Personality Test: Erik Lingren |
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Eric Lingren, Venture Outdoors executive director Credit: Eric Lingren

Erik Lingren thinks the ultimate goal of Venture Outdoors is “putting ourselves out of a job.”

The executive director of the outdoor-activity advocacy group says if the group did its job at its best, it would not be needed any more.

Lingren, a native of Warren, Ohio, was working as an organizer and fundraiser for the Boy Scouts of America six years ago when he came here. He was drifting around the Midwest for the Scouts at the time, and started thinking of finding a job “in Pittsburgh where the rest of my family is.” His parents had grown up in Wilkinsburg, and because of other relatives in the area, he made trips from Warren to Pittsburgh frequently.

When he heard about the Venture Outdoors job, he says, the outdoors lover in him made him act.

Lingren, with a master’s in human services from Murray State University in Kentucky, does not regret the move.

“Pittsburgh is the best place I’ve ever lived,” the wilderness canoeist-hiker-bicyclist says.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Kevin Bacon, so I could remove the layers of separation, and because I fondly remember the original “Footloose.”

Childhood hero and why:

My dad, he knew how to build and fix everything

I never travel without my:


The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had.

I lost a lot of my things I brought back from Germany, where I was an exchange student in high school, stuff I wanted to pull out of the box 50 years later.

Pick one:

A. Go-Gos

B. Goo-Goo Dolls

C. Lady Gaga

D. Yo Gabba Gabba

Lady Gaga, she is the second coming of Madonna

The superpower I wish I had in real life and why:

I don’t think I want one …

I can’t live without my: iPod, cellphone, DVR, or laptop?

Smartphone, keeps me connected and allows instant answers to curious questions.

My favorite reality show:

I have proudly never watched one, unless “Restaurant Impossible” counts.

Favorite brunch food:

Casserole of egg, fried potatoes, peppers and onions with bacon

Favorite guilty pleasure:

Peppi’s cheese steak

The last book I read:

Quickbooks for Dummies

Something I would do over if I could and why:

I would have applied myself better to my pre-med program and attended medical school

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports

I enjoy the camaraderie that all the black-n-gold teams generate throughout the year.

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Neil Walker: Being a homegrown hero is kind of neat

Celebrity crush:

Mariska Hargitay

Top thing on my “Bucket List” to do before I’m gone:

Visit Australia and the Orient

In five years, I’d like to:

Not work as much

Favorite lunchtime spot:

Nicky’s Thai Kitchen on Western Avenue

My quirkiest inherited trait:

When eating a sandwich, I sometimes find myself lightly shaking it between bites, which I watched my dad do my whole life.

One word my mother would use to describe me:


The oldest thing in my refrigerator is:

Blueberry stout left from a party, cannot get anyone to drink it

My first job:

GoKart mechanic

My worst job:

Sunday-morning opener at McDonald’s

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

Friendliness of the people

I’m deathly afraid of:

The sudden stop after falling

If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:

I abhor the show; I would not try out.

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:


The first band I saw in concert (when and where):

Bryan Adams opened for Journey at The Coliseum in Cleveland

The best concert I’ve ever seen:

Tina Turner

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark.

The Cathedral of Learning, my grandfather worked there.

TV marathon I could watch all day and why:

“Hogan’s Heroes.” It is classic TV.

My favorite cable channel:

Food Channel

Saturday mornings you’ll find me:

Sleeping, I am not a morning person!

My favorite website:

Scrabble WordFinder

Best new gadget I’ve tried recently:

A Chinese rectangular bladed prep knife, great for chopping

In high school, I was:

Our mascot

The worst advice I ever received:

Hold the firecracker for a second and then throw it

Movie that always makes me cry:

“The Notebook”

The most famous person I ever became friends with:

Warren Westcoat, (soccer) goalie for KC Attack and my former neighbor

My most treasured fashion accessory is:


Three people I’d love to have dinner with:

Jimmy Carter, Eddie Murphy and my mom

What you’ll always find in my glove compartment:


My most memorable fashion mistake:

Yellow summer dress pants to a job interview. It was the ‘90s!

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:


My childhood nickname was:


The song that always gets me out on the dance floor and why:

It’s not the song, it’s the booze.

Life would be better without:

Mean people

If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:

Yanni and Chick Corea

People would be surprised to know that I:

Am a Seattle Seahawks fan

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