"In January of this year, we selected 15 ambassadors in North America. They are legends, activists, creators and community leaders. They are a diverse group of folks who share our love and our values. And they make the places they live and the communities they operate in better places - because that’s who they are."
My favorite part of the community that my parents helped create is the instant sense of connection one feels with snowboarders and outdoor enthusiasts around the world. We share a common feeling, a love, and a sense of passion that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Snowboarding has its familiar faces – pro snowboarders, shop owners and employees, reps, and folks from the snowboard media. But I’m also interested in the people that live the lifestyle and aren’t often given a voice in our industry. What does snowboarding mean to them? What does the outdoor community mean to them? How do the mountains call out to them? This has been the foundation for our new ambassador program. We want to further our connection to all of the outdoor communities in the United States and Canada. We want to give a voice to more folks in those communities - the ones who share our mindset and are sharing their passions in meaningful ways.
In the past, snowboarding has been portrayed as a pretty homogenous scene. When we selected ambassadors for this program, we wanted to elevate the voices of people from diverse backgrounds and communities, and show that our brand, and snowboarding, welcomes everyone. In January of this year, we selected 15 ambassadors in North America. They are legends, activists, creators and community leaders. They are a diverse group of folks who share our love and our values. And they make the places they live and the communities they operate in better places - because that’s who they are.
Some of them I’ve known for years. Some of them are new to me. I was recently in Jackson for the Natural Selection, and our ambassador there, Emile Newman, showed our crew the goods! Emile was running the sustainability program for the Natural Selection, offsetting the carbon footprint for the whole event, all while filming for a project, attending Yale grad school, and still finding time to share some of her powder stashes with us. That’s what I’m talking about!
We’re using our platforms to give a voice to these people and share what’s important to them. Snowboarding and the mountains mean different things to everyone. We all connect on the love, freedom, and inspiration it gives us. But what does that mean to different people? We’re asking the new members of our Burton family to share their stories. We’re also connecting the ambassadors with our product, marketing, and team crews – to make sure that their opinions are reflected in what we’re putting out there. Snowboarding always loves to connect with new people, and so do we.
We’re also asking our ambassadors to share what they’re doing for their communities. We want their stories to inspire you to fight for the future of our people, planet, and sport while having as much fun as possible and promoting the beautiful lifestyle that keeps us all sane through these difficult times.
We’re excited to start sharing more from these inspirational individuals and show that we truly Ride Together. Much love!
Meet The Burton Ambassadors
Khai lives in Seattle, WA and grew up in the PNW. She is an Acupuncturist and Herbalist, although, she spent this past summer deep in the Seattle protest scene. After a few months of getting tear gassed and yelling at cops, Khai transitioned most of her activism into a mutual aid effort focusing primarily on the housing crisis in Seattle. She’s surrounded by all of her favorite activities in the PNW and spends as much time outside as she can. Khai enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, backpacking, climbing and having as much fun as possible.
Whistler, British Columbia
Mirae is always finding ways to work with others and make them feel good. She never half-asses anything and throws all of her energy into helping uplift others and in doing so, is constantly learning and pushing herself to become the best that she can be. Mirae has been involved with coordinating AST 1 avalanche courses for women to bring confidence and experience to the female community in Whistler. Mirae is constantly out exploring nature and inspiring others to get outside.
Revelstoke, British Columbia
Kate has a deep passion for exploring mountains, pushing her snowboarding, educating and inspiring others to grow to new levels year after year. She is blazing a trail for females in the backcountry and snowboard industry, inspiring others to pursue their dreams beyond their limits and smiling along the way. Kate is an aspiring snowboard guide, avalanche instructor, big mountain free ride competitor and mother to her son, Timber. Her contagious energy, adventurous spirit and positive personality will leave you feeling good.
Revelstoke, British Columbia
All year-round Jessa is creating artwork derived directly from her adventures in the backcountry, on the skin track, on the mountain bike or out of a tent. Her outdoor-inspired pieces are used in graphic designs for companies’ products (Burton boards and softgood graphics, for example) and paintings she sells through her website and local galleries. Jessa also creates large scale murals, custom snowboards and custom snow cats. In the winter, she is a second guide at Baldface lodge and is currently working on her certifications to become a full mountain guide. When she’s not at Baldface, she’s splitboarding based out of Revelstoke, working with other touring companies (Capow Guiding, Coast Mountain Guides, etc) to build out her experience, and work towards her certifications.
A 27-year-old designer and artist, Asher's pronouns are he/him and lives in the mountains of Underhill, VT. Along with his wife and pup, Asher has found Mt. Mansfield the ideal place for quality hiking, photography, and meditations in the woods. Although he has yet to try snowboarding, he has found the mountains to be the perfect place to heal. As a transgender man, he has occupied and lived-in spaces where he didn't feel like he belonged. However, the mountains never judge. Asher hopes to use this incredible partnership with Burton to amplify the message of the Earth being our caretaker.
