Erin Pommer works in the hospitality industry as the director of events at Frasca Food and Wine. Previously, she was the director of events at Mastro’s Steak House in Beverly Hills, California, and worked with Wolfgang Puck Catering as a sales manager. Erin graduated from Pepperdine University and now lives with her husband and newborn son in Boulder, Colorado.
What do you do every day?
I work from home in the mornings, emailing and spending time with my son. When I get to work around noon, I’m busy making sure that all our events—from private events to ones we host for all our guests—run smoothly. That means I talk with a lot of people—from chefs to servers to managers—and focus on seemingly minute details that most people will never notice . . . unless, of course, something goes wrong. (She laughs.)
How has your approach to work changed since becoming a mom?
I used to be somewhat flexible about when I’d leave, staying late to make sure everything was finished and perfect. Now, though, I leave at 6:30 p.m. sharp because I want to spend time with my son before he goes to bed. As a result, I’ve had to place increasing trust in my team, as they oversee the execution of our evening events.
I’m also now clear with my colleagues about the importance of my family—not only for myself, but for others too. I want to be a model to younger women in my industry who are, like me, balancing work and family because there aren’t many of us. In fact, I don’t personally know any Christian woman who is working full-time in hospitality and raising a family.
Where does your brokenness come up against your work?
I battle an idol of achievement. In fine dining, every detail matters —from the placement of a spoon to the grammar on a menu. For me, my biggest fear in having a child was that I wouldn’t be able to give 110 percent to being the best employee. And it’s true I no longer have the capacity to do everything I used to do. Interestingly, as I’ve let go of needing perfection, I’ve become more focused on my ultimate goal—to love people and let them see Jesus in me.
How do you “love your neighbor” through your work?
We’re mainly reservation-based at Frasca, so we know who is joining us every night. Our reservationists try to keep a running list of our guests, noting their preferences and allergies, as well as their anniversaries, kids’ names, birthdays, and more. Every day at 4:15 p.m., before the dinner shift starts, our team discusses who is coming. We go over every name.
Although the owner of the restaurant doesn’t share my faith commitment, he instills a high regard for empathy among us. We’re encouraged to consider others above ourselves and treat everyone—from the most VIP guest to the dishwasher—with the same kindness. I think I’m thriving in my role because I understand these things as a Christian (James 2:1–3).
You’re invited: All are welcome to attend two events hosted by the Denver Institute for Faith and Work this week. Tonight, March 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Boulder, both Erin Pommer and Bethany Jenkins will be speaking, along with the Rev. David Kim of the Center for Faith and Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, at Navigating the Tensions Between Faith and Work. Tomorrow, March 10, from 8 a.m. to noon in Denver, Bethany and David are speaking at Word and Work: Forming Disciples for All of Life. We’d love to see you there!
Editors’ note: TGCvocations is a weekly column that asks practitioners how they integrate their faith and their work. Interviews are condensed and edited.