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

Karen Broom Smith, Managing Director - Age 55

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!) and so Karen has taken over as Managing Director, but retaining her focus on the service delivery (about which she is as passionate as ever!), business development and on looking after the lovely properties and owner relationships. (Hannah Crane-Buck has taken over Michael’s sales responsibilities, augmenting her previous role as Customer Services Manager.)

Fleur Jeans, Operations Director - Age 33

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.

Hannah Crane-Buck, Sales & Customer Services Manager - Age 29

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, our Operations Manager. 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.

Toby Crane-Buck, Operations Planning & Analysis Manager - Age 29

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.

Beck McInnes, Human Resources Manager - Age 31

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.

Mark Dancey, Supplies Manager - Age 43

Mark Dancey Now 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 12 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!

India Green, Sales & Customer Services Assistant - Age 22

India Green From a family of restaurateurs/hoteliers, India has spent her life in and around hotels and restaurants which has taken her all over France, Spain and the USA. She is certainly no stranger to Méribel having holidayed here every year since she was very small.

She left Heathfield School to go straight into hospitality, starting as a waitress at Richard Caring's Sexy Fish in Mayfair. Since then she has worked as a Management Trainee for Ski France, primarily in the sales and customer service departments. She joined Purple Ski in 2018 in a part-time, UK-based role, but as of the 2019/20 season she will be resort-based and looking after the concierge arrangements for our guests' upcoming holidays.

India is an enthusiastic reader and her interests include travelling, dining out and looking after her beloved dog Molly. It's a pleasure to welcome her to the team!

Mike Fletcher, Admin Assistant/Driver - Age 27

Mike Fletcher Mike is returning for his second season with us, having loved his first winter in Meribel last season. Originally from Bristol, he developed his diverse skill set whilst travelling throughout the world. Amongst other adventures, he has completed three camps in the US as a waterfront director, and worked as a lifeguard, swimming teacher and an event representative in Dublin.

Mike’s role as Project Manager for the family business MHL Connect Ltd over a period of two years also gave him vast experience in all aspects of running a successful company, especially concerning administration, liaising with suppliers and clients and driving.

A keen climber as well as skier and snowboarder, Mike definitely makes the most of all that living in the Alps offers. Undoubtedly a people person, Purple Ski clients can rest assured they will be in safe hands with Mike.

Alice Bragg, Operations/Admin Assistant - Age 26

Alice Bragg Alice has recently joined the team once more after 3 previous seasons with us as Chalet Manager from 2015 until 2018 in chalets la Varappe and Bartavelles. Since her last season, Alice spent 18 months working on board two sailing yachts as a Stewardess and travelled to unique places including the Galapagos islands, Fiji and French Polynesia. Alice has 8 years of experience in luxury hospitality and is very passionate about what she does. We are sure she will enjoy her new role with us.

Lorraine Dunbar, Accountant - Age 43

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!

Support

Alice Lomas, Relief Chalet Manager & Staff Supervisor - Age 31

Alice Lomas Alice joined us in 2016 with a view to taking a break from the fast-paced London life. Now on her fifth ski season, and fourth with us, it’s clear that she loves life in the mountains. She and our Lead Driver & Maintenance 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 Staff Supervisor.

Peter Lomas, Lead Driver & Maintenance Manager - Age 37

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 fourth 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".

Becky Meacham, Relief Chef - Age 25

Becky Meacham Becky, originally from Macclesfield, is returning to us for her second season. She has significant hospitality and catering experience (and is an excellent cook), in addition to a foundation degree in Art and Design from Manchester Metropolitan University and a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Edinburgh.

One of Becky’s roles was with the successful Zebra Coffee Company, a specialist establishment in Edinburgh where she held the varied positions of supervisor, barista, cook and baker (her cakes are amazing). She has also volunteered in a primary school and a Fine Art gallery in Angers and completed an artist residency in Tuscany. This varied and unique skill-set is a real asset to Purple Ski.

She is an enthusiastic skier with a love of outdoor pursuits such as horse riding, sailing, surfing and especially mountaineering. At university, she was a committed member of the Hill Walking Club, frequently organising trips to the Scottish Highlands. More recently she undertook the 250 mile John Muir Trail in California through the Sierra Nevada wilderness. Becky also has good conversation-level French.

We are so pleased that she is joining us again this season!

