across several platforms by triple-digit percentage points and was instrumental in creating the agency’s blog, “Transit Matters,” which offers an inside look at the agency. Florip also began live tweeting C-TRAN Board of Directors meetings, which has developed a following all its own and has promoted agency transparency and offered stakeholders another option of staying informed about agency happenings.

Florip helped establish C-TRAN’s Green Team in 2017, which works internally and externally to remind people about the importance of conservation, recycling and Earth-friendly activities. Among the many accomplishments of the group is the recently launched recycling programs for K-Cups used in agency coffee machines and cigarette butts collected from receptacles at C-TRAN bus stops. The work Florip has performed on the Green Team inspired a regional program at the Washington Department of Transportation. In November 2019, following months of preparation and research, Florip and the Green Team learned they were successful in having C-TRAN certified as a “Green Business” in Clark County, Wash. An accomplishment Florip counts among his top achievements thus far.

 Is there a specific experience that led you to where you are today?

As a former newspaper reporter, I loved meeting new people and telling their stories. That experience helped lead me into the public affairs role I have now at C-TRAN. As communicators, telling stories is a big part of what we do: Telling the story of our agency, the employees behind the scenes, the riders we serve every day and the communities we call home.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

My job means different things on different days and I enjoy having that variety in the work I do for C-TRAN. My roles include communications, social media, community events, video shooting and editing, photography, public outreach and more. Having that kind of range has given me room to grow professionally and take on new challenges. C-TRAN has a phenomenal team and I’m fortunate to work with a great group of people. 

Accomplishments you’re most proud of and why?

I’m extremely proud of the work that the C-TRAN Green Team has accomplished during the past few years. I’ve helped coordinate the group since it formed in 2017 as an employee-led initiative to make C-TRAN a cleaner, greener agency. We’ve made some important changes and, in 2019, successfully led C-TRAN through the process of becoming a certified Green Business in Clark County, Wash.

Best advice/tip/best practice to share from your area of expertise?

Control what you can control and don’t worry about the rest. Be an example and recognize the influence you can have on other people—even if you’re not in a position of leadership.

Why do you like being a part of the public transit industry?

Public transit plays a hugely important role in any community that it operates. In a lot of ways, that’s been underscored even more during this pandemic. Transit employees were among the essential workers that kept people moving and connected to the things they need. We’re a literal lifeline for the people who depend on transit. I like being a part of the public transit industry because, like so many of our colleagues in this industry, I believe in the work we do. 

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