Staff Spotlight

Meet some of the amazing members of our team!

Kristin

 

Kristin’s the very definition of the word “lovely”, and we’ve been lucky enough to have her working at the lodge for almost a year.
Whether she’s in The Great Room or The Sandbar Bistro, Kristin always sets the standard for excellent service. Her co-workers admire her work ethic and they all know that things run a little smoother when she’s on-shift.
But she’s so much more than a really good server! She actually went to hair school and was a hairstylist and lash technician in downtown Vancouver before she decided that city living just wasn’t for her. Since then, she’s been serving seasonally at some of Canada’s most beautiful locations. She did a winter in Terrace, working at the Northern Escape heli-skiing lodge. She’s also done two summers at the Queen Charlotte Lodge, in Haida Gwaii. And she did a winter working at The Post Hotel in Lake Louise, where she learned to snowboard. Once she eventually settles down and stops travelling, she plans to become an RMT.
Kristin moved here “to chase the beach vibes” after backpacking through Mexico. And while she didn’t move here to surf, the ocean ultimately drew her in.
“I bought my own cute little longboard and now I can surf out back,” she explains with a laugh. “My goal for this summer was to catch a green wave, and I can do that now…Life in Tofino is so much different when you surf!”
Of course, the open road’s always calling, and she’s set her sights on Australia. Kristin plans to head that way in the coming months with Curtis Coneybeare (you may remember him from last month’s Staff Spotlight).
“We could see ourselves there longer term,” she explains. “I’m definitely ready to leave Canada for a few years.
The two of them plan to travel through Southeast Asia on the way there, stopping by in the Philippines to visit Kristin’s dad. But she’ll leave a little piece of her heart behind at the lodge.
“Honestly, I love working here,” she says. “The amount of sunrises and sunsets that I’ve seen working here has been incredible.”



Curtis

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Curtis Coneybeare. This hard-workin’ fella is the main reason that The Surf Club is more than, well, just a Surf Club.

Curtis made the transition from Chef to Surf Instructor about a year ago. But with over 13 years of experience working at some of the finer restaurants in Canada and Australia, his expertise keeps The Surf Club’s kitchen running like a top.

Hailing from Sault Ste. Marie, he’s lived in Tofino for about 8 years total. He’s had a few interludes, one where he travelled through Asia, and another one where he spent a year in Australia working in restaurants and on farms.

But Curtis’s career path is unlike most chefs’. When he was 16 years-old he was basically homeless, bouncing from one couch to the next. But then a friend got him a job as a dishwasher and within a year and a half, he had worked his way up to Supervisor. His cooking career helped him finish high school before he did a two-year Business Management program at Canadore College in North Bay, Ontario.
After that, he picked Long Beach Lodge Resort off a long list of potential employers, sent off his resumé and moved out west. He started in the Great Room kitchen at the entremet station, creating smaller dishes before moving through the ranks and becoming the Kitchen Manager.

He moved around a little before eventually returning to the lodge, a time during which he helped open a few award-winning restaurants in Victoria. He also did a stint behind the line at The Wickaninnish Inn.
But working in the galley can be hard on you over time, and after seeing the toll that it took on some of his co-workers, Curtis became the Food and Beverage Manager at The Surf Club.
“Now instead of putting food up and hoping for the best, I get a face-to-face experience,” he explains. “Plus surfing is fun. It’s a great way to get in the water and get in touch with yourself.”
On his days off, Curtis likes to play basketball on the local courts, go fishing, camping and, of course, surf the waves right out front the lodge. But he’s put a lot of his own time into curating an epic drink list at The Surf Club. And he’d like everyone to know that, thanks to his efforts, it’s the best beer selection out of all the lodge’s dining operations.

Shots fired!

 

LBLR Team 2022

 

This month’s Staff Spotlight focuses on the collective story of our entire crew. A business is only as strong as the people who run it, so we’re happy to be rolling into the Summer 2022 with a team full of heavyweights!

Every one of our departments is stacked with masters of their respective crafts. From iconic chefs to event-planning masterminds, fastidious housekeepers to seasoned surf instructors, skilled maintenance crews to book-balancing ninjas, and a management team that connects all the dots, the shared experience of our staff runs deep.
This is an exciting time of year for Long Beach Lodge Resort. Our return staff has passed their expertise on to our new team members and we’re all ready to help make your stay a memorable one.  To be fair, the ever-changing moods of the dramatic coastline will do that anyways. But we’d like to think that our team helps make paradise even better.
We’re super proud of the team that we’ve put together, and we can’t for you to meet them all. Our crew for 2022 is made up of both long-time locals and people from all over the world, a combination that inspires our own unique style of hospitality. We all love where we live! And that shines through in everything we do.
Life is beautiful out here at the end of the road.
We can’t wait to share it with you.