Hannah Oldham, Relief Chalet Manager - Age 28

Hannah Oldham Hannah is returning for a third season with us, following a break spent living in London. Hugely customer service orientated, Hannah has spent the last year working for Daunt Books, a specialist bookshop in London. Prior to this, she spent several years working for Hatchards bookshop and as an assistant manager in Waterstones Manchester Deansgate, overseeing the children’s section. Her early work experience in London included working as a nanny, which she loved.

Between seasons, Hannah travelled with her partner Ross - our Lead Chef - in Southeast Asia and Australia, where she held several hospitality jobs. Hannah has a bachelor’s honours degree in English and Classical Studies from the University of Exeter, and will also spend this season studying towards an MA.

Hannah is an experienced skier and loves reading, writing and spending time with friends. She is intelligent and curious, kind and empathetic - we are so happy to welcome her back into the Purple Ski family this season.

Michael Scott, General Assistant - Age 23

Michael Scott Michael, from Poulton-le-Fylde, joins us for his first winter season. He is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Leeds. During his studies he worked in small teams on exciting design projects including building his own 3D printer! Outside of studies and work, Michael has many interesting achievements and hobbies including canoeing from the West to the East coast of Scotland for charity, 2 years volunteering at a children’s hospice, playing piano and guitar and recently completing the Leeds Half Marathon. He is friendly, hardworking and dedicated and will be a great addition to the team this year.

Thomas Prolze, Relief Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 30

Thomas Prolze Tom is returning for his fourth season with us (but his fifth in the Three Valleys, before joining us he worked for an airport transfer company based in the Courchevel and Meribel Valleys). He is perfectly suited to the role of Relief Chalet Assistant/Driver, as having already worked in Chalets Foinsbois, La Varappe and Les Bartavelles he knows all of the chalets intimately.

Tom has a real wealth of experience from previous roles, which include two years working around Australia making use of his trade of landscape gardener, volunteering in organic farming, two summers working as a mountain bike instructor in a camp in Pennsylvania and as a self-employed landscaping servicing contractor back in the UK.

He has spent two of the last summers working in France for an outdoor activities company, and the last 18 months as site manager for a holiday park in Looe, Cornwall. He adores being outdoors, is very hard-working and extremely dedicated, doing everything to the highest standard.

Tom is an expert skier and loves the mountain lifestyle. He is kind, caring, quietly sociable and always dependable - an absolute pleasure to have on the team.

Chalet Les Bartavelles

Robert Montgomery, Chef - Age 39

Robert Montgomery Robert, originally from Glasgow, is joining us for his first season, bringing with him a wealth of experience gained over 20 years in professional kitchens. He has several years as an Executive Chef under his belt, including for the G1 Group, who operate high-end restaurants in luxury hotels as the 5* Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh.

Robert has also brought his passion to roles in many fine dining restaurants, such as in the Michelin starred restaurant in the Massaria Don Santi hotel and the 2 AA Rosette Starred restaurant in the Menzies hotel. He is especially skilled in using seasonal and local produce, building menus, and using his knowledge of Asian cuisine (gained from travelling extensively in Asia) to create mouthwatering recipes.

Having started snowboarding last year, Robert is excited to spend time enjoying the mountains this season. Confident and charming, with a real flair in the kitchen, we know he will be a great addition to the Purple Ski team.

Paige Sutton, Chalet Manager - Age 23

Paige Sutton Paige, originally from South Wales joins us for her second season. Prior to working with us, she held the role of Restaurant and Events Supervisor for the very nice 5* boutique hotel Lanelay Hall in Cardiff. Her other high-end hospitality roles include at a 4* spa & leisure resort, at a 4* hotel and as a supervisor in a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill.

Paige enjoys travelling, going to the gym and is looking forward to developing her skills as a snowboarder, alongside being an experienced skier. She also has a keen interest in fashion and holds an NVQ Level 3 qualification in Production Arts Make-Up.

She is truly delightful - very warm, kind, quietly confident and is a dedicated individual who always strives to go the extra mile for guests and friends alike. We are so pleased she is back with us this season.

Sophie Davies, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 26

Sophie Davies Sophie spent the last two years working in Australia in various roles including head waitress at Som Thai Restaurant in Broome where she was responsible for training the junior staff and ensuring that a smooth service was delivered to the customers. For the past year Sophie has worked as a boat detailer in Fremantle internally and externally making sure that the boats were cleaned and maintained to the highest possible standard. With a passion for photography which led her to complete a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in contemporary lens media she then went on to work as a photographer at events, weddings and has worked in promotion of websites and catalogues in the UK and Australia.

