While we were founded by four local fellows in 1977, we are now 100% owned and operated by our employees – a good portion of whom are women. Our product diversity has always been the backbone of our company, but over our 43 years in existence, we’ve become “much more than a hardware store.” As our product selection has grown over the years, so has the diversity of our employees. Hardware stores have been around since the mid-1800’s – but women’s role in owning and operating them has not always been. So, in honor of International Women’s Month, we want to highlight a few of the women of Mountain Hardware and Sports, and show just how important they are to the success of our company.
Heather Svahn ( Vice President of Purchasing / Director of Marketing )
A huge part of what makes our stores unique & cool – is Heather. Not only is she fun & spunky with an upbeat hardworking attitude, her unwavering love for our company and culture easily allows us to coin her our “leading lady”.
When we asked her to give a few words in honor of International Women’s Month, here is what she had to say. “Mountain Hardware & Sports has quietly been a leader for change throughout our history, and women have held influential positions throughout our organization from our beginning in 1977. The diversity in our assortment started when the 3 founders asked Dianne Jones to bring in home decor into the original location up in Gateway Center. Dianne had extensive experience as a buyer for a large department store chain. What started as roughly 4′ of floor space for home decor, grew into what we create now in each retail location. It has become an integral part of our business model to represent all of these product categories. From 1977 to today, I think the foundational principle that has guided Mountain Hardware is service to our community. This guiding principle has steered our company to find the right person(s) for the job, keeping our eyes wide open to whom can best join our team.”
Jenni Valdivia ( Shed Manager )
If you’ve ever come in contact with a sweet smile and a hard-working helping hand in our shed department, you’ve probably met Jenni. She has played a huge role in the success of our shed department over the last 14 years. While one of the biggest lessons she’s learned over her years of working with us is patience, she believes that not taking your job so seriously and having natural empathy and creativity are what make many of the Employee Owners here stick around. “I love this company. There have been so many people I have had the chance to meet and work with here. Some pass through, but others become family. I’m proud of all the experiences I’ve had at Mountain Hardware and Sports.”
Debbie House (Seasonal Department Associate)
Debbie has been an Employee Owner at Mountain Hardware and sports for 13 years – and there’s no doubt that she is a favorite among both Employees and customers. She started in another career path before joining our team, and while she never imagined she would end up working in a store like ours, our uniqueness and her love for being creative are a perfect fit. “I love the opportunity for my creativity to blossom here. Being able to pull all of our unique products together in a way that makes them tell a story makes our customers want their homes to look like Mountain Hardware and Sports.” She believes women are an integral part of what makes our company prosper – “My team here is organized, project-oriented, and attentive to detail. We add a feminine touch to a store that appeals to both men and women.”
Hayley Paronish ( Marketing Coordinator )
Hayley has been an Employee Owner with Mountain Hardware and Sports for almost 3 years. Working behind the scenes as a Marketing Coordinator has shown her that the true success of Mountain Hardware and Sports lies in the wonderful customer service and unique selection of goods we carry. “Our store is such a staple in this community, and for more than just shopping. Our product selection is one thing, but you know when you walk into one of our stores, you’re going to get a friendly face and quality service. I don’t think Mountain Hardware and Sports would be what it is without the strong & creative women that work here!”
Cynthia Lamanna aka Maverick (Accounts Payable)
Cynthia has been with us for 20 years, and while her job can be stressful, her hard work and positivity don’t go unnoticed. “What I love most about working here is the sense of security for my future. Not just because of our ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) and our 401K, but because we ALL work so hard here.” She loves the pride that comes along with working here. When she tells someone she works here, they light up and say, “I love that place!” – and she’s proud of that. “The women that work for us are diligent, work hard, own their stuff, communicate, and are open-minded.”
Mountain Hardware and Sports appreciates ALL of our women Employee Owners and customers. Thank you for all you do each and every day!