This is the second installment of crew profiles from our Mountain Mindful team. Read the first installment here.
When Coalfield Development launched 10 years ago, we could not have anticipated the success that was to come. Today, as a staff of over 100, we take pride in providing a supportive forum through which our team can grow and develop professionally and personally and cultivate meaningful work relationships.
At the root of it all, it’s our crew that makes us what — and who — we are as an organization.
Each crew member brings their own unique touch and personality to their role, and whether they’re with us for two years or 10, they leave lasting impacts on us as a team and us as individuals.
As we approach the end of the year and enter a period of reflection, we want to do things a little differently. Over the next two months, we’ll be shining a light onto crew members at our newest enterprise: the Mountain Mindful team.
Based out of Huntington, West Virginia, Mountain Mindful joined the lineup at Coalfield Development in 2021. Through the merging of two existing enterprises — Saw’s Edge and Sustain U — Mountain Mindful became a one-stop online shop where visitors could find all of their favorite Appalachian handcrafted goods in one place.
From screen printed items and apparel, to handmade home furnishings, to self care products, the Mountain Mindful team specializes in producing quality, sustainably-sourced and -built Appalachian-made goods. Our Mountain Mindful crew is now six months into business, and we think that’s worth celebrating!
So, without further adieu, let’s meet the crew.
Crew member: Travis Jones
Hometown: Chesapeake, Ohio
For Travis Jones, woodworking isn’t just an aspect of his job: It’s a hobby and an avenue through which he mentors his colleagues at Mountain Mindful. The manager has focused much of his time at Coalfield in the woodshop, where he put his skills to the test and excelled.
“Having patience in people [is key],” Travis said, adding that he loves teaching coworkers and “watching them grow into good wood workers.”
In 2022, Travis has his sights on training new crew members and using new methods to do so.
Crew member: Richard “Ricky” Smith
Hometown: Chesapeake, Ohio
Ricky Smith is a woodworker on the Mountain Mindful team who’s recently taken up the trade, but so far, he’s feeling confident about his progress and performance. In his free time, Ricky works on his home and enjoys hanging out with his three canine and two feline companions.
So far, Ricky’s favorite part of the job has been “working as a team,” adding that he feels he’s really benefited from attending the Mountain Mindful team meetings.
Next year, he hopes to continue honing his woodworking skills.
Crew member: Leslie Norris
Role: Sales Representative
Hometown: Morgantown, West Virginia
With a background in printmaker and illustrator, Leslie Norris brings her own creative edge to the Mountain Mindful team. On the clock, she leads the sales department, specifically researching, building relationships, and collaborating with her colleagues.
After hours, Leslie said she spends her time hiking, watching “cheesy” action movies, and creating art in her home studio alongside her partner and Abigail, her boston terrier.
“As a team, we have taken Mountain Mindful from a few abstract ideas on a piece of paper to a fully operational lifestyle brand with sophisticated design and a ton of heart,” Leslie said. “It is wonderful to not only feel heard at your job but to see your ideas become reality. Mountain Mindful allows everyone to be heard and we act on those good ideas. It is one of our biggest strengths.”
Leslie said she looks forward to expanding the customer base in the coming year and becoming an ambassador for the business.
Crew member: Brad Stapleton
Role: Crew Chief of Shipping Department
Hometown: Huntington, West Virginia
For many Mountain Mindful crew, Crew Chief Brad Stapleton has been a beacon of support and positivity. As a leader overseeing shipping and operations, Brad said he considers it an honor to “play a small role” in crew members’ growth and development at Mountain Mindful.
He enjoys hiking, reading, playing video games, and hanging out with his cat, Galileo.
“I’ve noticed that everyone on this team has grown both as employees, and as people,” Brad said. “Our capabilities and capacities as teammates have grown and developed rapidly over the course of our time together.”
Brad said he hopes to see Mountain Mindful increase its web presence and brand awareness in 2022 as they continue to expand their repertoire of services.
Crew member: Joe Melcher
Role: Print Tech
Home state: Illinois
Joe Melcher, print tech at Mountain Mindful, found his artistic niche when he came to West Virginia nearly a decade ago. In his current position, Joe ensures that printing operations are running smoothly and that all projects are produced properly and efficiently. But even after eight years professionally as a print tech, Joe said he’s still learning new things about his field while working at Mountain Mindful.
