Trueline Spotlight: Living in Altitude and Rising to the Challenge

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While Emily Haefner may not aspire to run a large 20-acre farm in her off time like some in her family, her future does include continuing her commitment to agriculture and sustainability—definitely some raised beds.

“I’ve always loved science; it was my favorite subject in school, and I’m still fascinated by it,” says Emily, a member of the Trueline sales development coordinator team.

Emily Haefner and her husband Kevin live about an hour east of Durango, Colorado
Emily Haefner and her husband Kevin

Emily and her husband Kevin live about an hour east of Durango, Colorado, in a rental property while they finish designing and planning their first house. She says construction will start in September and hopefully be completed by the end of the year. The house will include things like a big office, wood stove, lots of windows and a deck for cookouts and enjoying the Colorado sunshine. And there will definitely be a garden.

Living Life More Than a Mile High

Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Emily moved around a lot because her father was in the Air Force. She spent time in Alaska, Virginia, Texas and California before she settled with family in Durango. She went to college there, too, and after living for a few years in Wyoming, finally decided to call the Western Slope in the Rocky Mountain state home.

“There’s a lot of history here, and we hike and visit the ancient structures of the Ancestral Puebloans who lived in the Four Corners region and try to learn as much about the people who were here long before us,” she says. “Where we live and the places we visit are on the traditional territory of Diné Bikéyah (Navajo), Pueblo and Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute).”

Emily Haefner on the water

For a time, Emily saw herself working in the culinary arts—she attended culinary school in San Diego after graduating high school. The creativity, the ability to travel and work in different locales and cultures and the excitement drew her in. But after several years of the grind, which included being on her feet all day and working as a line cook for several restaurants, she knew she wanted something else.

After going back to college and earning a degree in environmental biology, Emily spent six months in a farm apprenticeship program at the Green Gulch Farm, part of the San Francisco Zen Center. But she learned that to really live off the land and have a sustainable lifestyle, she needed money for the land, money to maintain it and money for irrigation.

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“We always had a greenhouse or garden wherever we moved because of my dad, and while I won’t have a 100-acre farm, we’ll still have our gardens and veggie beds on our new property,” Emily says.

Now she’s Cooking

Emily found Trueline after “too many” years working as a paraprofessional in special education, retail and as a server. Though she’s fully ensconced in the Vanguard team, she was drawn to the company because of its Terra Firma publication which features businesses involved in production and consumption, including co-ops, farms, agronomists, animal feed and nutrition companies, as well as businesses in the beverage, retail and food preparation sectors.

At Trueline Emily has her first desk job, and she says that working remotely from the beginning has had its challenges.

“I’ve never met anyone from the company except online, and I’ve never been to Maine,” she says. “Not seeing co-workers every day has been difficult, but we’ve done some things that I think have made working from home easier.”

The SDC team, led by Jason Williams and Alyssa LoVerso, started holding a morning meeting earlier this year as a way to check in and keep the team connected. Logan Dixon, a sales development coordinator, also started a daily gathering for the Vanguard team, and Emily has had occasional chats with Matt Welch, a content developer, to help her feel a connection to Maine. She also loves the weekly chats set up by Trueline’s Director of People & Culture Joy Wilkie—it’s another great way to meet and stay connected to Trueliners.

“Carolyn [Rosazza] was in my training class, and we still connect often,” Emily says.

Being remote and working several thousand miles away from most of her co-workers means Emily truly appreciates activities like trivia night and virtual happy hours designed to bring Trueliners together.

Emily Haefner is connected the wild

“This role includes a lot of work, and it can be stressful,” she says. “But feeling valued by the company and staying connected to co-workers, even in trying times, makes this a great place to work.”

EMILY IN COLORADO

Did you know? Emily has completed one marathon, one half marathon and is allergic to horses. She shares a birthday (August 25) with Blake Lively, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sean Connery and Gene Simmons.

Who’d play you? Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Bucket list: Backpacking the Grand Canyon (this summer) and taking her husband to Alaska.

Greatest achievement so far: Married my best friend.