Here at Little River Trading Company, we do whatever it takes to surround ourselves with excellence. That’s NOT because we think we are perfect, but because we want to foster innovative thinkers and adventurous doers. We want the best there is out there and to also LEARN from the best. Both owners, Greg and Woody, have a combined 60 years in retail experience. With this experience, these two leaders provide an inspiring atmosphere and encourage each of us to put the best foot forward, whether on the trail or in retail. If you were to interview each staff member, you may come across many different perspectives. We have staff members who have educational experience, those who have industry work experience, as well as those with life experience. But, what unites us all is a shared LOVE OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS. There are some who camp, some who hike, some who dive, some who cycle, some who climb, but we can truly say that we ALL play. Though not everyday is about play (though we wish it were), we also balance the mentality of “go with the flow” on our lighter days to “go, go, go!” during our busiest seasons. It definitely helps to have those who keep us motivated and keep everything running smoothly. So here is a bit of an introduction to those leaders…
Charles Woody (Co-Owner)
Woody’s an alum of the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). His favorite activity besides bike riding, hiking, and recreational kayaking is going to his kids ball games! And with three boys there have been plenty of ball games, though after this year he’ll only have one left in high school. Woody’s thing at the shop is numbers…he is the numbers guy, stock numbers, quantities, margins, min/max order levels, sales figures…you get the idea. He loves numbers! Ask him “how’s it going” and you’ll likely be subjected to a lesson in accounting, or a rant about someone walking off with his calculator! Whoa unto you if it was you, better try and sneak it back, he’s old now and you can probably convince him it was there all along!
Greg Rowe (Co-Owner)
Greg is one of those people you meet and just get inspired by. He is all about the creative side of life. He’s a project kind of guy at the shop and is always starting up another creative venture. If he isn’t out in nature watching all the critters, he is most definitely reading a good book. He enjoys backpacking, paddling, cycling, hiking, running, being a Trekkie, drawing, and hanging out with his family. He is a super nice guy and loves telling stories about all the interesting, fun things he comes across in life.
Dave Penegar (General Manager)
Dave grew up in Knoxville,TN and joined our staff in 2008. He spent 12 years prior working for Patagonia,Inc and playing in the 4 corners of the US. While living and working in Seattle during the mid 90’s he enjoyed climbing both rock and a few dormant Volcanoes including Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier. It was during the 1996 Olympics while living in Atlanta that he could be found at local crags ranging from the boulders of Boat Rock to Rock Town or the orange sandstone walls of Sunset and T-Wall. While in Boston he used his not-yet-vintage snowboards on the slopes of Sugarbush, Sunday River, and Stratton to name a few. Having cycled all over the Northern California Alps-Dave went on to ride in the 1200 km Great Randonee PBP in 2003 across Brittany & through Normandy France which required cyclists to complete the entire 760 miles in less that 90 hours total with or with sleep. A graduate of The National Outdoor School, NOLS, Dave and his wife Robin are often spotted riding their tandem on our quiet back roads or spinning up gravel Forest Service roads outside Tellico Plains.
Jaia McClure (Apparel Buyer & Sales Manager)
Having grown up in Blount County, Jaia loves the outdoors! She has been a camper and a hiker with her poppy since she was old enough to walk. Jaia began solo hikes during high school and even began introducing friends to the healing power of the mountains and the river. Now, a mother of 3, Jaia and her husband, Scott (who works over at Cycology Bikes!!) share their love of the outdoors with their children. She has a special talent for finding all the cool, up and coming apparel for both our main camp store and our Lifestyle store. She’s also just a fun, Earth loving spirit that will just make ya smile!
Jason Embler (Inventory Manager)
Jason has worked for Little River for twelve years! He enjoys fishing and cycling. Saying that he loves beer is an understatement. He is most definitely a beer connoisseur and even home brews his own beer! He also scouts out beer to serve at our Switchback Craft Beer Tavern. He’s one great dude to work with even when he is pulling pranks on unsuspecting staff members. Don’t worry, we always make sure to get him back!
Mallorie Williams (Floor Manager)
She’s never met a stranger, but if she did, she would greet them with the warmest, encouraging smile. One strong lady who stands with flowers in one hand and a furry pup named “Shiloh” in the other. She’s nature’s best friend, singing with every song bird and humming with every bee. Originally hailing from Florida, Mallorie traded in the sunny beach for these here smoky mountains. Avid hiking coupled with three park ranger internships with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Fisheries Biology Crew has quickly helped Mallorie to develop an appreciation for the Appalachian Hills and all they have to offer.
…And here are some of our staff adventures!