Meet the team
Great relationships are at the heart of everything we do at Zero Ceiling. Every member of our team is engaged with Zero Ceiling because of a strong belief in the organization’s transformational work, and each person involved moves mountains to make that work happen.
Sean has found his dream job at Zero Ceiling. It has afforded him the opportunity to combine his careers as an outdoor educator and youth worker. Prior to joining the Zero Ceiling team, but following his time a grungy raft guide, Sean worked with youth in the justice system though a custody diversion program. In this job Sean learned the power of therapeutic relationships and the need for them to be unconditional.
It has been a focal point in Sean’s work to create a sense of family in our programs and he believes this approach is the means in which our participants achieve success. Sean is an outspoken advocate for youth’s rights and uses his privileges to give voice to those who are not heard. Further to this, Sean teaches those in our program to become self-advocates to ensure they will be heard beyond their time with us.
Originally from Australia, Chris spent time living in Papua New Guinea and France in her younger years, sparking a desire to see the world and experience other cultures.
After completing a Bachelor of Business, Chris gained significant experience in program development, research, advocacy and policy while working on a diverse range of programs at the Dusseldorp Skills Forum and The Whitlam Institute in Australia.
Since moving to Whistler with her family in 2012, Chris has completed a Masters of Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University and has worked with Whistler Arts Council and Whistler Blackcomb. She has also discovered a love of downhill mountain biking. Chris is excited to bring her skills and experience to Zero Ceiling.
Hey, I’m Mikey B. I’m happy to be working for Zero Ceiling as a Support Worker. I’m also the Whistler Snowboard Leader for the Indigenous Life Sport Academy and love being there for young people in both of my roles.
I’m a long-time Whistler local and always down to adventure around the mountains, winter or summer!
Lizi was born in the UK and is an uninvited settler on the stolen lands of the Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh and Líl̓wat Nations. She loves working in the non-profit sector and hopes to spend her career creating positive change. She recognizes the privilege she has had and is passionate about changing systems to better serve everyone in our communities.
At Zero Ceiling, Lizi manages our fundraising, communications, volunteer, and partnership programs. She gets excited about sharing our stories, inspiring others to create change, and seeing Zero Ceiling grow and evolve year after year. You can often find her and Sean talking about big ideas when they should be doing something else.
Outside the office, Lizi is a climber, backcountry skier, and trail runner who is so grateful for every day she gets to spend in the mountains with the people she loves. She finds joy in being a decidedly average outdoorswoman and aims to make up for any lack of expertise by practicing maximum enthusiasm at all times.
Michelle moved to Whistler in 2014 with the intention of staying for a season but has now made Whistler her home. She previously worked at the Whistler Sliding Centre as a Sport Manager where she was responsible for developing and managing the sliding sport programs.
She is excited to bring her experience and support to the Zero Ceiling team. When the ski season is over, Michelle can be found hiking, biking, and camping.
Adventure Sessions Coordinator & Peer Support
Cedy’s an avid adventurer straight from Burundi, a mountainous small country in Eastern Africa and land of subsequent political unrest. He came up in Whistler for the first time through a Zero Ceiling snowboard Adventure Session from a Vancouver youth shelter where he stayed as a refugee.
In the summer of 2018, Cedy applied and got enrolled in the Work 2 Live program, in which he graduated 12 months later. Since then, he has become a local outdoor-driven workforce and brings his experience to the program; as well, he leads ZC Adventure Sessions offered to Lower Mainland and Sea to Sky youth participants.
Jill was born and raised in N’Quatqua, a small First Nation about 75 km north of Whistler in the St’at’imc Territory. After high school, she did the opposite of most folks, and moved eastward to get a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Guelph. She’s been lucky enough to live in: Guelph, Ontario; Konstanz, Germany; and York, England. But she couldn’t resist the call of the mountains, and returned home to Beautiful British Columbia in 2017.
Jill is excited to bring her passion for writing and storytelling to Zero Ceiling. An avid bibliophile and dancer, she’s thinking it might be high time to learn how to do a snow sport.
Life Skills Coordinator
Laura worked with agencies in Chile, Cambodia, Morocco, and the Philippines to promote environmental education and advocacy in rural areas. She returned home to BC in 2014 to work in the DTES of Vancouver as a mental health and addictions worker. Among other roles since returning to Canada, she has delivered Life Skills programming for Community Living BC, and is an Outreach Support Worker for Howe Sound Women’s Centre.
Laura first visited Whistler when she was 10, on a school field trip. The snow and beauty of the mountains were always a fond memory and she made Whistler her permanent home in 2016. She enjoys stargazing, snowboarding, and is thrilled to take on the unique privilege of helping youth thrive in this special place at Zero Ceiling.
Youth Case Worker
But along the way, she stumbled into snowboarding at her local slope, and couldn’t get enough of it. She became a sponsored snowboarder and decided to put her career on hold to pursue her passion for snowboarding. Through snowboarding she spent time in Colorado, France, and Canada. Once she spent one season in Whistler, there was no going home!
As Zero Ceiling’s Youth Case Worker, Rhianna is finally in a place where she can combine her two passions: mental well-being and snowboarding.
If you can’t find Dakota working in the office, you’ll find him snowboarding in the winter on the mountain! He spends all his free time in the winter snowboarding, trying to get as many days on the mountain as he can. In the summertime you can find him hiking up in the mountains or in the Bike Park. His favorite pastime is sitting next to a body of water. Photography is a way he likes to connect with his family who do not get to experience living in the mountains.
One day, Dakota wants to run his own non-profit for low-income families that do not get to experience the mountain lifestyle that many people access yearly. He’d like to give families the chance to go as a family (instead of most programs where kids get to experience these things on there own in a day camp or youth group) so they can enjoy it and make memories of a lifetime together.
Meet the Board
Jill Johnston, Co-Chair
Director of Communications, Family Services of the North Shore
Nicole Chetwynd, Co-Chair
Mathieu Bouchard, Treasurer
Accountant, Gordon Wiber and Associates
Strategist, Facilitator and Educator
Nikki Best, Secretary
Managing Director, Snowberry Consulting
Whistler Community Services Society & Zero Ceiling Graduate
President, Couloir Project Management
General Manager, Whistler Magazine
Senior Director of Snow and Bike School, Whistler Blackcomb
Founder of Zero Ceiling, Founder of Big Mountain Bike Adventures
Chris Winter founded Zero Ceiling in 1997 after being given an opportunity to help several street youth from Vancouver have a chance to experience an adventure of a lifetime on the slopes of Whistler.
From personal experience, Chris knew the value of living an active and healthy lifestyle and he knew bringing disadvantaged youth to the mountains would be an amazing opportunity for them. Chris has spent over 20 years living in the Whistler area and he travels the world with his mountain bike and road bike touring companies, Big Mountain Bike Adventures and Cycleventures.