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Business Profile: Move Mountains

January 21, 2022 | Meghan Ochs

At Move Mountains, a membership-based leadership and coaching program for individuals and organizations, COVID-19 and the challenges the pandemic presented required its leader, Charles White, and his team of facilitators, to take a play out of their own handbook. Move Mountains had already been running a successful adventure-based leadership program; however, when the world began socially distancing, the outdoor adventures that Move Mountains organized, and the natural opportunities for personal growth that they present, came to a screeching halt. This global change forced Move Mountains to reevaluate how they were operating and take the same steps which they ask of their own clients. Over the course of 9 months, the organization put in the work and evolved. Move Mountains averted its attention inward, created a new intention about their level and type of engagement with their clients, and then took specific action to create a sustainable change about their operation. The results have been better than they could have anticipated. 

The core of what Move Mountains offers their clients has not changed; effective leadership training through a transformative and guided personal care journey. What has changed however is the method in which this journey is created and how it is delivered. The three words, attention, intention, and action have always been at the center of what Move Mountains focuses on. Charlie and his impressive team guide their clients to bring these three things into alignment so they can show up as their best selves. This approach requires clients to draw attention inward while working through the tough questions and situations that leaders often face with the intention of creating actionable positive change. Prior to COVID, this meant taking leaders outdoors on exciting and challenging recreational adventures to push them in a physical, naturally adverse environment. Simultaneously. leaders would facilitate tough conversations about socio-emotional issues related to their goals of personal growth and leadership. Now, post-COVID, Move Mountains has moved from an adventure-based model to a club-based one. The clients of Move Mountains are largely the same, individuals who are committed to personal growth, mindfulness, and personal and professional wellness. Typically, they are leaders in their field, and like most leaders, they are risk-takers and adventure seekers. Now, rather than one-off events in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, Charlie and his team offer memberships that provide monthly trainings, skill-building workshops, guided meditations, and regular practice sessions to help apply what they have learned. Adventure-based learning is still a part of the deal, but now, rather than being the primary leadership product, it is ancillary.

For Move Mountains, this change was a huge pivot. It is not that what they were doing before was ineffective, but like any good leader, they recognized a changing environment requires adaptation. Charlie and his team did exactly what they asked their clients to do, commit to the process by looking inward, asking the tough questions, and recognizing both their strengths and blind spots. Move Mountains is adamant about using the word blind spot vs weakness. A blind spot, while we may not always know what it is in it, generally we are aware of its existence. Contrarily, a weakness may be less obvious or identifiable. The self-evaluation approach of noting both strengths and blind spots allows Move Mountains to offer a more exhaustive range of coaching and leadership offerings to their clients. Their new membership platform takes a three-fold process which includes coaching, training and practice, and adventure. 

It is obvious that the Move Mountains team is reinvigorated by their new mindful leadership club format. Short-term events like their adventure packages are great openers, but as Charlie noted, “Sustained behavioral change takes time, plus consistent advocacy and support. We offer leadership skills but this type of change is a personal journey. We are here to help clients find their way, not to tell them the way.”  Clients of Move Mountains must be ready to have conversations about self-worth, self-esteem, conflict, and conflict avoidance, just to name a few. Commonly the Move Mountains team will see clients who want to create change in a specific area of their professional or personal life. This concept of separating the various spheres of life is discouraged since strengths and blind spots show up regularly in all areas. The goal at Move Mountains is to improve the overall, “Personal wellness to professional success works. It is an illusion that they are separate, ” explained Charlie. We want to build resilience and adaptability to chaos and evolving business and personal climates. Strength is gained from adversity, whether personal or professional.” Through coaching, training, guided practice, and the occasional adventure, Move Mountains provides its clients with practical tools and strategies for their overall success. Their new business model is proof that their coaching and leadership strategies are effective. In 2021, Move Mountains has formally become a product of their own product. 

For more information and a list of upcoming events visit Move Mountains online.

*This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 edition of LIVE.WORK.PLAY.*

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Business Profile: Sierra Mobile Storage

January 12, 2022 | Meghan Ochs

For many people COVID has been a great reminder of what is truly important. This has been true not just in the professional lives of many, but also in personal and private spaces. This past year and a half historic numbers of people have uprooted their lives and taken big gambles on major life changes such as moving and changing jobs. These life-altering events often require organization and space, enter Sierra Mobile Storage.

