Successful director of toughness applicant Mark Chase

Successful director of toughness applicant Mark Chase

A Gloucester outdoors enthusiast has landed a dream job testing gear for a top brand in some of the world’s harshest environments.

Mark Chase is the first international candidate to be chosen by US brand Columbia as one of its two directors of toughness.

Along with Brooklyn woman Faith Briggs, the former rugby player will spend the next nine months travelling the globe putting the brand’s clothing and equipment to the test in some of the toughest conditions possible.

The pair were chosen from more than 4,000 applicants from the UK, Canada and the USA. They beat other shortlisted candidates after interviews and an overnight hike, mountain ascent and kayak journey.

Faith Briggs will also take up a director of toughness post

Faith Briggs will also take up a director of toughness post

Portland, Oregon-based Columbia said the new directors of toughness will support its promise to deliver products that are #TestedTough, putting gear to the test in the most inclement weather and harshest terrain.

Mark Chase, set to be the first international director of toughness, is a former semi-professional rugby player, raised on a steady diet of climbing, skiing, and hiking. He said he is most comfortable in the mountains far away from a warm office, and is excited to share his experiences during this adventure of a lifetime. The winners of the full-time, paid posts were announced at Columbia’s US headquarters.

Faith Briggs is an accomplished runner and documentary film-maker from Brooklyn, New York, and her passion lies in sharing contemporary stories from diverse communities. Columbia said she can always be found with her camera, whether in the photographer’s pit during New York’s fashion week or in the cloud forests in Honduras.

Columbia Sportswear Company’s senior vice president and chief human resources officer Richelle Luther said: “The directors of toughness are integral employees at Columbia and help showcase the lengths that many of our employees go to in order to test our gear.

“After interviewing so many inspiring candidates throughout the recruitment phase, we’re excited to introduce Faith and Mark and send them on their first adventure in just a few short days.”