Sophie also enjoys travelling which included a stint of work at a bar in Bolivia, as well as having a love for music, video editing, health and cooking.

Cameron Price, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 24

Cameron Price Cameron, a primary school teacher and a member of the Army Reserves, is joining us for a second season. He is also no stranger to the world of hospitality having worked as a bar assistant at the 4* Le Monde bar on George Street, Edinburgh.

Through his military training, which began in 2013 in the Aberdeen Universities Officer Training Corps, Cameron has gained military qualifications in driving both cars and minibuses and is comfortable driving vans, not to mention pick-up trucks and even tanks. And if teaching 32 nine-year-olds on a day-to-day basis isn’t proof enough of his management and organisational skills, he also worked for three years as a supervisor at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, working closely with the public, police and armed forces.

An extremely motivated individual, Cameron has already completed two military ski qualifications but is keen to further develop his skiing ability and also to improve his French conversation level. As well as having a love for travel, he is enthusiastic about many sports. A former talented hockey player, he still exercises regularly training for relay marathons. We are delighted to have him back this season.

Chalet Foinsbois

Ross Dunk, Chef - Age 28

Ross Dunk Ross is returning for his third season, having spent the last 18 months as the Head Chef at The Shed restaurant in Notting Hill, London. He led a brigade of seven chefs, delivering modern British ‘small plates’. With a daily changing menu, Ross created dishes using his unique talent and flair and a ‘farm to fork’, sustainable approach.

Prior to first joining us for the 2016/17 season, Ross worked in London for nine years, alongside a number of brilliant and influential chefs who helped him hone his culinary skill. He has worked under Tom Aikens, Barry Tonks and Pascal Aussagniac at the Michelin starred Club Gascon. He has also worked at the famous 5* Claridges Hotel, and at Mark Hix’s flagship Faringdon restaurant.

Ross is extremely passionate about cooking, is ever-energetic and determined to always deliver the very best. Throughout all of his experience he has acquired an aptitude for providing the highest quality guest experience for a clientele who expect the best, too.

He is an excellent leader but is also a generous and supportive team player - he is kind-hearted, dependable and brings a lovely energy and friendliness to the kitchen, and to our team overall. As well as having a deep love of food, he is passionate about the outdoors and sees working in the mountains as a wonderful opportunity to combine these pursuits. An experienced skier, he is hoping to also become an expert snowboarder by the end of this season.

Alongside his partner Hannah - our Relief Chalet Manager - he is delighted to return to the Purple Ski family as our Lead Chef. We could not be more happy to have tempted him back!

Suzie Hodges, Chalet Manager - Age 22

Suzie Hodges Suzie is rejoining the team for her third season, following a year’s break. Having spent her first two seasons with us as the Chalet Assistant at Foinbois, we are delighted to welcome her as an experienced and passionate Chalet Manager.

Suzie has spent the last 18 months as the Venue Manager for The Great Barn (an exclusive wedding venue). She has gained plenty of experience working in the hospitality industry for the past seven years, in roles ranging from KP through to bar duties. She has also worked for the AA Rosette Awarded restaurant, the NoBody Inn.

A talented photographer, Suzie has a Diploma in Art & Design (Lens Media), achieving great results. Having been skiing on annual family holidays since the tender age of 4, she is an expert skier who very much knows her way around the Three Valleys. She is also quite musical, playing the flute and the cello.

Suzie is highly motivated, efficient and brings positivity wherever she goes. She is responsible, friendly and just lovely; we are overjoyed to have her back on the team!

Elizabeth White, Chalet Assistant - Age 24

Elizabeth White With three winter seasons under her belt, Lizzie is no stranger to the mountains having previously worked in Hotel les Aravis, near La Clusaz, where she had various responsibilities ranging from guest enquiries, serving three meals a day for up to 50 guests, and eventually organising the housekeeping team to ensure high standards were met throughout the hotel. More recently back in her native Bristol, Lizzie has assisted the manager in the day to day running of a luxury home-ware and furniture brand. Highly approachable and hardworking we know that she'll bring a warm and welcoming environment to Chalet Foinsbois.

