Meet Team Simply
This page offers an insight into the variety of positions here at Simply Morzine. It is an opportunity to learn a little about a selection of our team and the stories behind them. The Simply Morzine team work tirelessly to make your holiday as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible, taking satisfaction in the exceptional levels of service provided throughout your entire holiday process. This is perhaps the fundamental reason why Simply Morzine has lasted the test of time and why we stand out from the crowd.
Our staff make all the difference. They define ‘what we do’ and ‘who we are’.
Simply Morzine: UK Office Team
Situated between Melton Mowbray and Nottingham in the rural East Midlands, Simply Morzine’s UK office is where all enquiries and bookings are handled. Our permanent team here includes Managing Director Gareth Marshall, his brother Ben (who looks after the sales and marketing), Business Apprentice Lewis Stott and Administrator Jenny Thorn. Company Founder Mike Marshall is now retired, but often pops in to assist and give us the benefit of his vast experience.
Our UK Office team help from your first enquiry to your return home, whilst casting a close eye over all organisational and logistical arrangements. We endeavour to respond to emails as promptly as possible and are always happy to patiently offer our best advice and expertise on the phone. We care about your holiday and believe it is important to form a relationship of trust with potential guests and look after our many regulars – who travel with Simply Morzine year on year.
Simply Morzine: In Resort Team
Our hand-picked team consists of management, chefs, hosts, representatives / drivers and maintenance. Once you arrive in Morzine, it is they who make our holidays the success that they are; adopting an unobtrusive, attentive, ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude.
We recognise the company is only as good as the people we employ. Consequently, we place utmost priority in ensuring each member of our team thrives within a supportive and enjoyable work environment, combined with the best possible living arrangements and all-round employment package. This is the Simply Morzine ethos. It is perhaps the reason so many staff return over multiple seasons. Countless have become firm friends through the years, with regular reunions and even a couple of weddings thrown in for good measure!
Take a look at the various Simply Morzine roles and some of the individuals with whom guests come into contact either over the phone, by email, or directly in resort.
Founder / chairman
‘Big Mike’ is perhaps best described as a ‘charismatic charmer’ - with a love for the simple things in life and making ideas reality. He’s big by nature, with an even bigger personality! As many of our guests know, Simply Morzine is Mike’s brainchild, so credit where it’s due.
In his far younger days (back in the mid-late 70s), Mike was a rugby star for the Leicester Tigers and even turned out against the mighty New Zealand All Blacks. His day job was a school art teacher (of all subjects), where he began running school ski trips was soon bitten by the ‘ski bug’. Never one to shy away and armed only with a dream, a mountain-sized work ethic, a little creativity and the unwavering support of his wife Sue, Mike made the brave decision to leave his ‘safe’ teaching job. Simply Morzine was born and we’ve never looked back.
Today, Mike is no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the business, which he’s left in the capable hands of sons Gareth and Ben - although he’s always working on a new ‘project’ (or three)! Mike now spends his days on long bike rides (he has cycled the 800 miles from Melton to Morzine solo), exploring in his VW camper and watching rugby. This is all mixed up with regular visits to Morzine and Salema to meet guests and enjoy the fruits of his labour. Nevertheless Mike’s main joy is spending time with his 6 young grandchildren (2 boys, 4 girls) and teaching them to ski.
Thanks Mike, we owe you one!
Gareth’s our grand-fromage and boss-man. Having been handed the Simply Morzine baton by his father Mike back in the early 2000s, following a degree in Geography & French and a couple of years’ service at a large travel firm, Gareth has managed by example ever since - leading the company from strength to strength. He’s responsible for the overall running of Simply Morzine, in both the UK office and resort.
Gareth has two key qualities. The first being his knack to continually source and recruit the very best members of staff. The second being his ability to nurture and cement important relationships with our key suppliers. A fluent French speaker, Gareth takes pride in his personal dealings with our friends and business partners in Morzine, a key reason why we are so admired by the local community. Naturally, he spends much of his time in Morzine, taking pleasure in meeting guests, managing staff and ensuring the quality of our holidays. Our exacting standards across the business are down to his keen eye for detail. In fact, it’s fair to call scrupulous Gareth ‘Mr Detail’ because he doesn’t miss a trick!
Away from work, he’s a busy dad and devoted family man, raising two lively and energetic young sons, Joseph and Edward (keen skiers!) Gareth is a MAMIL who relishes the challenges of cycling the fearsome alpine cols around Morzine. The fact that Gareth’s own family’s winter and summer holidays are usually spent in Morzine or Salema says it all. There is no need to go anywhere else!
UK Sales & Marketing
Simply Morzine is a genuine family-affair - Ben is Gareth’s brother and right-hand man. Ben is an energetic and creative go-getter who continually works hard to drive Simply Morzine forward and make improvements year-on-year. In charge of our sales operation, Ben is normally the friendly voice at the end of the phone - always happy to help you plan the perfect winter or summer holiday in Morzine.