Big Bear, California
A native of Southern California, Meg Kee has always found a connection with the outdoors. Since 2015, Meg has hosted retreats for women to encourage them to snowboard, mountain bike, and rock climb. Through her Instagram account, @mountaingirls, she has built a community for women to share their love of the mountains. Meg is a certified Rock-Climbing Guide and Wilderness First Responder. Also a mother, Meg has made a point of raising her 7-year-old son in the mountains "where there is plenty of freedom to play." Despite having a home base, she prefers to live out of her car and on the road exploring natural playgrounds.
Corner Brook, Newfoundland
Dru lives on the west coast of the most easterly province in Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador. They get some incredible snow there and he has about a 20-minute sled ride to the backcountry. Snowboarding has been his main priority since day one - from where he lives to how he schedules work, every decision has been made with riding in mind. This will be his 24th year boarding! He has been a full-time professional photographer for the last ten years. Dru is excited to give back in any way that he can and is fired up to be with such a great group that keeps him motivated to keep having as much fun as possible.
Whistler, British Columbia
Located in Northern British Columbia, Chelsie McCutcheon is a Wet’suwet’en woman from the community of Witset. A mother, wife, and Indigenous outdoor leader, she dedicates her time to the Indigenous Life Sport Academy where she leads groups of Indigenous youth and women in outdoor activities, sparking a passion for sports and the healing way of the mountains. This winter, Chelsie is exploring more of British Columbia's backcountry with the Indigenous Women Outdoors, a mountain mentorship program based in Squamish, BC.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Emilé is a snowboarder, yogi, writer, and environmentalist based in Jackson, WY. She is enrolled in a master’s program at the Yale School of the Environment focusing on ecosystem conservation and policy. She also serves as the Co-Executive Director for the Environmental Film Festival at Yale. In her spare time, she engages in a multitude of freelance commercial and media projects. As a writer, she covers topics from outdoor inclusion, western identity, and the natural environment. Currently, she is working on the Natural Selection team as a Sustainability Coordinator to offset the event’s carbon footprint and waste streams.
Bryan Reid is an accomplished event producer, marketer, creative director, and entrepreneur. He is known for bringing together music, sports, fashion, art, and entertainment to communicate impactful stories under the lifestyle and culture landscape. At the age of 34, Bryan has established himself as a Swiss Army knife for brands ready to think outside the box on creative endeavors. He’s happiest when attending live music events and exploring the many outdoor activities Colorado has to offer including snowboarding, road biking, and camping / hiking.
Lake Tahoe, California
Christine is originally from New Jersey but has spent the last 13 years calling the Lake Tahoe area home. She misses her family and the pizza in New Jersey, but the mountains are definitely home for her now. Along with fellow Ambassador Mary Walsh, she is a Co-Founder of Beyond the Boundaries, a women’s snowboard camp and tour aimed at getting more women comfortable in the park. The camp also helps to broaden and strengthen the community while connecting like-minded women. She absolutely loves sharing her passion for snowboarding with others and finds that has actually renewed and strengthened that passion in herself.
Mary Walsh is a writer and photographer based in Southern California. She grew up in Maine and feels that learning to snowboard in New England is a defining aspect of her love of riding and her outlook on winter. For the past decade, Mary has worked at companies like Snowboarder Magazine and is also a freelance writer, copywriter editor, announcer and photographer for a variety of snow/surf/ skate brands and other action sports/outdoor media outlets. She's passionate about bringing others into snowboarding, and created a women's snowboard camp (alongside Christine Savage) Beyond the Boundaries. When not snowboarding, Mary is an avid runner, a terrible surfer, and a one-trick skateboarder who likes to camp in the summer and travel anywhere and everywhere in pursuit of good food and delicious drinks.
Kam’s passion for the mountains is deep. He has been snowboarding for over twenty years and rock climbing for ten. When he moved to Colorado, his love for snowboarding was forever cemented in the Rocky Mountains. He dialed in his skills on the board and began his career in teaching others as an independent coach on the Junior FreeRide Tour. From there he ventured into the Backcountry where he transitioned roles and became a Splitboard guide as well as an avalanche educator.
New York City, New York
It's hard to say what came first, Miranda's love of snowboarding or love of music. A successful recording artist, Miranda has always made time in her busy schedule to work with the Chill Foundation. Helping the youths in her community, she uses her voice through music while instilling the foundation's important core values. Miranda is excited to be part of the Burton Ambassador program because snowboarding has taught her freedom, confidence, and has been a constant way for her to re-connect with the outdoor elements while connecting with herself. Now she would like to share this incredible sport and experience with others.
Charley is a marketing consultant and self- taught photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. She’s been in Oregon for over a decade, but will always be a Cali girl at heart. When it’s not winter you can find her riding motorcycles and camping. Charley is super excited to continue to be a part of the ambassador team and help spread the stoke. Snowboarding has always been more of a mindset than a physical activity for her. It’s her personal reminder to get out and play, have fun, and not take yourself too seriously--even in a pandemic.