Mollie Mayfield is Senior Project Director and Managing Editor of CounterTobacco.org at Counter Tools. She loves being inspired by people that work to improve the health of their communities and introducing folks to point-of-sale tobacco control work. Learn more about Mollie’s background and passion for policy work in her staff profile below.
Tell us a little bit about your background before you came to Counter Tools.
I discovered and fell in love with the field of public health in college, but I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do yet. I also fell in love with policy work and advocacy through involvement with the student-led Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, leading a public health taskforce. After college, through Public Allies North Carolina, an Americorps program structured as a non-profit apprenticeship, I was fortuitously matched with a non-traditional food bank. I spent the next few years working in communications and learning about food insecurity and work to address its root causes. When I went back to school to get my Masters in Public Health, I was introduced to tobacco control work.
How long have you worked at Counter Tools and what made you decide to work here?
I’ve worked at Counter Tools since July 2016 – over four years now, and before that I was connected to the organization while working on CounterTobacco.org as a grad student. I really liked Counter Tools’ focus on using policy change to improve the health of communities and work towards health equity. I had learned about the idea of “healthy corner stores” through my work in food insecurity, and I loved the idea of retailers creating health-supportive environments and finding ways that policy could make that a reality. I hadn’t expected to work in tobacco control, but now I nerd out about it. Learning about the extensive harm and injustices the tobacco industry has caused and continues to cause in the name of profit with their deception and their targeted marketing of a product they know is the number one cause of preventable death and disease definitely inspires me to fight their influence and work towards an end game.
What is something you enjoy about your role?
I love getting to learn from inspiring folks all around the country about their work to improve the health of their communities. I feel honored to get to be a part of helping them to achieve their goals. Sometimes we get the opportunity to introduce folks to point-of-sale tobacco control work and a more environmental approach for the first time. Seeing those “aha” moments is always great when folks understand the value of policy level solutions that change the context and make it easier for people to be healthy or find a strategy that’s going to work for them.
What is something you spend time on outside of Tools that energizes you?
I love getting outside any chance I can – for a trail run, a hike, a walk, a picnic, or anything else.
Do you have any pets, children or other family members you’d like to mention?
My partner, Anthony, and I have a ten-month old son, Calvin, and a rescue pit bull mix named Chewbecca.