Perhaps one of the reasons Staci and Luke Stevenson, the dynamic and incredibly supportive husband and wife duo and owners of Sierra Mobile Storage, are such fervent believers in what they do is because they can relate to the needs of their customers. When the pandemic hit, the demand for Luke’s artistic talent as a local musician changed drastically. Staci who had been helping manage Luke’s musical career and operating high-end vacation and rental properties also saw a change in her career. Both had always been interested in the storage business.

For years they were already students of the industry and its nuances, attending seminars and doing research to one day possibly make a switch. They were prepared to leave their careers at the end of 2021; however, COVID forced their hand early and they placed all bets on starting a new business and adventure together.

Their professional move came with a personal one as well when they left Incline and moved to Reno. Their decision to leave Incline after living there for decades was not an easy one. They are nothing if not a product of their own product, their move and investment in this new large business has been taxing, Staci notes, “We did not realize we were getting into the stress management business.” The events of life, and all of the organization that come with it, can be incredibly stressful and Staci, Luke and their company are here to ease the burden. Staci especially loves connecting with the customers. She excels at getting to know them, their needs and helping them through their transitional phase, whether it is a move, remodel or something else. Luke noted that they have over fifty 5-star reviews on Google and credits all of that to Staci whose favorite part of their job is answering the phone and offering her personal touch. Staci understands that just like her and Luke’s decision to place all of their chips on the bet of their new business, many of their customers are taking similar risks or making big changes when they call to ask for help with their storage needs.

In addition to the personal component that this happy and professional couple obviously provide to their customers, their company also offers a few incredibly rare advantages over other traditional storage options. Their containers come in two sizes, 16’ and 20’, and they are capable of being stored in some tight and unusual spaces that other companies simply can’t match. Sierra Mobile Storage uses a remote control forklift which gives them a storage advantage that no one else can offer. This is critical to providing outdoor storage options in the rugged alpine environment of the Sierra. Also, many of their storage containers are beautifully wrapped and designed to blend in with the natural surroundings at their location. The others are white with a Sierra Mobile Storage logo which just happens to be a silhouette of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Both container types are emblazoned with the friendly reminder, ‘locally owned and operated.’ Customers can choose which wrap they prefer.

The difference between a small, locally owned business, and a larger corporate-run one is often one offering individual connection, accessibility, and exceptional customer service. Staci and Luke Stevenson, and their company Sierra Mobile Storage, exemplify every positive dissimilarity between these two types of business. While they are obviously passionate about what they do, and the quality of product they offer, they are also in business to help change the storage industry. Max be placed, that they succeed.

Learn more about Sierra Mobile Storage.

*This article originally appeared IVCBA’s Fall 2021 Live.Work.Play.

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Business Profile: Menath Insurance Family Owned for 40+ Years

January 4, 2022 | Kayla Anderson

Founded in 1981 by Mike Menath, Menath Insurance has grown to be one of the most trusted and respectable insurance companies in the Lake Tahoe area. 

Having a “passion for protection,” Menath provides its clients with all kinds of insurance and are happy to be able to help their clients in times when they need it the most. And being 40 years in business with offices in Incline Village, Reno, South Lake Tahoe, and Susanville, the Menath family shows no signs of slowing down. 

Scott got hooked on the insurance business after moving to San Diego and getting a job with an insurance company after college to “dip his toe in the water” as he says. He found that he loved it and moved back to Incline Village to collaborate with his dad. 

While running an insurance company in Lake Tahoe can be challenging (mainly insuring those in wildfire risk areas), Scott is determined to give insurance companies a better name; his favorite part is helping people get back on their feet. And after seeing the response to the recent Caldor Fire, Scott has full faith that Lake Tahoe is one of the best places to be in times when disaster strikes.  

“There’s an intrinsic value for Tahoe that can be underwritten for. In this last fire, departments from all over the country came to save this place, it’s the jewel of the West. Tahoe is so responsive…if you look at the numbers, there’s zero change in risk in the last 30-40 years. I’m incredibly grateful for everything the fire departments have done for our communities,” Scott says. 

Although his dad Mike stepped back from the day-to-day operations in June 2021, he is still active with local fire boards to help keep people insured in this area. 

“I’m in a business when I see people at their worst and nothing makes me more pleased than to give them a check and help them rebuild. It’s part of an effort to give insurance a better name in the industry,” he says. 

Visit Menath Insurance 

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