Purple Ski People

Our people are at the core of the Purple Ski philosophy and for the consistent delivery of the high level of service for which we have become known. They are our greatest asset.

We know that our staff are crucial to being successful; as one guest emailed after their stay:

“The staff's attitude and friendliness was what made the holiday special. Nothing was too much trouble. Your staff always speak very highly of you and the way they are looked after – they are clearly very happy working for you and that transmits to the guests.”

We take pride not only in making sure that our guests have the best possible skiing holiday, but also on being a great company to work for. We hire people based on their skills, experience and attitude and expect the highest standards of work from them, but in return, we make sure that they are well rewarded and get to spend the most time possible enjoying themselves.

“Your staff had the perfect combination of professionalism and friendliness that I have never seen before. They were the “perfect hosts” as it were, as if we were staying in a close friend's house with all the luxury of a five star hotel.”

We are now recruiting for the 2018-2019 season; descriptions and photos of the 2017-2018 team can be found below; we are hopeful that c. 50% of them will return!

Head Office

Hannah Crane-Buck, Sales & Customer Services Manager

Hannah Crane-Buck We are delighted that Hannah is now with us year round as our Sales & Customer Services Manager. She is now based in the UK, with her husband Toby. She has extensive experience in customer service and takes pride in a job well done. She likes problem solving, has great attention to detail and strives to make a difference. She is also very organised, hardworking, thorough, but also friendly and simply charming.

She also has a passion for languages having graduated from the University of Warwick with First Class honours in French Studies with Italian, and an MA in Translation. Hannah is fluent in both French and Italian and has basic Portuguese skills; she loves having the chance to use her languages which goes hand in hand with her desire to travel. She has used her knowledge and experience in various countries (including teaching in France, interning for a travel company in Spain, and as office manager for a summer camp in the US). She also loves people and socialising and her hobbies are very diverse, including skiing, hiking, cheerleading, Via Ferrata, playing the cello, and diving. It's a pleasure to have her back.

Fleur Jeans, Operations Director

Fleur Jeans Hailing from the Cotswolds, Fleur gained a degree in French and Spanish. She followed this with a Masters degree in Speech and Language Therapy, where she gained a distinction, won the Tavistock Prize, and had her work published. She began her travel industry experience working in Paris before gaining entry to the Jet program, teaching in Japan for a year, and learning Japanese.

Her first Purple Ski season was in 2011, working in the office. She took the opportunity that season to learn to ski, having previously snowboarded in Japan and Austria. Many lessons and seasons later she is now a very competent skier, both on and off piste including touring. Well travelled, Fleur has herded cattle on horseback in Uruguay, dived in Zanzibar, climbed Mt Fuji, skydived over the Great Barrier Reef and will continue her wild swimming, freediving and yoga into 2020 and beyond.

Fleur is based in our office in Meribel over the winter and is responsible for the day to day operations of the company, year round.

Karen Broom Smith, Business Development Director

Karen Broom Smith Karen joined Purple Ski full time in 2001 from the Dell Computer Corporation, where she was the Director of Audit for Dell Europe. Before that, she worked at Heinz and Mars in various general management, manufacturing/people management and engineering roles. She has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bristol University and is a Certified Management Accountant.

Her first association with Purple Ski was in March 1997, when she was a guest in Chalet Le Crêtet, Purple Ski’s first ever chalet. It was there that she met her husband Michael, who had been running the chalet since 1991. They married soon afterwards and Karen supported Michael in the running of the business while continuing her UK-based job with Dell, but then came out to join him and has worked full time in the business since July 2001. Michael has stepped back from the business (and is pursuing other interests – not least spending more time with their 13 year-old son, Max, but also returning to the passion that brought him here in the first place – skiing!). Karen now focuses on business development and on looking after the lovely properties and owner relationships.

Mark Dancey, Property, Fleet & Business Development Manager

Mark Dancey ow based in the Cotswolds, Mark graduated from The University of Oxford with an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He first joined Purple Ski in 2005 as Supplies Manager after seasons in Courchevel and the USA. Already a Mountain Leader and Climbing Instructor, he has used his 13 Purple Ski seasons to train, adding Ski Instructor to his qualifications, teaching in Austria and Switzerland, and still continuing to train.

Mark has been responsible for a lot of the maintenance work on Purple Ski chalets over the years, as well as working on UK building projects, gaining Electrician qualifications and lots of renovation experience.

Mark is well travelled, having visited half of the world’s countries. As a professional Expedition Leader he has taken teams all over the world, including climbing Mt Kilimanjairo, Africa’s highest mountain, and Mt Kinabalu, South East Asia’s highest peak, as well as Mt Fuji. He is trekking Poon Hill in the Annapurna foothills of Nepal in July 2020, and climbing Europe’s highest mountain, Mt Elbrus, in August 2020 with an ex-Purple Ski chef turned expedition leader.

As dependable as they come, a Purple Ski rock, we’re always delighted to have him on the team!

