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Erika Pugh

Director of Community

Senior Associate, Erie Street Growth Partners

Growth and Investments, Heyday

BA Penn State

Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Moscow

Erika was born and raised in central PA where she began studying dance at the age of 4. At age 17, she received a full scholarship to study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia. Ultimately deciding to pursue a college education, Erika graduated from the Penn State Schreyer Honors College in 2019 with degrees in Finance and Russian Language. During her time there, she was actively involved in the Penn State ballet club, studied abroad in Russia and France, and interned at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in their Investment Banking Division. 


Upon graduation, she began her career as an Investment Analyst at BDT Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm and merchant bank that works exclusively with family / founder-led businesses. In addition to working with closely-held businesses, Erika has significant experience with early stage startups. In 2021, she joined the Growth Team at Heyday, a venture-backed consumer technology company that owns and operates digitally-native brands through partnerships and e-commerce entrepreneurs. During her time there, she led inorganic growth initiatives across Heyday's Beauty & Personal Care portfolio in addition to incubating several data-driven and celebrity-backed consumer brands. 


Currently, Erika works on the Investment Team at Erie Street Growth Partners, an operationally-focused private investment firm that partners with high-growth, creatively-led businesses and founders. 


Overall, she feels her experiences from dance have prepared her well for a fast-paced career, and is so excited to be part of the Second Act team and help mentees achieve both their personal and professional goals.

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