Meet the Team


The Spirit Bear Lodge team consists of passionate people willing to share their knowledge of the wildlife, culture and the Great Bear Rainforest.

Almost every family is involved in tourism in some way, whether as a boat operator, tour guide, hotel staff or in marketing. It's the second biggest industry here and an extremely important one for the community.

John Czornobaj

General Manager

Growing up on Vancouver Island, John began venturing into the wilderness with his family as a young child. This inspired his later years of travel, both locally and globally in search of wild places. His passion for outdoor adventure led him to an education in Adventure Tourism and later to guiding and management positions with a variety of coastal wilderness tourism operators. John has many passions routed in the outdoors, including fly fishing, kayaking, river rafting, hiking, and wildlife viewing. John is passionate about sharing experiences with visitors from around the world.

Read More

John has been with Spirit Bear Lodge since 2016 and is thrilled to continue working with the Kitasoo/Xai'xais to share their culture and territory with guests of Spirit Bear Lodge. For John, there is no better place to be than on the side of a river in an untouched valley right in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.


Roxanne Robinson

Guest Service Manager

Raised in Klemtu, Roxanne has a passion for her Kitasoo/Xai'Xais Language and Culture. In her position as the Language and Culture Instructor at Kitasoo Community School, Roxanne had the opportunity to work with a knowledge keeper on helping to revitalize the Xai'xais language. Most recently Roxanne served two terms on the Kitasoo Band Council, first term as Councillor and the second term as the first ever Lady Chief Councillor of the Nation.

Read More

Roxanne Resides in Klemtu with her husband and 2 children who are the light of her life. We are thrilled to have her join us at Spirit Bear Lodge as the Guests Service Manager.


Krista Duncan

Guide

Krista was born and raised in the Kitasoo/Xai'xais First Nations village of Klemtu, on the central coast of British Columbia, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. Krista is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to her community and the Kitasoo/Xai'xais lands surrounding it.

Read More

Having worked with bears as a guide at the village-owned Spirit Bear Lodge and as a field technician with Spirit Bear Research Foundation, Krista spends many days on the ground observing bears and guiding international guests that come to her territory to enjoy the wildlife, the marine life and to learn about her unique and powerful culture. Krista is passionate about conserving the wildlife and the ecosystems that her people have relied on and will continue to rely on for future generations, including the future of her four children. During the winter months, Krista is also working as a Sgüüxs transcriber apprentice and data management with the Language working group of the Kitasoo/Xai'xais, helping revive the Southern dialect of Tsimshian, Sgüüxs.


Sandra Duncan

Chef in Training - Appy and Dessert Specialist

Raised in Klemtu, Sandra has been working for Spirit Bear Lodge for five years, the local restaurant for five years, and has done catering jobs here in the community. Sandra fell in love with cooking in middle/high school and is registered into the professional cook 1 apprenticeship. Sandra is very passionate about her work, and while she loves to make her favourites, she isn't afraid to get creative and try new things!


Murray Barton

Boat Captain

Murray, aka 'Moose', is one of the skippers of our tourism vessel. Raised in Klemtu since he was a young boy, Murray loves nothing more than guiding guests in Kitasoo/Xai’xais territory. As he puts it, “The ocean is my playground.” He brings ample experience and enthusiasm to the position. Murray has had a varied career in construction and infrastructure maintenance with the Kitasoo Band Council.


Spirit Bear Lodge boat captain drives crew boat in the Great Bear Rainforest

Simon Mason

Skipper

Simon has been a skipper for Spirit Bear Lodge for three seasons. Simon loves taking our guests from around the world on adventures in his territory and bringing them home safe and sound, even when the weather gets rough. Simons wife Wendy is one of our housekeeping managers, and their daughter Raeann also works in housekeeping. We are lucky to have this great family working with us at SBL.