“I have seen growth in my ability to teach and to problem solve,” Joe said. “I am willing to learn and apply more of how to best teach and encourage my coworkers in order to better serve and care for them. I still have so much to learn and apply of course but I want to get there; it’s just a matter of time.”
Over the next year, he hopes to continue honing his skills and eventually take on more responsibilities.
Crew member: Amanda Jones
Role: Crew Chief
Hometown: Matewan, West Virginia
Amanda Jones is a crew chief at Mountain Mindful and a mom to two boys, with whom she enjoys playing board games, watching movies, and exploring the outdoors. Since joining the Mountain Mindful team, Amanda said she’s been able to focus on her own personal and professional growth and that of her crew.
“My mentor and director of Mountain Mindful, Jim Caldwell, has helped me develop my leadership skills and has provided me with a lot of feedback and encouragement,” Amanda said. “I’m becoming more confident and outspoken thanks to Jim and Coalfield building and cultivating a culture here at Mountain Mindful that allows people and encourages people to grow.”
Amanda looks forward to leading and continuing to support her crew in the new year.
Crew member: Barry Mullins
Role: Shipping and Receiving
Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
As a student majoring in technical studies, a crew member in the shipping and receiving department at Mountain Mindful, and a part-time construction worker, Barry Mullins is committed to his personal and professional development. At Mountain Mindful, his position involves tracking the inventory, packaging, and shipping goods.
When he’s not on the clock, Barry likes to spend time in the woods, go four wheeling, or hang out with his girlfriend and their two cats.
“Since I’ve been with Mountain Mindful, I’ve become more responsible and more accountable to my responsibilities,” Barry said. “Not only speaking to my work ethic, but just everyday life. Mountain Mindful has opened me up to new things, as we’re always being trained on something new. I’m happy to come to work and out in hours instead of just going through the motions of it as a job.”
In the near future, he hopes to finish his studies and, eventually, purchase a piece of property with a lot of land.
Crew member: Stephen Schrock
Role: Graphic Designer
Hometown: Oakland, Maryland
For Stephen Schrock, graphic designer, working with other creative, like-minded people at Mountain Mindful has been a consistent source of motivation. Stephen is based remotely in Winchester, Virginia, where he lives with his two cats. In his spare time, he likes to make music and illustrate.
At work, Stephen also dabbles in social media management for the enterprise. Over the last year, he said he’s found himself more inspired than ever to test the waters with new skills.
“I feel like everyone here at Mountain Mindful is willing to try new things and work hard to complete even the most challenging jobs,” Stephen said.
Next year, Stephen said he hopes to get more eyes on the Mountain Mindful brand and expand their customer base.
Crew member: Lilian Short
Current city: Huntington, West Virginia
Lilian Short is a Mountain Mindful trainee with a background in healthcare studies. Looking to test new waters in her career, she joined the Coalfield enterprise, where her role and tasks varied each day. On the clock, Lilian said she usually focuses her efforts on the collective task list, tackling “whatever needs done.”
“Some growth that I’ve noticed in myself is that I’ve gotten a more positive attitude,” Lilian said. “My outlook on everything has really improved, and that started with a positive and supportive work environment. I’m excited to come to work and be productive.”
Next year, she hopes to become a more permanent fixture on the Mountain Mindful crew.
Crew member: Joseph Mitchell
Role: Shipping and Receiving
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Joseph Melcher is a familiar face in the Shipping and Receiving department. At work, he’s responsible for packaging goods, ensuring speedy deliveries, and keeping track of product inventory. Joseph has seven pitbulls, loves illustrating, and fixes muscle cars in his downtime.
“I’ve done a lot of things that I am proud of since I joined Mountain Mindful such as retaining my driver license, receiving my fork lifting license, I’m certified in CPR, and also I received my food handling card,” Joe said.
Next year, he hopes to grow his knowledge and productivity and aims to achieve his goal of entering a trade school to learn about air conditioning, heating, and cooling.