 

Piolo

 

On any given morning in front of Long Beach Lodge Resort, there will be a lone, smiling figure sitting further out than the other surfers. Once the ocean comes alive, you might see that smiling face zip down the line on the nicest wave of the day. That unmistakable grin belongs to Piolo Romero, one of the Great Room’s most glorious Night Cooks. And he’s probably catching that wave to work.
Piolo radiates positivity at all times. He’s an absolute joy to work with, and his passion for the culinary arts shines through in every meal that he makes.
“I love making Agnoloti because everything is made from scratch and it’s so fresh,” he says when asked what his favourite dish is in the Great Room. “And I love cooking Seafood Tagliatelle because it reminds me of home!”
Piolo’s originally from Mindanao, a province in the southern part of The Philippines. He moved to Canada with his parents 11 years ago, landing first in Saskatoon and then attending school at VIU in Nanaimo before starting with us at the lodge in 2019. Like so many people before him, he was only meant to stay for one summer. But three years later, he’s still here cooking—and surfing—up a storm.
“Cooking was always something close to my heart, because I grew up with it,” he says. “My whole family has always cooked. And it’s really important to have balance outside of work, so surfing keeps things on an even keel.”
Last winter, Piolo took his skills on the road with fellow LBL team member Ollie MacDonald. The two of them worked at Sky Bistro, which sits atop Sulphur Mountain in Banff, Alberta. Neither of them had done a season in the mountains before, and they roadtripped throughout BC and Alberta’s finer ski resorts.
“It was an experience I’ll never forget.” says Piolo.
But the ocean has since called them home, and we’re very thankful to have both Piolo and Ollie back for another busy summer season!


Sylvia

 

 

Meet Sylvia Gene: a girl whose beaming smile makes you feel right at home the moment you arrive at the lodge. We’re so fortunate to have found the perfect person to welcome guests at our Greeting Hut.

“Sometimes a smile can change people!” she says.

Sylvia’s originally from Papua New Guinea, where she spent the first part of her life working in tourism and playing rugby, basketball and other team sports. She loves sports and secretly hopes the lodge will sponsor her to play rugby at tournaments around Vancouver Island.

“They haven’t seen my skills yet!” she exclaims with a laugh. “I learn fast! And when I teach people, they learn fast!”

In the meantime, Sylvia’s holding it down at the Greeting Hut, a job that she truly loves. She’s been working in hospitality, landscaping and agriculture since she first came to Canada in 2012, arriving first in Port Alberni and coming on with the lodge a few years ago.

“I love people!” she says.” “And I love greeting people and saying Hi!”

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of meeting Sylvia can confirm this, even the surfers who are told, as nicely as humanly possible, that they have to park on the road.

Sylvia speaks four languages, three of which are part of Papua New Guinea’s 186 dialects. But she actually began learning how to read and write English when she first arrived in Canada ten years ago.

Aside from sports, languages and people, Sylvia loves music. Her favourites are Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and anything gospel.  She also loves to sing and dance, but maybe not as much as she loves brightening people’s days. “Happiness is more important than anything!” she says.

We could all learn a thing or two from Sylvia Gene.


Norman

  Introducing one of the unsung heroes of the resort. Aside from Tim and his brother, Tony, Norman is our longest-serving staff member with almost 18 years under his belt.
Most of Norman’s duties are performed when our guests are fast asleep. As Night Audit Supervisor, Norman and his crew are responsible for organizing the finances at the end of every business day. Not only that, Norman diligently walks the property a few times each shift to make sure that all is well at Long Beach Lodge Resort.
Norman’s 59 years-old and he’s originally from Vancouver, BC. In the early 2000s, Norman worked at a Hotel on the intersection of Hornby and Davie Street. But he grew tired of the hustle, bustle and crime.
“I just needed to get out of the city,” he says. So he gave his two weeks, headed west and we’ve been lucky to have him ever since.
Norman commutes for each shift from his home in Ucluelet, where lives with a Cockatoo named Snowy that he’s had for almost 30 years! He absolutely loves animals. On his days off, he sometimes explores Ucluelet’s rugged coastline—camera in hand—hoping to catch moments of Westcoast magic. But his days off are also essential for catching up on rest.
“I usually lose my first day off to sleep,” he admits.
Norman worked as a photographer on Cruise Ships for a short time in the pre-digital era. The job took him all over the world, but he warns that it wasn’t as glamourous as it sounds. The hours were long, the rooms were cramped and the seas were often rough. He’s since found a much better rhythm out here on the coast, though he may move back to Vancouver to be closer to his family when he retires.
We’d be sad to see him go! But we’ll be eternally thankful for Norman’s dedicated service to the lodge.  According to his co-workers, he’s NEVER late and his attention to detail is second-to-none. Also, Norman’s been around for 18 of our 20 years, so you’d be hard-pressed to find an employee who knows our business better than he does.
The next time you’re up late (or early) at the resort, be sure to say hello!

Mukul

  Mukul joined the Lodge team in May of 2021 after graduating with his Masters in Hospitality Management. With a specialization in human resources, training and development, he seamlessly transitioned into the position of Food and Beverage Supervisor. When he first arrived in Tofino he was taken aback by the beautiful beaches and hiking trails. His summer bucket list includes whale watching and exploring the bomber trail. Mukul loves to cook and have dinner parties, making him a natural host to our guests within the Great Room. He's inspired by our unparalleled view, transforming sunset photos of Cox Bay into beautiful paintings. Mukul wants to share his love for food & beverage with others in Tofino by implementing a hospitality and tourism training program here on the coast. His creativity, ambition, passion, and knowledge makes him a strong asset to the team and we are so proud to have him aboard. Say hello to Mukul in the Great Room on your next visit!