George McConachie, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 22

George McConachie A 2019 graduate from the University of Bath, George gained a degree in Politics and Economics. Whilst studying at Bath he worked as an intern as a credit risk analyst at Jefferies International and gained valuable customer service experience waiting tables. Prior to his degree, George spent some time volunteering for a youth trust in Uganda. More recently he has been an Engineer Assistant at Macair FMI Limited, where he was responsible for transporting construction materials in large vehicles and helping the engineers with practical duties.

A keen cricket and hockey player, George was the captain of his University hockey team where he showed leadership and team skills as well as organising social activities and coordinating training. A real social animal who loves spending time with other people and is excited to deliver excellent service at Purple Ski.

Chalet Iona

Jack Luby, Chef - Age 26

Jack Luby Jack is a dedicated and passionate chef and joins us for his first ever ski season. He has ten years of experience as a chef and has achieved a lot in that time, notably 6 months as Head Chef at the Tytherleigh Arms in Devon during which the restaurant achieved 2 AA rosettes and its first mention in the Michelin Guide as well as 3 years as Chef de Partie at the 1 Michelin star Chapter One. He is no stranger to adventure and has previously spent a year in Vietnam working as a restaurant consultant, assisting with the opening of two fine dining tapas restaurants. He is friendly, hardworking and is sure to delight the guests at chalet Iona this season.

Gerda Müller, Chalet Manager - Age 38

Gerda Müller Joining us with her partner Christian and their dog Rocky, Gerda comes with a rich background in high-end hospitality. She has completed several previous seasons in Courchevel and Verbier, working in luxury chalets both private and for exclusive companies.

In one such chalet, Gerda was responsible for the running of four catered chalets, caring for all of the clients’ needs and managing the chalet staff. She has also worked in other private residences, including managing the housekeeping and catering at Santa Catalina Residential Arts school in Spain.

Gerda has a passion for sculpting and has worked as a make-up artist, as well as doing prosthetics for horror movies. Alongside her wholehearted commitment to all of the diverse jobs she has held, it is her bubbly, friendly and open personality that has given her such esteemed recognition from previous employers and clients. In her work, she always strives for perfection. We are so happy to have her on the team.

Christian Kogel, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 27

Christian Kogel Christian, from Germany, joins us with his partner Gerda and their dog Rocky. He has plenty of experience driving larger vehicles having previously worked as a wind turbine technician, taking responsibility for valuable equipment. In this role, he operated huge cranes and was responsible for the welfare of himself and others in doing so, as well as for his clients’ needs. He also completed an apprenticeship in toolmaking in 2014.

Whilst travelling in their converted van, Christian and Gerda found employment on a farm in Southern Spain, where his responsibilities included maintenance, animal care and gardening.

Having played football for 15 years, Christian prides himself as a team player. He is hardworking, reliable and sociable, and we look forward to having him on the Purple Ski team.

Zoe Roberts, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 25

Zoe Roberts Having previously worked as a rep in Val Thorens, Zoe is back in the mountains and doing her first season with us at Purple Ski. A passion for the outdoors has led her to become watch leader and officer for the Rona Sailing project in Southampton from 2013 where she's taught sailing on week long training voyages on yachts as well as cooking and delivering meals for 20+ people.

Zoe has also worked in hospitality at events and venues in Scotland as a host and silver service waitress. More recently she has worked as a villa host in a private household in Saudi Arabia managing a small team and ensuring a 5 star service was delivered.

Zoe completed a degree in painting at the University of Edinburgh and this has led her to become a freelance artist and is looking to get into garden design following this winter.

Apart from sailing Zoe loves to surf, hike and ski. She's bubbly, smiley and hard working and we can't wait for her to start.

Steve Rooney, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 53

Steve Rooney Steve, a trained carpenter and joiner from Glasgow, joins us this season for his second at Purple Ski. Since 1990 he has worked for B&Q, most recently in the capacity of Trading Manager at Arbroath Superstore managing a team of 42 and was awarded out of 36,000 employees the accolade of National B&Q Hero. With this accolade came a year off during which he did his first season. After that he was hooked, he has now moved along with his wife and two children to a house near Albertville.

He is an avid snowboarder, committed to improving his level of French. Steve is a very likeable and conscientious individual; it is a pleasure to have him with us in Méribel.

