Author and Media Entrepreneur

Erik has a deep background in media, entertainment, and entrepreneurship.


Since 2010, Hanberg has published three mysteries, two science fiction adventures, and a Veronica Mars novella. His books have been translated into Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.


As the director of the nonprofit Grand Cinema from 2004 to 2006, Erik helped create new opportunities for filmmakers and excelled in his role as an arts administrator bringing new creative energy to the theater. He later wrote and directed two award-winning short films in the Grand’s 72 Hour Film Competition (a festival he had previously created in 2005). While a partner in the hyperlocal news site, Erik filmed several short videos featuring talented artists around the South Sound.


As the founder of the The Horatio Theater project, Erik staged several well-reviewed plays, musicals, and cabarets. In addition, his dramatic writing for the theater has been featured in the Pierce County Playwright Festival, the Double-Shot Theater Festival, Carleton College, and stage readings at Tacoma Little Theater. He has directed several plays as well.

Media Commentary

Erik is co-host of Media Carnivores, a media and entertainment podcast, with author Brent Hartinger. Together they discuss media trends and recommend the best of what’s available in movies, television, and books.

Co-Owner Side x Side Creative

Erik and his wife, Mary Holste, run Side x Side Creative, a boutique marketing firm for businesses and nonprofits. They bring their complementary skills to each project and help clients get the attention they deserve. Whether with beautiful magazine design, a creative and fun marketing campaign, or developing a new brand for a business, Side x Side has the expertise and creative talent that businesses can use to cut through the noise and reach new customers, new clients, and new sources of revenue.

For Small (And Very Small) Nonprofits

Based on his experience in fundraising, marketing, and nonprofit leadership, Erik runs a site dedicated to providing small (and very small) nonprofits with useful and practical advice for running their nonprofit. He has published three books—The Little Book of Gold, The Little Book of Likes, and The Little Book of Boards—to help leaders of small nonprofits with fundraising, social media, and board development.

Commissioner – Metro Parks Board

Erik has served on the Metro Parks Board of Tacoma since January 2010. An elected position, he is one of five commissioners who oversees the park district of Tacoma. With an annual operating budget of more than $40 million, Erik has significant experience in public administration and the public process. Currently he is Clerk of the Board, and sits on the Zoo Liaison Committee and the Joint Municipal Action Committee. Previously he sat on the Capital Improvement Committee.