Profile: Jeffery Bowling
Senior manager Jeffery Bowling is the man who makes sure the word gets out about Touchstone. His official title is Director of IT & Director of Marketing and Promotions.
Jeffery is in a good position to tell Touchstone’s story. He’s been part of the team since 1996, having done everything from working kids birthday parties to course setting to managing Mission Cliffs.
He first came to the gym at age 23, while working with a group that was helping homeless kids on San Francisco’s Haight Street. “The group had a deal with Mission Cliffs that allowed them to bring kids in to the gym for free,” he recalls. “One day I asked the desk if they had any job openings. I was hired to do data entry work, entering all the waiver information into a spreadsheet.”
But right off the bat Mission Cliffs began tapping him for other duties. That same night he was called to ask if he could belay a kids’ party. The combination of data entry and kids belay was his routine for several months -- until he accidentally erased part of the database. “The decision to abandon the waiver database led me to a full-time belay staff position,” Jeffery says. He moved up to desk staff and in 1999 became the manager of Mission Cliffs. In 2002, he moved into his current job. “I am very excited that I have found a career that allows me to work in such a wonderful environment. It still amazes me at how much goes into running a climbing gym,” he says. “Or, in our case, six climbing gyms."
Outside the gym, Jeffery keeps active in both warm and cold climates through snowboarding and disc golf. He’s currently involved with the San Francisco Disc Golf Club
, getting a disc golf course installed in Golden Gate Park. It will be the first disc golf course in San Francisco, he notes.
One other interest had a major effect on Jeffery’s life. A big fan of the band Phish
, Jeffery was anxious to catch the 2003 tour -- the first by the band in a couple of years. “I was looking for a ride to do 10 Phish shows on the East Coast, and posted on an online Phish message board looking for a ride,” Jeffery recalls. As it worked out, four fans who had never met before ended up spending a couple weeks traveling together in the East. Jeffery made a real connection with one of them, Holly, and she ended up moving to the Bay Area a few months later.
Phish called it quits in 2004, but Jeffery and Holly kept going strong. They got married last year and now live on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Another member of the household is Soren, the family dog named after Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard.
The dog’s name is a hint that life is not all fun and games for Jeffery. He’s working on his master’s degree in philosophy, and still needs to finish his thesis after “a few years” of procrastination.
Labels: Jeffery Bowling, mission cliffs, touchstone