New director at Carson City Council on Youth |

New director at Carson City Council on Youth

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Eric Ohlson, the new executive director of Community Council on Youth, came to Nevada from the Bay area with his wife, Lindarae, and daughter.

Eric Ohlson’s parents were both educators so it seemed natural for him to follow in their footsteps.

But when Ohlson moved to Northern Nevada last year with his wife, Lindarae, and 9-year-old daughter, he found he needed to fulfill new requirements to continue a career in education administration.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” he said.

That’s when he found the open position of executive director at the Community Council on Youth, a nonprofit agency that coordinates with child-advocacy groups. The position was left open by Pauline Kiser. Ohlson started the job the second week in January.

“I think for me this is a more well-rounded glimpse (compared with education) of how we deliver services to our kids and how we plan and how we provide for them,” he said.

Ohlson, who was born in San Mateo, Calif., received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his master’s degree at San Diego State University. He worked for a year as a juvenile diversion counselor and two years as a drug-and-alcohol counselor before a three-year stint as a school social worker at Lemon Grove School District in Southern California.

“It was very fulfilling,” he said. “It was just a great chance to work closely with a number of students and parents.”

While there, he developed a multidisciplinary team of staff to help better address discipline problems.

He then moved back to the Bay area. He accepted a job with the Santa Clara Unified School District while attending San Jose University to receive his administrator’s credential.

In the Santa Clara district, he helped develop a truancy-intervention program and worked to create alternatives for students on the verge of expulsion. He was with the district for about eight years.

The cost of housing in the Bay area brought the family to Reno.

In the past couple of weeks, Ohlson has spent his time meeting people and familiarizing himself with the agencies involved with the youth council. Last week, he flew to Pahrumph for the quarterly meeting of community coalitions from throughout the state.

“I’ve been reviewing a lot of information and meeting a lot of people and getting up to speed on contracts,” he said. “Everyone I’ve met here in Carson City has been very nice so far.”

He is adjusting to the mountainous climate, the cold – and the non-beach-like atmosphere.

“It’s a real climate shift, especially after being in San Diego and Santa Barbara,” he said.

As Ohlson becomes more acquainted with his job, he’ll work on goals and a long-range vision.

“There is a nice range of organizations in Carson City, and I’m impressed at the partnerships that have developed, and I really want to expand those partnerships,” he said.