Meet Eloise Karlatiras
Eloise is the President & CEO of the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition (GCRC), a nonprofit working to reduce the collective environmental footprint of the foodservice industry. Eloise’s enthusiasm for sustainability, organizational growth and social media serve as guideposts as she develops and refines a forward thinking concept for the GCRC and its “Guaranteed Green” consumer education program.
What inspires you?
Love. I know, it’s a bit cheesy, but I do believe it’s one of two main forces that makes the world go ‘round. I feel like 'love is all you need’ is missing something, actually. I think love and the ability to turn that love into pointed action is where progress occurs most.
What is your favorite song?
Definitely Cajmere & Dajaé’s “U Got Me Up”. First off, I love to dance. Also, if you’ve never heard this song, I highly recommend you take a moment, grab some headphones, or better yet, find some giant speakers with great bass, click this link, and enjoy. As a native Chicagoan, House Music has been the soundtrack to much of my life. In the very early days, I’d come home from elementary school and dance around my bedroom with my best friend to WBMX or 'The Killer Bee’.
Getting down at parties in high school seemed to be followed soon after by meeting my (now) husband, a longtime DJ, producer, and record collector. He and I spent countless time in our 20’s dancing the night away to some of the most talented producers and DJs in the world, and I actually exercised through much of my recent pregnancy by doing dance workouts with the help of my husband and his studio setup. I am not only inspired by the rhythmic, soulful beats and heartfelt, inspirational vocals of true House Music, I am grateful to all the magical people who support the preservation and cultivation of this beautiful genre. The day we learned of Frankie Knuckles passing, it became clear to me and my husband how best we could honor the Godfather of House Music. Our first son, Izzy Knuckles, was born almost exactly a month to the day later, and was blessed with Frankie’s legacy and the spirit of House Music to guide him throughout his life.
What do you geek out about?
The future marriage of alternative energy and hyperlocal food production. Basically, local strawberries, pineapples, and blueberries in Chicago in February. And world peace. I guess they’re not a total tie, but maybe one could seriously help in achieving the other.
Who helped get you here?
This is a great question. So many people helped me become a seriously badass woman. And I am full of gratitude just thinking about all of them. As for my answer in the ethereal sense, I’m fairly certain that it’s all God when we talk about the good.
In terms of human help, first and foremost, I am eternally grateful to the original seriously badass woman who birthed me. My mom has shaped all parts of me and given me a sense of balance between the two very necessary requirements for accomplishment: extreme confidence and knowing you know nothing-ness.
My dad taught me that wherever the head goes the body follows (applicable both in wrestling and decision-making).
My sister is awesomesauce embodied, and her being born was my first lesson in–and conscious understanding of–unconditional love.
My best friend is the most motivated, magical, and inspiring person ever, and she has always encouraged me to be the best me I could be.
My husband has literally (for almost 14 years and through many too-small apartments) traveled with me and held my hand to be where I am today. He is my rock, my coach, my partner, my friend, my lover, and my firestarter. I’m a lucky woman.
My son has reinforced the permanence of the unconditional lover in me, and taught me that I have both a ridiculously high tolerance for pain and an innate ability to enjoy parenting. He is my light and my motivation to take seriously badass to a whole new level.
And, last but not least, I am thankful and beholden to all my friends, family, and network of crazy, accomplished, amazing, unique, talented, and soulful individuals (including but not limited to former bosses, prom dates, dorm buddies, and colleagues), all of whom have taught me countless lessons about being seriously badass.
If you had to change careers what would you want to do?
I’d become a surgeon. I really, really like fixing stuff, and surgeons fix a lot of stuff. I suppose being able to solder speaker wires doesn’t really speak to my ability to become a surgeon, but I think it’d be a really cool gig. Plus, I’m totally fine with all the gory stuff. I love helping out when someone gets a cut, and I’m always fascinated to learn how the body works. I was also the weirdo nerdy kid who asked to go see the jarred fetuses and the human body slices every time we visited the Museum of Science and Industry. Seriously, though, surgeons are miracle workers and I have great reverence for the responsibility of preserving life and the solemn oath they work to uphold each time they start a work day.
Photo Credit: Jamie Kelter Davis Photography