Chief Executive, Founder
Mark and Debra Melvin co-founded Touchstone Climbing in 1995 with the help of several dozen passionate climber investors. He spent 15 years in the corporate world, which he credits his sense of how not to run a company. Mark’s background includes a M.S. from U.C. Berkeley in the school of Engineering. He has dabbled in most forms of climbing, from the Cassin on Denali, to several dozen ascents of El Capitan, his preference being multi-pitch trad routes. He’s run a dozen ultra marathons, and fallen over his handlebars many times chasing his son Daniel on downhill mountain biking adventures.
Debra is co-founder of Touchstone, managing the financial side of the business. Her passions are climbing, running and cycling. She loves the outdoors, especially the backcountry of the Sierra, and hot dry places like deserts.
Director of Operations
Markham started at Touchstone working at Mission Cliffs when it opened its doors in 1995 developing the youth programs and working at the front desk. He moved back to Telluride, Colorado to accomplish some unfinished challenges in skiing and climbing but returned to open and manage Berkeley Ironworks in 1999. Markham has been Director of Operations since spring of 2002. He also sponsors and manages the Touchstone Women's Elite Cycling Team. Outside of Touchstone, Markham is busy chasing after his two kids, Isabelle 5 and Joe 2 on their bicycles at the park. Joelle, his wife, when not playing with the kids, climbing, or running with our dog, Stella, is an art consultant curating and managing collections for private and corporate collectors. When he is not with his family or at work, you'll most likely find Markham training for the upcoming race season for road cycling.
Information Technology, Marketing, Route Setting
Jeffery has been working for Touchstone since 1996, when he got a
for climbing at Mission Cliffs.
Was it for this his life he sought? Maybe So, Maybe Not.
When we travel
backwards down the numberline
, we see that Jeffery has done everything from working kids' birthday parties to routesetting to managing Mission Cliffs. Currently he oversees routesetting, marketing & the I.T. needs for Touchstone. Jeffery & and his
, Holly are known to
thier time together
following the lines going south
. Jeffery is
alright' cause he has got a degree
, a M.A. in Philosophy. In his
time, he can be found
wading in the velvet sea
and he sometimes has really
Director of Facilities
Russell joined Touchstone in 2000 as a subcontractor from Telluride, CO. While snowboarding 100+ days he and the crew build a handful of climbing walls for school's and the rich and famous. Almost 12 years later he has made a life in the bay area with his wife Michelle, daughter Morgan and the one on the way. If you don't see him finishing up the latest Touchstone Gym or improvement he is with the family soaking up rays on a beach or rafting down some whitewater.
Patti started her Touchstone career at the front desk at CityRock in 1997. She continued working at Berkeley Ironworks when it opened in spring of 2000. Patti is now the Retail Manager for all the Touchstone gyms. She loves climbing in Yosemite with Tim and friends.
Stone Age Climbing
Wes started working for Touchstone in 2009. Wes has a 'diverse' job history, from climbing guide,route setter to Coal miner. He's been climbing for over 20 years and travels the world looking for inspiration to ensure that Touchstone has the sickest grips on our walls. His passion is Alpine starts in the high country and Long aid routes on the captain.
Media and Marketing
Lauryn got hooked on climbing after a trip to Thailand in 2009. She loved it so much that upon her return stateside she moved to the Bay Area and begged for a job at the local climbing gym. She has since climbed across the country, become an AMGA Single Pitch Certified Guide, and founded the Girls Climbing Team at Berkeley Ironworks. With a background in journalism, she's excited to combine her climbing addiction with a passion for writing and multi-media.
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