Ben is a journalist by trade and we were delighted when he decided to join the family business, after 10 years working across the BBC’s local and national radio networks. Ben’s communication skills and excellent turn of phrase help us with our website content writing, blogs, marketing and social media campaigns amongst everything else. Ben left the BBC to join us at Simply Morzine for one stand out reason - his love of Morzine, where he spent family holidays as a child before Simply Morzine existed. The company has grown out of this labour of love and the lure of getting involved was too much for Ben to resist. Ben is especially excited about growing and developing our summer family alpine activity holiday programme.
Aside from his Morzine duties, Ben is in charge of our sister company, Simply Salema, where he has built up a very successful luxury villa rental business in the Algarve.
When he’s not doing all this, Ben loves to spend his time cuddling his twin baby daughters, Bonnie and Darcey, and when he can, keeping fit and following football – or (Champions of England) Leicester City – to be precise.
Hamish Crawford is the latest addition to the Simply Morzine management team. As resort manager he is hands on in Morzine, ensuring that you have the best holiday with us, whether it be enjoying champagne skiing in the winter or a jam-packed activity holiday in the summer, and everything else in between. Hamish and his partner Rachel Purser-Lowman make an awesome team, and will be leading Simply Morzine from the front to new levels of excellence. As a French speaker Hamish will spend much of his time dealing with French suppliers, cementing Simply Morzine's stellar reputation in the local community.
Hamish has been a passionate skier for many years, honing his skills after studying chemistry at university by doing winter seasons in Courchevel and Verbier. Whilst Hamish loves cruising down the pistes, his real passion is in the backcountry, searching for those elusive first tracks down a pristine snow field after a fresh snowfall. As a self-confessed foodie, Hamish can also be found amongst the many independent food shops in Morzine, sampling the local cheeses and delicacies.
Hamish has professional experience leading a team, and his outstanding organisational skills will be put to good use day in day out, doing everything in his power to ensure that a holiday with Simply Morzine will be unforgettable for all the right reasons.
Assistant Resort Manager
Rachel is the Assistant Resort Manger and works alongside her partner, Hamish Crawford the Resort Manager, to form the management team in resort. Rachel has been a keen skier from a young age, and has worked ski seasons with Hamish in the Three Valleys and Verbier, after attending Imperial College University where she studied Medical Sciences.
Before coming out to Morzine to take up this exciting new role, Rachel worked for the Royal Society of Chemistry, running a resources website for teachers and students in chemistry higher education. The opportunity to live in the mountains and enjoy winter and summer seasons was enough to lure her away from ‘the real world’. Now her eye for detail and OCD-like organisational skills ensure Simply Morzine’s chalets are spick and span and our guests all have amazing holidays.
As well as skiing across the Portes du Soleil in the winter, Rachel has also been enjoying mountain biking during the summer seasons. A naturally cautious nature has resulted in the nickname Grandma out in resort, so you’ll often find her at the back of the group telling others to be careful.
Head Resort Representative
Ollie is a past guest of Simply Morzine and his family are still regulars to this day. After graduating with a First-class honours in mathematics and computer science in 2014, Ollie came to work for Simply Morzine as a representative and has now been with us for 3 winter and 2 summer seasons. Over the busy spring & autumn inter-seasons Ollie works in the UK office where he's nicknamed ‘Schweinsteiger’ by Gareth and Ben for the German efficiency and creative genius he brings to the team.
Ollie's main passions and hobbies are skiing and football. He loves nothing more than skiing some big back country lines on a powder day and is a lifelong Manchester United fan.
He is a bright, quietly charming and funny character who one day hopes to escape the clutches of Simply Morzine and utilise his degree to its full potential and not just for calculating children’s discounts.
UK sales & marketing
Lewis is our office apprentice and newest recruit, signing a contract in the summer transfer window after a successful trial period. Lewis is completing his apprenticeship in business admin, so Simply Morzine was the perfect place for him to combine his work interests with his passion for skiing. After putting pen to paper the 18 year old added "this is the right club for me".
He has made a great addition to the office team (although strangely he doesn't drink hot drinks), assisting Ben with the sales and using his computing skills and social media experience to help move the company forwards. Lewis spent a month working in resort during the summer 2016 season where he got a real taste of life in Morzine and an understanding of how the business works. He received the player of the month award for his GoPro canyoning video.
Manager Gareth and Lewis' mentor Ben believe Lewis will be at the heart of things to come for the next decade at Simply Morzine.
UK Office Administrator
Often the first voice you often hear at the end of the telephone, the lovely, quirky Jenny is our trusted and loyal administrator, who has worked in the SM UK office since 2012. Efficient and hard working with a keen eye for detail, Jenny is in charge of all things admin and runs a tight ship to make the office tick. Jenny’s also in charge of keeping Gareth and Ben in line, whilst displaying great patience in helping Mike by switching his calculator on.
Although Jenny doesn’t ski, she offers a good knowledge of Morzine and is most at home enjoying a glass of wine after a mountain walk under the alpine summer sunshine.
A keen reader, Jenny boasts a wide vocabulary and is arguably is the most proficient speller we’ve ever seen! She does come out with wordage that we haven’t heard since time began owing to her love of all things historical and interest in diverse subjects. Music is her life along with supporting her local cinema and keen interest in films - you wouldn’t go wrong to have her in your quiz team!