Wendy Mason Hall

Housekeeping

Wendy has been with Spirit Bear Lodge for a few years now and is a key part of our housekeeping department. Wendy has an eye for details and is a joy to work with. Wendy works year round at the lodge keeping rooms and common areas clean and comfortable. Her husband Simon skippers for the lodge and their daughter Mercy has spent time guiding for as well. Though many of our guests never meet Wendy, all our guests appreciate her hard work and attention to detail.


Raeann Mason

Housekeeping

Raeann works in our housekeeping department with her mother Wendy. Together this mother-daughter team keeps the lodge squeaky clean. Unfortunately, most of our guests don’t get to meet Raeann because our housekeeping staff operate largely behind the scenes. She is an amazing young mother, a hard worker, and an important part of the SBL team.


Troy Robinson

Guide - Social Media Mentee

After living in Vancouver for 10 years Troy returned to his home town of Klemtu in 2017 aspiring to reconnect with his roots and to learn his traditional language and the stories of his people. Troy began guiding with Spirit Bear Lodge in 2017 and was an instant success. He is also a member of the Súa Youth Performance Group. Troy is a hard-working, positive, team player, always smiling, and with a knack for storytelling. He loves to share the stories he has learned, and maybe a few of his own, so just ask!


Heather Robinson

Lead Guide

Heather works as a Teaching Assistant at the Kitasoo Community School from September to June, but her summers are dedicated to guiding guests from around the world throughout her territory. Heather brings spirit and laughter to the SBL team, along with a wealth of knowledge of both the natural and cultural history of this region. Since 2016 she has shared her attentive and caring nature and excellent sense of humour with the lodge, bringing comfort and high spirits to her tours. Heather is just awesome!


Clark Robinson Jr

Guest Relations and Seasonal Accommodations

Clark has worked with SBL as our front of house and administrative assistant for seven seasons. Clark plays a key role by orchestrating breakfast and dinner service, taking care of our guests and always does whatever he can to make our guests feel at home. When we need help with any administrative tasks Clark is always there to lend a hand. Spirit Bear Lodge just wouldn’t be the same without Clark.


Margo Anderson

Chef's helper - Guide in training

Margo has been working with Spirit Bear Lodge as part of the kitchen team for the past four years. Margo creates an amazing lunch spread for all of our guests and staff to take on adventures every day. You can also thank Margo for delicious baked goods and treats that fill our bellies. Margo is key in delivering the delicious food we all enjoy at Spirit Bear Lodge.


Jack Plant

Lead Guide - Operations Assistant - Photographer Extraordinare!

Jack was born and raised in the south of England where he studied Animal management and conservation for 3 years at Sparsholt College. Growing up with a mother and father who allowed 26+ pets into their household, as you could imagine, set a foundation for his love and interest for animals and nature.

Read More

His best childhood hobby was digging the garden for the biggest, nastiest bugs he could find, and coming indoors covered in mud and leeches. It didn't take long before he explored his Canadian roots and fell in love with the vast wildlife that BC has to offer. "Being out in the sticks with the bears and the whales is awesome, but sharing that experience with other nature lovers from all around the world is unbeatable." As well as a Guide, Jack is a keen wildlife photographer. You can see his work at www.facebook.com/jackplantphoto


Michelle Brown

Administrative Manager

Michelle joined Spirit Bear Lodge in 2013 to assist with reservations and marketing and has developed into a key part of the management team. Her passion for travel and adventure has taken her to places such as New York, Mexico, Bermuda, England, and extensively throughout Canada (Coast to Coast!) When not in the office talking bears, she can be found taking care of her own two cubs at home in the Comox Valley.


Mercedes Robinson

Mercedes Robinson

Guide and Research Specialist

Mercedes has worked with Spiritbear Research, participated in the S.E.A.S program, and performed with the SUA youth group. You may have also seen Mercedes in the recent Great Bear Rainforest Imax film. Mercedes is extremely knowledgeable about her culture, and has spent many days exploring the river systems throughout Kitasoo/Xai’xais territory.


