Sunrift Outdoors Staff

Julie- General Manager

Julie is an outdoor enthusiast who has been in the outdoor retail industry for 19 years. Her love for the outdoors started as a child; she spent plenty of time in the Blue Ridge Mountains and often explored the Dark Corner with her grandfather. Her passion for the outdoors is endless, and on a hot summer day you can find her paddle boarding on local flatwater or at the hidden gem of the week. In the Fall, backpacking is her outdoor activity of choice, whether its in the Smoky’s, on the AT, or in the Foothills, she’s always on a new adventure. She is an avid daily runner, and switches to cycling when her knees give out but her spirit doesn’t. She loves chasing waterfalls with her children and discovering new great spots on the waters all around Sunrift. Her favorite hiking adventure so far is trekking through the Rocky’s to Sky Pond in a frozen, Narnia-like wonderland. Her dream Vacation and Bucket list item is to hike the Camino de Santiago in France to Spain. When she is not adventuring into the outdoors, you can find her enjoying a delicious Saison or one of many different wines. Of course, as an adventure seeker, her love for food and culture is always expanding. “Stay wild in this one life you’re given.”

Jon

Jon G — the man, the myth, the legend — is our resident fix-it genie. As our all-around repair guy and craftsman he can design, fabricate, or repair just about anything, from shoes to boats to buildings; if you need boat repair, Birkenstock repair, or service for your bicycle, he’s your guy. Jon is a born-and-raised Travelers Rest native who studied automotive collision repair at Greenville Tech and spent 15 years working in local auto body shops. He’s been with Sunrift since 1997. His two brothers also worked at Sunrift in its early years, and his wife Debbie used to manage our bike shop. Jon likes mountain biking, road biking, metalworking, blacksmithing, and lately fly fishing with Debbie. He’s a treasure trove of TR knowledge too, and has worked to protect the biological treasure that is the bat population on Sunrift’s campus.

Waylon

Waylon is an artist, fabricator, woodworker, foundry nerd, sculptor’s secret weapon, surly head chef, reluctant consultant, canoe builder, bike mechanic, devoted trail shredder, retired bluesman, and giver of eternal piggy-back rides. You can find him in the Sunrift Bike Shop, or out riding on the local trails, on days when he isn’t teaching at Furman or hanging out with his family.

Jared Hancock- Wilson LaunchJared

Jared is an adventure seeker with over 30 years of rock climbing experience. Jared continues to set new routes indoors and outdoors and has a passion for exploring new areas. Since 1992 he has climbed in 40 states and 7 countries and participated in over 300 first ascents. His favorite places to climb in the southeast are the Red River Gorge for sport climbing, the New River Gorge and Seneca Rocks for trad climbing, and Rumbling Bald, HP40, and Rock Town for bouldering. Jared also likes to mountain bike and has ridden nearly all of the local trails in South Carolina, North Carolina, and surrounding states. His favorite place to mountain bike is the Pisgah National Forest outside of Brevard, NC. Recently he has fallen in love with whitewater kayaking and is currently creating a video log of over 20 local rivers. He is an active member of the Foothills Paddling Club and his favorite rivers are the Chattooga and the Cheoah. When not paddling, climbing, biking, or hiking, he enjoys reading, traveling, snow-skiing, snowmobiling, and extreme bushwhacking. Jared is also the head route setter at the local climbing gym (Climb @ Blue Ridge).  He and his wife Karla have a young daughter named Lucy and they love to hike to local waterfalls. Do not ask him a question about climbing, paddling, or mountain bike trails unless you want to hear a good story.

Jimbo

Cat

Bike Shop

Ed

Bike Shop

Josh

Josh is a long time friend and employee of the Sunrift family. He is currently our boat shop manager and is our go-to man for any boat/paddling questions. If you catch Josh on one of his off day he is probably watching sports, doing carpentry, working on his tiny house or making tacos. PS Josh makes a mean salsa (medium, mild or hot).

Mandy

Mandy has always had an adventurous spirit.  Beginning as a child riding horses and later competing in the local circuit.  She started working at Sunrift in the late 90’s and has done a ‘bit of everything’ but primarily enjoyed mountain biking, backpacking, paddling, snow boarding, and SUP.  Mandy is happy to answer and assist with any of your travel questions and particularly questions on travelling with children.  Mandy lived in the UK for 10 plus years during which time she, with her husband Ross and their daughter Lucy traveled to over 16 countries adventuring, photographing and immersing in all of the brilliant cultures that make up our world.  Since moving back to America and not working as a Massage Therapist  Mandy can be found in Sunrift and is at hand to help outfit you and your family for your next memory making adventures near OR far.

Pierson

(born March 5, 1950) was a Major League Baseball pitcher from 1973 to 1983. Pierson was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 3rd round of the 1969 amateur draft‘s secondary phase.

During his career, Pierson was used in a variety of pitching roles, frequently shifting from the bullpen to the starting rotation and back. Pierson appeared in six postseason games from 1976-8, all with the Royals, and each time against the New York Yankees, posting a 2.35 ERA in 7.2 innings pitched. After good work in the ’76 and ’77 playoffs, Pierson is most known for surrendering a two-run homer to Thurman Munson in the 8th inning of Game Three during the 1978 ALCS.