John M. Erb


John M. Erb

John brings his family’s dedication to strengthening our communities and the environment to his work as chair of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. Through his efforts, he continues his parents’ desire to create a better world for both current and future generations, which is the heart of the Erb Family Foundation’s focus on philanthropy through the lens of sustainability.

John began working at Erb Lumber as a stock boy at the age of 12, learning the family business from the ground up. After graduating from the University of Denver, he continued to progress through all aspects of the business over his 38 years with the company. The breadth of experience and knowledge he gained throughout his career, including in his last position as Vice President of Retail Operations, offer decisive strengths to the Erb Family Foundation’s outreach and allegiance to programs that harmonize economic, environmental, and social interests in the Detroit metro area.

He proudly accepted the 2019 Russell G. Mawby award for philanthropy from the Council of Michigan Foundations. The distinguished recognition reflects his dedication to the community as he serves on the boards of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroit Zoological Society, and The Nature Conservancy. In addition, he shares his commitment to education by serving on the Board of Governors for Cranbrook Institute of Science and through the University of Michigan as a member of the Strategic Advisory Council for the Erb Institute for Sustainable Enterprise and the Advisory Board for the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute. His leadership is informed by these endeavors as well as past boards, including the Council of Michigan Foundations, Cranbrook Educational Community, Detroit Public Television, Stratford Festival, and Bank of Birmingham.