Meet the Staff
A lifetime member of The World’s Greatest Dog Club and weighing in at fourteen pounds of awesome, Zyla is a pug who loves the outdoors.
She, along with her human Meagan, enjoys romps out in the woods and grand adventures. Her favorite places are Savage Gulf Wilderness, Chattanooga, and the Obed. While Meagan climbs, Zyla searches out the perfect napping spot and chases leaves.
With a heart of gold and loyalty as fierce a lion, this pug befriends everyone she meets. Zyla is a regular at the store and is always the first to welcome everyone who walks into Little River.
Hayden Brown’s love of the outdoors developed from his many hiking and camping trips with his Dad. A native from Boone North Carolina, he spent much of his time enjoying and exploring the mountains there.
Since 2010, Hayden has enjoyed living near the Smokies. Getting to know the mountains, trails, and rivers From spending a week in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota, long day rides in Sardinia, to participating in a massive 124 km relay race in the Netherlands, he has been fortunate to travel some and have some excellent experiences. These experiences has helped prepare Hayden for our sales floor.
Hayden is a senior student at Maryville College and has run Cross Country there. His favorite activities include paddling, hiking, and trail-running
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 share their love of the mountains with their children. The family of 5 enjoys kayaking, hiking, camping and backpacking together.
As an avid pursuer of all things wellness, Jaia began studying Yoga in 2000 and became certified as an educator in 2002. Adding to her training, Jaia also became certified as a Holistic Health Counselor. Using these two modalities, Jaia began a passionate pursuit in Holistic Nutrition. She has advocated wellness lifestyle choices since then, and has taught Pilates and been a personal trainer in the local gyms around town.
Jaia has also fallen in love with Folkloric and Tribal styles of world dance. In this pursuit, she travels regionally both as a student and educator in pursuit of these art-forms. She maintains a teaching practice in Tribal Belly dance and performs often around town.
Continuing a pursuit of wellness, Jaia enjoys organic gardening and micro farming on her family’s small acre of land. Teaching her kids sustainable practices and environmental stewardship is top of the list!
Jaia’s wellness pursuits, experience in the outdoors, and dedication to Customer Service makes her uniquely qualified on our sales floor.
Many moons ago a sun, sand, and surf lover embarked on a transplant journey from the flatland of Florida to the hills of East Tennessee.
Avid hiking coupled with three park ranger internships with Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s fisheries biology crew has quickly helped Mallorie to develop a love and appreciation for the Appalachian hills and all they have to offer.
Currently Mallorie is returning to college after a two year hiatus to study fisheries and wildlife management at The University of Tennessee. She enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, photography, and cuddling with her pet rabbit Monty.”
Mike’s history in the outdoors began with his love of our mountains early on and would soon include a love for the sea as well. The Smokies were nearby and were a great classroom to hone his outdoor skills. He would soon visit many more outdoor destinations all across the country. Scuba diving became one of his passions taking him to exotic locales including the Galapagos Islands, all over the globe.
His professional life centered around tools, as the local Mac Tool Distributer. And he would soon start up a business testing and re-certifying gas cylinders for industrial and recreational use, which he still operates today.
Mike’s wide range of outdoor activities enable him to bring valuable experience and is a great asset to the sales floor.
I’ve been the general manager of Cycology Bicycles since we opened the newly remodeled shop in 2006. After 25 years working as a Carpenter/Project Manager, I was looking for a career change. As an avid cyclist, fisherman, backpacker and outdoorsman I’m always looking for the next adventure.
Born in Texas and raised in Brazil with several other stops along the route, I ended up in Indiana where I met my wife and settled down.
I moved to Louisville TN in 1987 with my wife and daughter. Having spent my childhood on Ft Loudon Lake at my grandparents and hiking, fishing and swimming the creeks and lakes of the Smoky Mountains with my cousins, I always knew Blount County would eventually be my permanent home. My ancestors moved to East TN from Scotland in the 1700’s, so it’s in my blood. After a few trips from our home in Indiana, my wife fell in love with the area — and the rest is history.
I’m excited to team with Dave Penegar to manage Little River Trading Company and Cycology Bicycles. Our staff’s meticulous attention to customer service and quality product selection will be a great asset to your shopping and outdoor experience. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to improve your outdoor life.
Bert Emmerson | “Wildcat”
Standing 5’ Awesome” and hailing from America’s heartland, this ruggedly handsome fellow is equally comfortable whether he is long distance backpacking or giving Chuck Norris life advice. When “Wildcat” is not on the trail he is out chopping wood, passing out homemade business cards (which are currently going for hundreds of dollars on ebay), or combing his lovely wife Becky’s locks. Bert also spends time educating local youth on the importance of calf strengthening. In all seriousness if your bucket list doesn’t include meeting Bert Emmerson then you need to rewrite it. ‘Merica hearts Bert Emmerson!
Jayson is our youngest employee but by no means does that give him any less outdoor experience than the rest of the crew. Jayson is an avid outdoorsman; whether it be backpacking, fishing, recreational paddling, sport climbing, or his most recent passion, fly fishing. You can almost guarantee to find Jayson in the woods somewhere when not in school. Jayson is an eagle scout and has had a passion for the outdoors his entire life. He hiked the AT through the Smoky Mountains when he was 15 years old. Jayson started out as one of our youngest and most faithful customers, at the age of 13 he saved his money and purchased a Kayak from the shop, he has shopped with us for many of years and when he was finally old enough to get a job we snagged him and he has been a blast to work with ever since. Aside from the outdoors, Jayson is quite the artist as well. Jayson is finishing up his senior year at Maryville High School and is looking into colleges. However, upon graduation and before college he hopes to embark upon an epic journey, which has yet to be announced.
Maggie is a native of Blount County, and a current student of Maryville College. Although she has only been hiking for a little over a year, her first camping trip was in Cades Cove at the age of 4 months, and she has been in the Smokies ever since. She eventually hopes to hike the Appalachian Trail (maybe after graduation…). In the meantime, she hikes with her daughter and manages and leads the Mary T. Wilson Hikers’ Guild, a beginner/kid-friendly hiking group in the Maryville area.
Born in the great state of Texas, Meagan relocated to Maryville 2001. She competed in equestrian and rock climbing competitions for a number of years before moving to Murfreesboro for college. There, Meagan worked for Middle Tennessee State University as a rock climbing, white water rafting, and backpacking guide for two years. She relocated back to Maryville and now attends Maryville College to study Environmental Studies and Statistics. Meagan loves to spend her free time climbing, backpacking, and general adventuring with friends; at the store she’s known for telling the corniest jokes. Certified in Wilderness First Aid and underwater basket weaving, she’s never seen without a cup of coffee and her trusty pug at her side.