Beck McInnes, Human Resources Manager

Beck McInnes Beck has been an integral member of the Purple Ski team for many years now - previously as our Staff Manager - and we are so delighted that she is returning in the permanent role of Human Resources Manager.

Beck is from Lake Cargelligo, NSW, Australia (about 360 miles west of Sydney). She has a wealth of diverse work experience, including managing a summer camp, working with children in care (she holds a teaching degree) and teaching cookery at the Orchards Cookery School. Most recently she was the chef on a super yacht based in the Mediterranean.

Outside of work, Beck is passionate about fitness (she is a qualified personal trainer) and enjoys water-skiing, tennis, squash and netball. Her other passion is food - both cooking and eating!

She is endlessly hard-working, always positive and strives for the absolute best in everything she does. She is also very caring of all of those around her and brings sunshine wherever she goes.

Toby Crane-Buck, Operations, Planning & Analysis Manager

Toby Crane-Buck Toby is one of our longest-serving members of staff, now entering his seventh year with us. Originally from Stratford-upon-Avon, Toby graduated from Bristol University with a Masters in Maths and Physics in 2012. Post-degree, he decided he needed a bit more adventure in his life and spent a year travelling in Southern Africa and working in America at a summer camp, where he returned for four summers between his seasons with Purple Ski.

As well as his 6 years with us, Toby has a great deal of experience in the customer service industry having worked for a large hotel group and a security company, supervising a large team of security officers at major international events. Toby polished his snowboarding skills in his early seasons but has now been permanently converted to skiing (thanks to his now wife Hannah!).

Having been our Supplies and Maintenance manager for his first 5 seasons, he now runs our website as well as assisting Karen and Fleur with the day to day operations of the company.

Lou Hill, Supplies Manager

Lou Hill Louise (Lou) comes to work with Purple Ski as Supplies Manager having already spent many years in the luxury chalet industry, recently running her own well-reputed and award-winning catered chalet business in Meribel. Throughout her 25 years in hospitality and private households she has worked as a chef and manager from Antigua to Mallorca and from the Home Counties to Meribel and Megeve. Lou has cooked and provisioned for household names including celebrity chefs, and whether front of house or behind the scenes, she understands exceptional service. She could not be better placed to slot into the role at Purple Ski with great local knowledge and her never ending passion for food and dedication to customer service.

Lou lives all year round in the Meribel valley with her husband and cat. She loves hiking, is an avid snowboarder and a keen runner. Having recently completed a 100km race, Lou is now planning her next running challenge!

Lorraine Dunbar, Accountant

Lorraine Dunbar Lorraine is originally from Edinburgh and now based in London, where she looks after all things accounting for us. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2000 with Deloitte and then moved to Sydney where she continued to to work in finance, progressing to a senior role in a large engineering company.

Lorraine left the beautiful beaches of Sydney behind her when she returned to the UK in 2005, and worked for Barclays Bank and Tate & Lyle in treasury and finance positions, prior to starting a family.

Lorraine now has 4 children, aged 12, 11 and 8 and 6, and is happiest spending time outdoors with them all, but somehow also manages to work pretty much full time during the winter for us too. She is one of the only members of Purple Ski who can not actually ski. But maybe one day!


Peter Lomas, Resort Manager

Peter Lomas Originally from London, Pete is no stranger to the French Alps having worked seven seasons as a Resort Representative and Ski Technician, then promoted to Head Ski Technician, managing eight ski rental facilities and a team of ski technicians, representatives and shop managers.

Pete also has much hospitality experience, having managed a busy licenced pool bar in the heart of London during five inter-seasons, as well as summer hotel management work in France. His early work experience also includes working as a Teaching Assistant with adults and children with learning difficulties and as Crew Chief at the Royal Albert Hall, helping with the technical side of shows. During his few years away from the mountains, Pete worked in media, including as a Television Media Manager at the BBC.

Pete met his now-wife Alice in the Alps back in 2006-2007; they had always wanted to do a season again, and now they are on their fifth in a row with us! Pete is hard-working, dedicated and has excellent people skills - both as a leader and team member. He is endlessly positive, calm and is always smiling - as one of his referees said, we are "lucky to have him".

Alice Lomas, Staff Manager

Alice Lomas Alice joined us in 2016 with a view to taking a break from the fast-paced London life. Now on her sixth ski season, and fifth with us, it’s clear that she loves life in the mountains. She and our Val d'Isere Resort Manager Pete, were married on Lake Annecy in 2018, having met 13 years ago during Alice’s first season in Alpe d’Huez.

Prior to this she spent six years managing Coda, the fine dining restaurant at the Royal Albert Hall, and she brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the servicing and catering industry.

She has a bachelor’s honours degree in Media Studies from Chichester University and has worked as a sales assistant at the Riverside Art Gallery and a head waitress for Leiths at Glyndebourne Opera House. Out of the ‘office’, Alice is a yoga enthusiast and is qualified to teach level three Mat Pilates.

Alice is laid-back, empathetic and has a great sense of humour, alongside being extremely hard-working and organised. We could not be more delighted to have her back in the coordinating role of Assistant Resort Manager and Staff Supervisor.