The Blanchi family
Hotel la Chaumiere
The Blanchi family
And so the Anglo-French tale begins... Back in the early 1990s, when Simply Morzine was still but a dream, Mike Marshall was visiting the plot of land where our flagship Chalet des Montagnes now stands, working out which way to turn with his idea of setting up a business in Morzine. It was at this point that he met our soon-to-be neighbours, the Blanchi family, who own and manage the Chalet-Hotel la Chaumiere next door. They hit it off straight away and formed a great friendship. A few years later, following the formation of Simply Morzine and construction of Chalet des Montagnes, we began working in partnership with the Blanchi’s. Simply Morzine organise the bookings, the Blanchi’s run their hotel (very well) and it’s been a marriage made in heaven ever since - mainly thanks to the Blanchi family continually providing the warmest of welcomes to our guests.
Michele Blanchi is the lady of the house. A seasoned professional hotelier, Michele expertly runs and manages her small and cosy abode, which has been passed down through generations. With gracious French elegance, the motherly Michele will be sure to make you feel at home during your stay at la Chaumiere.
Franck Blanchi is Michele’s husband and co-owner of la Chaumiere. Franck’s a typically-tough mountain man who never stops working tirelessly to please our guests – in fact he’s the most hard-working person we have ever met! With a heart of gold and a permanent smile on his face, he is the heart and soul of the hotel. Franck is multi-talented; his roles include kitchen chef/manager, maintenance man and chauffeur. Simply put, he’s is one of a kind - a veritable living legend!
Margot Blanchi, Michele and Franck’s daughter, is busily involved in all things la Chaumiere and destined one day to take full control of the reins, having a degree in hotel management. Like her parents, she’s charming, friendly and not one to be quickly forgotten! Margot always seems to leave a positive and lasting impression on our guests – mainly through her endeavours to get everything ‘just right’.
Julian Blanchi, Michele and Franck’s son, is qualified in accountancy and business management. Assisting both front and back of house across all areas of the hotel. Julian is a handsome, charming Frenchman whom you are sure to meet at the hotel bar.
The Rosset family
The Rosset family
We’ve known the Rosset family for as long as we’ve been in Morzine - and we’ve a lot to thank them for. In fact, we even bought the land to build our flagship Chalet des Montagnes from the family, so you could say Simply Morzine wouldn’t exist without them! The Rosset’s run our partner ski shop, Felix Ski, and we’re delighted to have worked closely with them for so many years. We also work alongside the Rosset’s in the summer season with our organised mountain bike and walking days, including the famous ‘La Rosta Ramble’.
Felix Rosset is another local legend and highly respected in the area. Mr Ski, he’s lived in Morzine all his life and worked as an ESF ski instructor before setting up ‘Felix Ski’ in the 1980s. Felix has some interesting and unique hobbies! In his spare time he hunts wild boar, yodels, plays the harmonica and stays young by walking up to his remote mountain homes high above Morzine. Meeting and chatting to Felix is a memorable and must do experience for all Simply Morzine guests!
Brigitte Rosset is Felix’s wife and shop sidekick. She speaks little English, however our guests always know what to expect when they’re welcomed into the shop; a huge smile - and if they’re lucky - a peck on each cheek! During our summer walks to the Rosset’s remote family chalet overlooking Mont Blanc, Brigitte prepares and serves her legendary ‘Tartiflette’, which we believe to be the very best in the Alps!
Guillaume Rosset is the devilishly-handsome son of Felix and Brigitte. Often nicknamed ‘Morzine’s David Beckham’, Guillaume is a strong ski racer and followed in his father’s footsteps of skiing for a living. Guillaume works in the shop around his commitments as one of Morzine’s most respected ski instructors. In the summer he is our freelance alpine walking and mountain bike guide. Guillaume’s wife is a manager at the Morzine Tourist Office and they have 3 lovely children.
For the winter season 2016/17 our chefs are:
Chalet des Montagnes: Jamie Nigel
Chalet Coeur de Morzine: Brian MacDonald
Chalet Carving: Curtis Bell
Chalet Madeleine: Callum Pickard
Please see the Simply Food and Drink page for a taste of the sumptuous cuisine our private and professional chefs will be preparing in your luxury chalet.
Resort Chalet Hosts
Resort Chalet Hosts
For the winter season 2016/17 our chalet hosts are:
Our amiable chalet hosts are always on hand to provide a friendly yet unobtrusive service. They will serve all meals and maintain exceptional standards of cleanliness around your luxury chalet.
For the winter season 2016/17 our representatives are:
Ollie Wilcox - Ollie is our head resort representative & works in the UK office during the inter seasons.
Andrew Gordon - Andrew is our maintenance representative (handy man) and responsible for keeping our properties in good working condition.
Our resort representatives are the faces of Simply Morzine. They are always available to give advice and answer questions. Expect to see the team driving our Simply Morzine minibuses on our ski shuttle service and airport transfers.