Columbia Sportswear introduced Faith Briggs and Mark Chase as the brand’s newest Directors of Toughness. Briggs and Chase will spend the next nine months testing Columbia’s gear in tough conditions around the globe.

In recruiting for this full time, paid position, Columbia’s HR team fielded more than 4,000 applicants from the U.S., Canada and the U.K., distilling those into a top group invited to interview with the company. The applicants scaled mountains, hiked overnight and kayaked their way to “The Toughest Interview (To Get To).”

Faced with questions and challenges in Portland, New York, Canada and Scotland, each location provided applicants the opportunity to stand out in the crowded field. Briggs and Chase excelled in their interviews, and their passion for the outdoors and sharing compelling stories helped them stand out among a group of qualified candidates.

Briggs is a runner and documentary filmmaker from Brooklyn, NY, and her passion lies in sharing contemporary stories from diverse communities. Chase, set to be the first international Director of Toughness, joins the company from Gloucester, England. A former semi-professional rugby player, Mark was raised on a steady diet of climbing, skiing, and hiking.

“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,” said Columbia Sportswear Company Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Richelle Luther. “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.”

The Directors of Toughness will be documenting their journey on and across Columbia’s social media channels.