Ronald Lewis Neasloss

Boat Captain

Louie grew up in Klemtu, but also has family ties to the Haisla Nation (Kitimaat). Louie holds the title as one of our skippers for our tourism vessels. He has been a boat operator for the lodge for three years, and loves to be out on the ocean as much as possible. One of the perks for Lou while working with us is that he gets the chance to meet new people from all over the world.


Missy Robinson

Kitchen Steward

Missy has been a fixture at Spirit Bear for years. Missy keeps the dishes clean and likes to have a lot of fun. Missy is a part of the Spirit Bear Lodge family and loves to sing while she washes dishes and helps out around the lodge. Missy has also spent time performing with SUA. The lodge just wouldn’t be the same without Missy on the team, we are lucky to have her.


Bev Mason

Guide

Bev started with SBL in the kitchen as a dishwasher. Inspired by her Brother David’s stories of guiding she quickly developed an interest in getting out in the field. Bev is in her second year as a guide and is loving it. Her excitement to see the amazing wildlife in the Great Bear Rainforest is infectious.


David Mason

Guide

David spent time creek walking to monitor salmon when he was younger which gave him an intimate knowledge of the wildlife, salmon, and river systems in his territory. Now David shares his passion for wildlife and his culture with our guests through storytelling, interpreting cultural sites, and guiding people into his territory. David is a gifted guide and brings a wealth of knowledge to the Spirit Bear Lodge team.


Trish McPhail

Marketing and Sales Specialist - Member of the Management Team

Trish is from the Kitasoo/Xai'xais and Heiltsuk First Nations and she is very honoured to be joining our team. Trish brings 30 years of experience from the hospitality industry, she has specialized in managing a variety of special events, corporate groups sales, guest services and more.

Read More

Trish is a longtime community soccer Coach and she is also a Cultural Presenter for SD71, where she shares a small piece of her story with children from K-12. "What I have come to understand is that there is a blood memory that is so strong, that our beautiful way of being is woven into the core fibres of who we are. Knowing where you come from helps us walk taller and embracing who we are speaks volumes of our incredible resilience." Trish looks forward to deepening her connections to her homelands and to all that live, play and visit the Great Bear Rainforest.


Sierra Robinson

Lead Guide

Sierra began working at Spirit Bear Lodge in 2012 as a Student Guide. In 2013, Sierra worked as a Student Research Field Technician for the Spirit Bear Research Foundation and has been working on-call seasonally for the Foundation since. She also completed an 8-week summer internship called Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards (SEAS) and talks about how amazingly shape-shifting the program was for her.

Read More

After completing high school in 2015 with a Dogwood Diploma at the local Kitasoo Community School in Klemtu she soon became a mother to her son Austin Robinson in July 2016. While becoming a young mom, Sierra decided to make some concrete career choices and began working for the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Languages Working Group on Revitalizing Klemtu’s two native languages, Sgüüxs and Xai’xais.


Jazz Brown

Guide

Jazz has worked with the Sua and SEAS programs for a number of years and is now in her third year of guiding at Spirit Bear Lodge. Jazz loves spending time in the vast wilderness of her traditional territory, she is very knowledgeable, and proud of her culture. If your lucky enough to have Jazz as a guide during your stay you will have the privilege of getting to know this amazing young woman.


Elaine Neasloss

Guest Relations and Seasonal Accommodations

Elaine joined Spirit Bear Lodge in 2019 as an off season manager, helping prepare rooms and checking our guests in. She has 2 kids, Oliver and Isabelle. Her husband Justin has worked for SBL for 7 years.


Johnny May

Guide

Johnny has worked with Spirit Bear Lodge for several years. He began as a SUA and SEAS student and is now a guide. Johnny has great energy and is happy to share his culture and knowledge with our guests. He has grown up at Spirit Bear Lodge and become a valuable asset to our team.