Chalet Lapin Blanc

Adam Pitfield, Chef - Age 24

Adam Pitfield Adam, from Bolton, joins us for his first winter season having spent the past year as head chef at a modern British brasserie in Newcastle ("Pleased to Meet You"). He started out as an apprentice from school at Abode in Manchester and then worked his way up to commis chef at the Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons where he worked for two years. Following this Adam went on to work at the Michelin Starred, 3AA Rosette awarded Samling Hotel where he was the Senior Chef De Partie in which he took on more responsibilities such as the running of the meat and fish section and the supervising of the commis and demi chefs. In 2016 Adam became Sous Chef at the Laundrette Restaurants in Manchester and Newcastle where he assisted in the opening of both restaurants and the training of new staff.

Adam took some time out to travel round Vietnam and Thailand before working at St Crispin Melbourne Australia as Chef De Partie. In his spare time he enjoys eating out and trying different restaurants. He loves to play football and is a long suffering fan of Bolton Wanderers.

Ami Harvey, Chalet Manager - Age 25

Ami Harvey Ami, from Essex, comes to us from a creative background having performed in shows around the world at venues such as Disney Land Paris and the Royal Albert Hall in London. She also has a wide range of hospitality experience starting at Essex county cricket ground where she ran marquee events for up to 200 people. At Chelmsford city racecourse Ami was responsible in organising sit down dinners, race meetings, wedding fairs and parties. More recently at the Warren golf and country club Ami, helped organise the planning and delivery of weddings. This summer she has spent her time working for Eurocamp in Spain, advising guests about the local area and activities as well as maintaining the high standards in the accommodations.

Ami is highly organised with a meticulous attention to detail and takes pride in the work she does which is why we know she will be a wonderful addition to the Purple Ski team.

Katie Hodges, Chalet Assistant - Age 22

Katie Hodges Having just graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Criminology, Katie is taking some time out to embrace her passion for skiing. Originally from Devon, Katie has a wealth of hospitality experience including working at the Lord Haldon country hotel where she assisted in the preparation of weddings and conferences, as well training and mentoring new members of staff. More recently but over many years, Katie has been working at the Great Barn wedding venue acting as venue manager. Katie has also been working as a anager for Activate NCS a youth organisation which involved coordinating team leaders and assistants with the planning of activities and sessions.

As well as being an experienced skier, Katie is a keen paddle boarder and likes to stay active. This will be her first season and her get up and seize the day outlook will stand her in good stead for the season to come. We’re very excited to have her as part of the team.

Angus Webster, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 24

Angus Webster Angus is happily rejoining us for a second season. Hailing from the Borders area of Scotland, he graduated in 2017 in Marketing Management from Edinburgh Napier University. Following this he travelled to New Zealand where he worked in a range of positions - as a Brand Ambassador for the IN Group, an Analyst for the Ministry of Education, an Applicator for Concrete Solutions and a Food and Beverage attendant for Skyline.

Since returning to Scotland Angus has been employed as a Driver and Guide for Radical Travel Ltd (Haggis Adventures/Highland Explorer Tours), providing ideal experience for his role with us. He also has previous experience as a waiter at the exclusive wedding venue Wedderburn Castle.

Angus is a keen traveller and rugby player who enjoys engaging with his clients. He strapped on a pair of skis for the first time last season and immediately became enamoured with the sport. This season he aims to improve his skills on the slopes, and we are overjoyed to have him back.

Chalet La Petite Pia

Dane Williamson, Chef - Age 30

Dane Williamson Back for his fourth season with us (he loves it!), Dane’s career as a chef began when he was 15 years old, when he worked in the kitchen of a busy pub near his home in Sunderland for two weeks of “work experience”. He hated his first, exhaustingly busy day but then fascination set in and, 14 years later, he hasn’t looked back! After four years at the pub he finished up with an NVQ and as the Chef de Partie.

Following this, Dane moved to The Seaham Hall Hotel in Durham, where he worked for two and a half years in their 2 AA Rosette Awarded restaurant. It is here that he honed his culinary technique, as well as his discipline and precision. Before first joining us he was the Chef de Partie at the Samling Hotel in Cumbria (which won its Michelin star and the title “Best Boutique Dining Hotel in the World” while he was there.

Highly ambitious and passionate about food, Dane is always looking for new challenges and so for the past two years has done lots of agency work at many other high-end restaurants, though often returning to The Samling when needed. He has spent the past three summers working as a private chef for a very high end client at his villa in St Tropez (cooking for celebrities ...and royals too!).

As well as being an excellent chef, Dane is a real people person, intelligent, chatty, funny and caring. He loves skiing and so is extremely pleased to be able to continue his career and professional development while also being able to improve his skiing skills. We are so pleased and proud to have him back on the team.

