Meet Digital Product Owner Erik Bobbitt

Erik Bobbitt joined the Star team this year as our Digital Product Owner. Erik started his career in process management, graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering. His first role after graduation was with JPMorganChase where he primarily spent his time designing a reporting application for their IT Risk Vulnerability tracking system. After leaving Chase, he briefly served as a Campus Minister at The Ohio State University, followed by five years as an IT Portfolio Manager at Nationwide Insurance.

“Our cross-functional team was responsible for activating the strategic vision for the Claims organization, so in addition to serving as a product owner, I also served as a Lean management system coach and process consultant.”

Keep reading to learn more about Erik Bobbitt.

What are three words to describe Star?
Reliable, Hard-working, Determined.

How do you ensure workplace safety?
The more comfortable and available your PPE is, the more likely you are to wear it. So invest in the good stuff!

What is your favorite TV Show?
Lately, I’ve been getting into Better Call Saul, but my all-time favorite has to be 30 Rock. The writing on that show is just next-level! My favorite character overall, however, is Pierre Desperaux on Psych. It’s Cary Elwes, what’s not to love?!

What’s your favorite book?
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin—along with the incredible film adaptation from Barry Jenkins.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Up until the pandemic hit, I was spending my time acting in local theatre productions and building things in my wood shop. Recently, my wife and I just had our first child, so most of my time these days is spent changing diapers and singing him songs on the ukelele.

What is something people may not know about you?
I make a mean Mai Tai!

What is your greatest fear?
Underwater cave diving. No sir! Not for me.

Where is your favorite place to be?
I go to most Columbus Crew games, but once a year I like to go to a midweek game by myself, sit in the very top row, and enjoy the game while watching the sun set over the stadium.

Favorite movie line/quote? 
“What would you say… you do here?” (Office Space) or “Put. That coffee. Down. Coffee is for closers only.” (Glengarry Glen Ross)

If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do?
Pay off these dang student loans!

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why? 
Germany at Christmas time. Christmas markets everywhere, incredible beer, and great soccer!

If given a chance, who would you want to be/what would you want to do for a day?
I’d want to be Giannis Antetokounmpo. I’d just dunk on everybody for a whole day. Opposing player? Dunk on ’em. Ref? Dunk on ’em. Guy selling nachos in the aisle? Dunk on ’em. Assistant to the Comptroller of New York West Seneca Fire District #2? DUNK. ON. ‘EM. Everybody would get dunked. Nobody is safe.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
At the beginning of last year, I signed up for adult tumbling classes because I really wanted to be able to do a good cartwheel. I promptly tore my hamstring in the first class and spent the next few months recovering. I haven’t tried again since, but dang do I still want to learn…

Who inspires you?
My wife had a lot of complications in labor, but she went through it like an absolute champ. I was blown away. Her and my little guy have been inspiring me a lot recently.

What do you love the most about the transportation industry?
It’s the backbone of the US economy!

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Do calories count? If not, then pizza. I can and would gladly eat pizza all the time. If calories count… probably a brisket salad from Brassica.

What was the first concert you ever attended?
Relient K at the Newport.

What music genre(s) do you like to listen to?
I mostly listen to folk (Punch Brothers, Sarah Jarosz, etc) and post-hardcore (Brand New, Thrice, etc).

If you could be a TV show character, who would you be and why?
Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks. He’s dedicated, optimistic, offbeat, and he always enjoys a darn fine cup of coffee.

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men and women to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

How do you define success?
Success is integrity: complete wholeness, soundness, and consistency with someone’s (or something’s) purpose.

Dog or cat person?
We have a mini Goldendoodle named Dylan (Dilly). I’m not anti-cat, but I am allergic, so I’ll just leave them to my sisters (they have… way too many).

Favorite tradition?
Every year on Christmas Eve my family gets matching pajamas and watches Christmas Vacation. It’s one of the few chances we get to see each other with the family so spread out.

Pineapple pizza… yay or nay?
Fresh? Absolutely. Canned? Pass.

Where are you from?
I’m from Hilliard, OH.