Wivine

  Wivine joined our housekeeping team late 2021 after completing a hospitality management program. She was selected as one of three hundred applicants who applied for the program! She is originally born in Congo and was living in Kenya for the past 10 years. When she first arrived in Tofino, she was taken aback by how beautiful it was and felt at home immediately. She loves the culture, friendliness of the people, and the beautiful beaches. she wants to try surfing but hasn’t yet worked up the courage to take the plunge in a winter surf and is waiting for summer. This year she plans on exploring the coast, the town of Tofino and meeting new people. Wivine is a natural born leader; the oldest of seven siblings. She has a passion for helping others, which is what makes her a wonderful addition to our team.

Kyle

  Kyle began working with us in December 2017- as our Garde manger cook as part of our kitchen team. Originally from Quispamsis New Brunswick, Kyle came across the job posting at the Lodge and decided to make the move to Tofino and try out the west coast lifestyle. Prior to his move, he began his hospitality career working in restaurants in the Halifax area.
Some of the things he loves most about Tofino are the tight knit community, and of course the mild winters, unlike the ones he is used to from home! In his spare time he enjoys going hiking around the pacific coast, fishing and exploring beautiful new places on the island.
During his career with the Lodge Kyle has been promoted to Sous Chef- one of the chef's behind the delicious culinary offerings in the Great Room! In addition to his knife skills, his warm east coast personality makes him a pleasure to work with in the kitchen.
In this next year, he is focused on refining his skills, and trying new and exciting recipes. We look forward to Kyles creative contribution to our new menus!

Julieta

  Julieta began working with us in July 2010 as a Room Attendant and is now our Housekeeping Supervisor. Prior to coming to Tofino, she was working in the housekeeping department at the Diamond Hotel in Manila, Philippines which is where she is originally from. She applied to work abroad and was selected with her first job being in Tofino, Canada with us at the Lodge! Having never been to Vancouver Island or Tofino before she had no idea what to expect. Since she was living in the city before moving here, the remote nature of the community took some getting used to, but she quickly fell in love with the lifestyle, eventually convincing her siblings to come abroad and experience the west coast. When she is not working, she is exploring her passion for traveling the world and the next country on her list is Russia. This year, Julieta received the prestigious ‘Employee of The Year’ award from the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce for her outstanding work ethic recognized within the community. We are so proud of her for this achievement and look forward to watching her succeed for many years to come. Congratulations Julieta!

Maxeen

  Maxeen started with us in 2019 as our Events Coordinator! She began her hospitality career 2012 as a student studying Hospitality Management here on the Island. She then went on to diversify her skills by working in some amazing destinations and resorts in Alberta and British Columbia doing a variety of roles in food and beverage, including attaining her WSET Level 2. Maxeen has been assisting our wedding couples pivot during this pandemic and she has also had to postpone her own wedding twice! After being engaged for two years she was finally able to have her special day last month with her closest friends and family. Maxeen was recently promoted to our Events Manager and she is very excited to continue planning special events and weddings, especially as restrictions begin to lift. Congratulations Maxeen!

Alfonso

  Alfonso began working with us in August 2019 as our Laundry Supervisor and is now our Assistant Housekeeping Manager. From the moment we hired Alfonso, we knew that he would be a wonderful addition to our team. Originally from Mexico, he started out his hospitality career over 15 years ago working on cruise ships where he held the position of Steward and was promoted to the supervisor of the department. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer and swimming- although he finds the Canadian waters a bit chillier than those of his hometown in the Mexican Pacific! If you visit the Lodge you are sure to pass him in the hallways hard at work behind the scenes to ensure our property is spotless. Say hello to Alfonso on your next visit!

Erica

  Erica has been a member of our team since July 2020 coming to us originally from the UK! Erica has a diverse background which includes the UK Military, events, guest services and restaurant management. Learning to surf is what brought her to Tofino, but rather than riding the waves, she much prefers to watch them on the beach with a good book! She is one of our Guest Services superstars who loves greeting our Guests upon their first arrival to the Lodge. Her welcoming personality and sense of humour are a couple of things that make her so special. Next time you are at the Lodge be sure to say hello to Erica at our Guest Services Desk! 

Chance

  Chance has been a member of our team since March 2010 where he started his hospitality career as a laundry attendant! Chance is originally an East Coaster, born in New Brunswick and came to Tofino 'just for the summer' as many have done in the past. It didn't take long before the west coast captured his heart and he realized he has a passion for surfing! In 2013 Chance became our Surf Club Manager which is the perfect job for him, a friendly yet knowledgeable and skilled surfer! If you have not yet met Chance stop by the Surf Club for a few surfing pointers or one of his famous hot chocolates!




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