Celebrating Outgoing CEO David Erickson

ECHO’s former CEO David Erickson remembers his time at ECHO, sharing his experience as he prepares to move into a new phase of life, passing the mantle of ECHO leadership to Dr. Abram Bicksler. Dr. Bicksler started as ECHO’s President/CEO in September.

David Erickson in 2018 with staff from ECHO’s Regional Impact Centers learning about biogas production in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Throughout the work week, David Erickson would pause, leave his iphone on his desk, walk up the dark wooden spiral staircase of the Price Center and spend time alone, reflecting and recharging with God. Freeing his mind from the potential distractions of the work, Erickson opened himself to God’s leading each day. 

Erickson, the President/CEO of ECHO for the last seven years, retired from the role in September of 2022. He began work with the organization as a consultant, which then grew into a supportive executive role. Receiving the title of CEO was an unexpected blessing for Erickson. Now, years later, he is faced with saying goodbye.

“My time at ECHO has gained me very deep personal growth in terms of practical dependance on the Lord.”
David Erickson

 In his work, Erickson has supported the development of ECHO’s impact centers in Asia, East and West Africa, along with all aspects of the organization that enhance training and outreach. A large portion of his efforts consisted of managing partnership opportunities with other national and global organizations. He embodies the meaning of personability in his relationships with supporters and partners, often making in-person visits. Valuing ECHO interns, he encouraged the reorganization of the internship program that would multiply their spiritual and practical growth. Through his leadership, ECHO increased the number of direct trainees globally to more than 6,500 per year. Seed banks in Thailand, Tanzania, and Florida are stronger, more relevant, and able to share seeds across the globe. Hundreds of agricultural resources were published including Asian language books, the first e-book, and more than 1,000 training videos. ECHOcommunity has grown to offer valuable tools such as the Green Manure Cover Crop online selector tool and the ECHOcommunity mobile app. Under his leadership, ECHO weathered Hurricane Irma and the Coronavirus pandemic. Pivoting within COVID policies, ECHO hosted multiple virtual training events, continuing to meet resourcing needs around the globe. Invariably reflecting recognition to God, Erickson honors his work as the work of the Lord.

David Erickson shares his passion for ECHO’s mission with volunteer docents and ambassadors.

“God with a team could do everything I couldn’t,” Erickson said. “All of that together could bring us to something much closer than what I had envisioned and bless and benefit a whole lot more people.”

 Building upon the foundation of ECHO, Erickson has sought to acknowledge the responsibilities of his role. Taking on the duties of a faithful steward, he has leaned on God in investing in the lives of others. Purposeful in his work, He was always seeking the potential for more ways to amplify increased food security and quality of life opportunities globally. Erickson recognized the privilege of his position, and was empowered by the collective effort of the ECHO team.

“Meeting the missional goals of ECHO equates to profound and life-changing development in the lives of men and women around the world and means opportunity for their children,” Erickson said. “I am so thrilled about that.”

Erickson credits much of ECHO’s success to the global community of staff and volunteer members whose work advances ECHO’s mission. An introspective introvert at heart, Erickson’s deep appreciation for connection ensures he acknowledges the values and attributes of others. His humility and authentic, attentive spirit have positively impacted members of the ECHO community and beyond.

David Erickson was able to celebrate the generous donation of land for the ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center with the team in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

“There are so many extraordinary gifts that our staff have and it’s clear to me that the mission of ECHO requires all of them,” Erickson said. “They often inspire and remind me that we all need to be part of a community. The people on ECHO staff around the world care for, encourage, and support each other in remarkable ways.”

Erickson’s presence in his role will be greatly missed by the ECHO community. Colleagues that work closely beside him, shared some of the significance his character has had in their work environment. 

“David is precious,” Executive Assistant, Kristen Musko said. “I’ve never worked for anyone quite like him before. His love for the Lord and others shines through in every aspect of his life. It’s not often that you meet someone so gifted, yet so very humble and kind. I believe this is because he knows the gift-giver and seeks to give Him all the glory. He fosters every relationship with an overarching element of pastoral care. He and Jenny will be deeply missed.”

“David is one of those significant people that my life has intersected with,” ECHO COO, Tim Albright said. “If nothing else I can take blessing in the deep richness of that. He has brought a unique perspective, experience and many talents that make him highly qualified for the work he’s done. His unbelievable giftedness will be deeply missed, not only by me, but by ECHO as a whole.”

For Erickson, the future is in God’s hands, and he is hopeful about what’s to come. “ECHO was a manifestation of God’s goodness and grace and an affirmation that he has a bigger purpose for us,” Erickson said. “God is the ultimate good steward and he has plans and purposes for the future of ECHO.”

David is welcomed by the Mossi ceremonial King Mogho Naaba who is a leader in conservation agriculture in Burkina Faso

As ECHO welcomes incoming CEO, Dr. Abram Bicksler, Erickson will work closely by his side for the next few months. Spending this time to walk with Bicksler, Erickson is delighted to give insight and advice as he passes along the role. “My advice to Abram is to bathe everything in prayer and recognize that ECHO is first and foremost God’s work,” Erickson said. “Trusting that truth is profoundly freeing. I would pray for humility and gratitude to recognize the privilege he’s been given.”

 Erickson’s leadership will be missed by many at ECHO. The effects of his work continuously reverberate and create lasting impacts globally. ECHO celebrates the 12 years of service he selflessly gave to the community, wishing him and Jennifer blessing and comfort in their future. As ECHO launches this new chapter, we hold close the wonderful influence of Erickson in the continuation of fulfilling our mission. Thank you David, for all of your profound contributions, and for modeling the love of Christ in your humble leadership here at ECHO.


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Celebrating Outgoing CEO David Erickson

ECHO’s former CEO David Erickson remembers his time at ECHO, sharing his experience as he prepares to move into a new phase of life, passing the mantle of ECHO leadership to Dr. Abram Bicksler. Dr. Bicksler started as ECHO’s President/CEO in September.