Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Pathways Names Erika Backberg as Its New Executive Director

Courtesy of Pathways

Pathways, a nonprofit that offers complementary healing services to people with life-threatening and chronic physical illnesses, has named Erika Backberg as its new executive director. Her appointment was effective October 10. Backberg fills the role that Tim Thorpe held for the past 14 years.

Based in Minneapolis and founded in 1988, Pathways serves individuals who seek healing for body, mind, heart and spirit. The organization offers free holistic services for people with critical and life-changing health situations who may or may not be using conventional medical treatment. Pathways encourages the understanding that healing and curing are two different things, and that healing is always available even when a cure is not.

Backberg brings two decades of experience building holistic systems and social impact solutions to her new role. Before joining Pathways, she was the chief impact officer at the Kresser Institute for Functional Medicine where she oversaw all aspects of the company’s internal and external social impact operations, including health equity-focused partnerships and sustainable business practices.

“Erika has a passion for health equity and for building culture through intentional listening and systems design thinking,” states Pamela Lampert, Pathways board chair. “We are excited for her to bring her holistic lens, passion and community-building capacity to benefit the Pathways community, including the participants we serve, providers who offer their services, partners aligned with us, staff and the board.”

Prior to her position at the Kresser Institute, Backberg founded and ran a creative solutions consultancy. She has worked as a researcher and consultant for state and federal legal defense teams; held the role of director of donations and sustainable business manager for Los Angeles-based EcoSet, a company that implements zero-waste practices for productions and events; and served as a media literacy educator and outreach coordinator for the Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, a community media and technology resource center for youth, adults and nonprofits.

“I have been intentionally designing safe spaces centered on whole-person healing for 20 years,” Backberg shares. “The Pathways community is a beloved haven, and it is my privilege to support a space where people can show up as their whole, authentic selves and feel seen, valued, heard and nourished.”

Location: 3115 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. For more information, visit

essica delpUnsplashcom

Sing to Heal: Using the Voice to Uplift Mind and Body

Singing along to music, humming or chanting mantras can boost mental and physical health, from improving immunity, memory and mood to reducing stress, depression and anxiety. Read More » 


Goran BogicevicShutterstockcom

Healing Waters: Hot Baths Rejuvenate Body and Mind

How to take advantage of hydrotherapy at home with DIY recipes for herbal, essential oil and other nourishing additives to include in bath water for optimal health benefits. Read More » 


Green Thanksgiving: A Soulful Celebration of Body, Mind and Spirit

We can make the holidays even more joyful with choices that celebrate life, from local foods and vegetarian options to Native American prayers. Read More »