Fiona McDonald, Chalet Manager - Age 26

Fiona McDonald We are delighted to welcome Fiona to the team this year. She has extensive experience in hospitality including a previous ski season for Ski Blanc, as well as leading a team as Bar Manager for over a year at The Hind Hotel in Wellingborough. She is a very creative person having gained a degree in Art in 2015 and has more recently transferred her creativity to the kitchen, describing herself as a keen amateur baker. Fiona is loyal, hardworking and enthusiastic and will no doubt be a great addition to the team at Petit Pia.

Ryan Smith, Chalet Assistant/Driver/Masseuse - Age 34

Ryan Smith Ryan has been running his own sports massage and therapist company in Derbyshire for over a year now which initially started out as a mobile operation and is now a successful clinic. Through his service he has provided therapy to professional boxers, long distance runners and was the lead therapist to the Nottingham Lions ice hockey club. This experience has also led him to guest lecturing at Derby University for the sports massage component of their sports therapy degree.

Ryan is a keen long distance runner, has run several marathons and ultra-marathons, and is a keen ice skater both on his own and with ice hockey teams. Having previously worked in the British Army, he was respected by his peers for his knowledge, high level of attention to detail and his high level of organisation. This, coupled with his hospitality experience in both hotels and restaurants, and a philosophy to do ordinary things extraordinarily well, means Ryan will be a great asset to the Purple Ski team this season.

Chalet La Varappe

Glenn Davies, Chef - Age 27

Glenn Davies Glenn has been tempted back for his second full season, having joined us for the end of last season. He comes from his role as the Head Chef at the Charles Bathhurst Inn in The Yorkshire Dales, having maintained the restaurant’s AA Rosette and its strong reputation for excellent food.

Hailing from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, Glenn first fell into cooking after going for a trial at the 2 AA Rosette Awarded restaurant in the Seaham Hall Hotel & Spa in Durham. After only a few days there, he fell in love with the culinary world and he hasn’t looked back since. Following his time at Seaham Hall, Glenn has worked in several more fine dining restaurants, including at the 2 AA Rosette Awarded Library Restaurant in the Matfen Hall Hotel and the Michelin starred restaurant at the Samling Hotel. It was at the Samling Hotel that Glenn met Dane (our Petite Pia chef) and decided to work for us for the 2016/7 season.

Glenn is ambitious, keen to learn and full of well-earned self-belief. He is laid back, adaptable and simply gets on well with everyone. Away from his work, he loves being active - having not skied before his first season, it took him an impressively short time to be alongside the best skiers on the team. We are delighted to have him back.

Freya Reid, Chalet Manager - Age 22

Freya Reid Having done a fantastic job as our Relief Chalet Assistant last season, Freya is rejoining us in a fixed manager position this year.

Freya, originally from Bath, has a significant amount of customer service experience behind her, having worked as the assistant manager of the Ring O Bells (an award-winning gastropub), as a shop assistant and as a member of the bar staff at functions throughout the country for HAP Recruitment. She also has a bachelor’s honours degree in English Literature from the University of Aberystwyth.

Extremely organised and full of initiative, Freya loves working as part of a team and is a self-admitted perfectionist. She enjoys engaging with clients and always strives to go the extra mile. We are so pleased that she is returning to the team.

Simon Rigg, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 45

Simon Rigg Returning to us his second season, Simon is already well-seasoned in the mountains. He has been skiing since aged 10, and he has worked for two previous seasons, based in Courchevel and La Feclaz.

Back in the UK, Simon has worked in landscape gardening for over twenty years, running his own company Outdoor Living for eight years, and more recently as a team leader at Bliss Landscapes. Here, he managed projects and enjoyed liaising with clients. Simon also has an abundance of driving experience - he is a qualified HGV driver and is well accustomed to tackling the Alpine conditions in any kind of vehicle.

As well as these outdoor pursuits, Simon loves spending time with his family and friends, camping and foraging, and walking his blue whippet Beau. He is endlessly hard-working, personable and always does his utmost to please his clients. We are so glad to have him back on the team this season.

