Staff

 

Well hello! How are you?

We're doing well, thank you very much. It's a pleasure to meet you. We know since you came to this page what a wonderful, inquisitive person you are, but let's face it: you don't know much about us. Well, we'd like to fix that. Check out the bios below - the result of painstaking hours of research, interviews, and yes, intensive photo sessions. We're happy you're getting a bit of our 411, but hope you'll stop in to our stores to find out even more. We can't wait to catch up again!

 

Jeff Dean (Myers Park)

Hi. I'm Jeff, and I am the fastest staff member with a beard. OK. I don't really have a beard (not right this minute anyway), and to be fair we really don't keep track of things like who's fastest here at the Ultra Running Company. But it's still fun to say.

After dabbling in electrical engineering, photography, road biking and learning to speak Portuguese, a friend bet me I couldn't run a 1/2 marathon. I found an old pair of tennis shoes in my closet and ran the race, completing it on my first try. Since I didn't come in dead last, I decided running was a sport I could get into.

In just the past few years, I have trained and run every type of event possible, from road 5k to trail marathon, from the legendary JFK 50 in Maryland to the 108 mile Cruel Jewel to a 300-mile road race across Georgia. I am also very proud of my ability to complete a beer mile without doing a face plant in the process.

I hope you will take the time to come on down and spend some time at the store. I love to hear about every aspect of your running. I am the store's H2O Pro (hydration expert), a certified fit expert across multiple clothing lines, and have the industry's highest retail training certification. Let me help you find your perfect run!

 

Jessica Deck (Myers Park)

Hi, I’m Jessica! I have been in Charlotte for about eight years, and I certainly give North Carolina credit for reigniting my passion for running and fitness. Growing up in Ohio, it was very hard to spend a lot of time outside, unless, of course you enjoyed freezing weather, gray skies and rain. Moving down here, I could finally run outside without a million layers!

While I don't claim to get lost on mountain trails and deserted roads for days at a time like the other awesome athletes who run/work here, it's a fact I can lift more weights and scale more obstacles than they can! I am a runner, a Spartan Trifecta member, and a CrossFit athlete. My current claim to fame is I can deadlift 155 pounds, which is well over my body weight and probably twice what Nathan can pull off if he were ever tricked into entering a gym. Last year I completed my first half marathon and a few 5Ks, so I know what it's like to be doing something for your first time. My team also helped me to complete all three Spartan races (Sprint, Super and Beast) which earns some bragging rights among people who like to crawl around in the mud and jump through fire.

Being an all-around athlete gives me the chance to try out new and exciting opportunities and a unique perspective to appreciate your interests. Whether you like trail running, walking, obstacle course racing or throwing some heavy weight around, I would love to talk shop with you any day!

 

David Cross (SouthEnd)

Some people call me a Space Cowboy. Some call me the Gangster of Love. Most just call me the Bearded Wonder (aka That Guy aka The White Sinbad, aka Dancing Dave.) Nobody - and I mean nobody - calls me Maurice. I’m happy if you go with David.

I’ve been in specialty run retail talking about shoes for almost a decade, and am happy to have a home here at the Ultra Running Company. I'm a former Team USA member and currently the top rated Holistic running coach in the South East. I love to talk and educate folks on all aspects of running on both the road and the trail. As a practicing Buddhist, I have long believed a holistic approach to running is the only way to ensure a long and healthy relationship with the sport. I think of running as a thing of beauty, and love to help our customer find their inner match - all while making sure the experience is personalized and fun.

 

Lori Taylor (Myers Park/SouthEnd)

Hey y'all! My name is Lori, but my friends and trail buddies call me SheepDog. That's my trail name and it was given to me because while not all who wander are lost, I tend to keep the flock together and in good spirits on the trails.

After years in medical sales and many adventures - including diving with sharks and rock climbing - I finally found my true thrill passion in trail running. I feel absolutely at home climbing up mountains and barrelling down rocky cliffs. To me, running is a spiritual way to clear the mind and push the body at the same time.

The last few years I have run many different trails and many beautiful mountain races. 50k races are my favorite, and I love the camaraderie that comes with the trail running community. Running is a sport that has no boundaries and brings people together in a common love. It is this love that drove me to coach at the Fort Mill Youth Fast Feet program. Being able to give back the passion of running while coaching youth was such a life-changing and rewarding experience.

So whether you are new to running or an experienced beast out there on the trails, come into the store and let's talk shoes, gear and gadgets. I would love to hear about your running adventures. And hey: if you are new to the running experience, even better! Let us share our love of running with you - come on in and let's talk dirt. Or pavement. Or grass. Whatever. Just come on in!