Chalet Margaux

Adam Browne, Chef - Age 37

Adam Browne Adam’s passion for learning and travelling comes through in his food. Professionally trained in the UK with Michelin-starred chefs, he has worked in North America, the Caribbean, Australia, exclusive chalets in the French Alps and on luxury yachts in the Mediterranean. Adam met Laura whilst working for Purple Ski on their first season, back in 2011, and were married in 2019 in the Scottish Highlands. A trained ski instructor and yacht-master, Adam is a keen reader and goes through a couple of books a week. He loves writing, photography, yoga and meditation and is currently in training for his first half Ironman.

Laura Geyer, Chalet Manager - Age 26

Laura Geyer Laura is thrilled to be back working and living in the Alps. Since her first season with Purple Ski back in 2011, the three valleys have always felt like home. Laura has since worked alongside Adam in private catering in Corsica and as yacht crew. Laura is a Graphic Designer and gained her degree with first class honours at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Scotland. She is also a qualified Yoga teacher and during the summer teaches private clients. Together Adam and Laura run their own Yoga and wellness retreats. They work fantastically together and we are sure all our clients will feel right at home in their care.

Alistair Alexander, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 29

Alistair Alexander Ali, from Kent, joins us with a strong background in sports. After completing his degree in Sports and exercise science at Canterbury Christ Church University he then went on to become a PE teacher at St Anselm’s Catholic School before becoming second in charge of the department. Ali is passionate about outdoor pursuits having previously lead students on outdoor adventure trips whilst also finding the time to coach and play with football and rugby teams in and around Kent with finals and trophies along the way.

Having recently travelled around New Zealand and before that China to set up an English language course company with a friend; Ali is now very excited for the season ahead. We welcome onboard his enthusiasm and positive attitude to the team.


Sol Garrett-Hanna, Chalet Assistant/Driver - Age 24

Sol Garrett-Hanna Born and bred in rural Scotland, Sol loves all things outdoors be it snowboarding, climbing or biking. He enjoys travelling and has spent the last year working in New Zealand chasing the snow and working in a hostel in Lake Tekapo helping guests book tours and plan their trips. Previously he has worked as a bike mechanic both in Glasgow and Perth which went hand in hand with his passion for the sport.

Sol is an all round handy guy with lots of experience in land scaping, carpentry and construction whilst gaining a degree in Mechanical engineering at The University of Dundee. We look forward to the energy and positive outlook that Sol will bring to the team.

Hollie Strawson, General Assistant - Age 24

Hollie Strawson Hollie is returning for a second season in the French Alps - her first with us. Originally from London, she has a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and plenty of experience including a year working at Walt Disney World, where she developed her skills in managing clients and qualified in First Aid and as a lifeguard.

Highly customer service focused, Hollie has most recently worked as a Project Coordinator for Firehouse Productions. She prides herself on being organised, adaptable and a committed team player.

Away from work, Hollie enjoys many sports including hockey, tennis, and water-skiing, as well as having a love for skiing. She also loves to travel and to use her cookery qualifications (gained from Orchards Cookery School and the City and Guilds) to entertain family and friends.

Masseuses

Maura Coffey, Chalet Assistant/Masseuse - Age 24

Maura Coffey Originally from Ireland, Maura graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Physiotherapy. Following the completion of her degree she stayed on in the South Wales area gaining valuable experience in the NHS specialising in Musculoskeletal and sports medicine. Maura has also worked part time for Llandaff North rugby club where she independently runs assessments, providing pitch side physio cover for the ladies rugby team and pre and post event massage for the players. As well as the physiotherapy work, Maura has spent a number of years working at the Glamorgan cricket club hosting guests in private hospitality boxes. With her experience and knowledge we know that Maura will be a great asset to Purple Ski.

Ryan Smith, Chalet Assistant/Driver/Masseuse - Age 34

Ryan Smith Ryan has been running his own sports massage and therapist company in Derbyshire for over a year now which initially started out as a mobile operation and is now a successful clinic. Through his service he has provided therapy to professional boxers, long distance runners and was the lead therapist to the Nottingham Lions ice hockey club. This experience has also led him to guest lecturing at Derby University for the sports massage component of their sports therapy degree.

Ryan is a keen long distance runner, has run several marathons and ultra-marathons, and is a keen ice skater both on his own and with ice hockey teams. Having previously worked in the British Army, he was respected by his peers for his knowledge, high level of attention to detail and his high level of organisation. This, coupled with his hospitality experience in both hotels and restaurants, and a philosophy to do ordinary things extraordinarily well, means Ryan will be a great asset to the Purple Ski team this season.