 

Nikia Squire (SouthEnd)

This bio will be updated just as soon as we can catch up with Nikia. She's a 7-time All American and is probably out training if she's not at the store. And yeah, she's faster than us, too.

 

Amy Stone (Myers Park)

Hi there. I'm the grinder. It's not that I run faster than other people...it's that I. Never. Stop. I love to run on trails, tolerate roads, and am always up for a good (stadium) challenge. I love the color blue. I love my pet spider. I'm a bit quieter than the other folks at URC, but don't mistake that for a lack of knowledge, excitement in your potential to do amazing things, or ability to help turn you into a running machine. Believe me - I've been where you are, and I know how great it would have been to have someone who understood MY goal be willing to help me out. So I'm here for you.

Oh, also: everything you see in print, online or at an event that is beautiful was created by me. Nathan may have some good ideas, but he's a mess at execution.

 

Shawnna Sanzo (Myers Park)

Listen: I just had a beautiful baby daughter, and haven't finished my bio as a result. Let's call this what it is: you wouldn't have done yours, either.

 

Jonathan Faryadi (Myers Park/SouthEnd)

Despite what David says, I'm no model...I just have good jeans.

I'm here at URC because I love to run, and when I'm not running I love to talk about running with others. I'm known to show up at races and running events any time I'm not in the store, so don't be surprised to see me when you arrive at an aid station at your next race.

I have competed at every distance from a beer mile to 100 miles, but generally I don't need to be competing at all - if you can find me a beautiful trail anywhere in the country, I'll be happy to run down it no matter the time of day or year. In my free time, I also love to ride my road bike for days at a time and am quite the connoisseur of the entire Budweiser Lite lineup - traditional, lime, you name it and I'll join you for great times and great stories!

 

Cameron Scism (Myers Park)

I'm Cameron, and I'm currently a senior at Myers Park High School. I play for the Myers Park golf team, and in my free time I like to run since it is the best way to supplement my golfing activities. I most recently completed my first Spartan race, the Carolina Beast. I figured if I was going to do it I might as well just start out with the longest one, and I had a great time. I hope to compete in other Spartans next year to complete the Trifecta. When first employed at this store over a year ago, the staff taught me the proper way to run instead instead of using the conventional methods. I now enjoy passing this information onto customers because this form has really changed my my running lifestyle. I now experience zero discomfort no matter what mile I am on. It is always a good day for me when I get to see a happy customer!

 

Nathan Leehman (Runs Between Stores)

Hi! I'm Nathan, and this store is pretty much my fault.

We started the Ultra Running Company as a place where like-minded runners could spend time together, talk about their interests, learn about running in a happy and healthy manner, and geek out on shoes and gear. I wanted a place where first time runners and exercise walkers could come to really learn about the sport - a place where they wouldn't be directed towards products that would end up hurting them in the long run.

I believe there is a "right" way to run, an approach that makes you more efficient, less injury prone, and - if it is your goal - even faster. I believe there are shoes that help in achieving this and shoes that can do very real harm, and I don't think that information is being shared with the general public. Our store aims to change that. We are committed to providing Charlotte with real, high quality information, the science to back us up, and the people on staff who are wiling to take the time to learn about what is important to you before we start telling you which shoe to buy.

You'll find a different vibe at the Ultra Running Company, and I hope you like it. We focus on education, conversation, and an easygoing attitude. We have great clothes that I actually wear and we work with vendors who share our interests and values. I am amazingly proud of our staff, and humbled they are willing to work with me. We all love to run (you can keep track of our current races and exploits by scrolling to the bottom of the page here), and I know that will come through the moment you step into the store. We're not about setting records or beating others - we want to ensure you're running happily today, tomorrow, and in the years to come.

I live here in Charlotte with my wife Courtenay, who thinks I run just a bit too much. Our daughter Samantha has finished a number of races as long as 5k, and will be happy to discuss the finer points of efficient running with anyone who asks. We also have a dog who loves us and a cat who tolerates our existence.

 

Employment Opportunities

We hope the bios above have given you some insight on the kind of folks we want working with you at the Ultra Running Company. Folks who love to run, who are willing to work hard and learn the facts behind our products and the other products on the market, and - most of all - who are willing to share their excitement and passion with our customers.

We're always looking for great people to join our staff on either a full or part time basis. Our customers expect a lot from us, and we expect a lot from potential employees. In return, we offer a supportive, high-tech environment with flexibility and fair pay.

If this sounds like something you'd like to pursue, please drop us a line via our contact page and tell us why. Please be ready with a cover letter and resume - we'll respond as quickly as possible and that will be our first request. We're stoked to hear from great people, and truly appreciate the effort!