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Alex Bornstein

Executive Director

The Chill Foundation


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Steering Committee Member



The Basics

Company Name: The Chill Foundation
Location: Headquartered in Burlington, VT – programs in 15 cities and 90% of team work remotely, including Executive Director
Founded: 1995
Full-Time Employees: 14 (up to 25 PT and seasonal depending on the time of year)
Products: Non-profit organization. Chill inspires youth to overcome challenges through boardsports.
Social: Instagram Facebook
Claim to Fame: Challenge by choice defines our culture. It’s all about creating a community that is emotionally safe for all participants. Taken literally, participants are presented with challenges and are given the choice to accept at the level they feel comfortable. It’s not a yes or no, it’s a how and a what. How do you choose to accept this challenge? What do you feel comfortable with? Every single day at Chill, we challenge youth to step outside their comfort zone and into their growth zone. From one program day to the next, as youth engage in new experiences and overcome challenges and fears, their comfort zone expands. Pretty soon, what was their growth zone is now a part of their comfort zone. And their growth zone is now new territory, which a few weeks ago may have been in their danger zone. It’s all about incremental growth, knowing personal limits, and having the support to make that choice. 



The Culture

The best thing about working at Chill is: While there are LOTS of great things about working at Chill, including fulfilling our mission each and every day, the best thing is working with an amazing, brilliant, supportive group of people. It’s energizing to be surrounded by team members that understand the importance of respect, creativity, and old-fashioned hard work. Chill is a true “learning organization” and that starts with the curiosity and constant knowledge-seeking embodied by our team members.
When we’re not working, we’re: snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, paddleboarding, mountain biking, climbing, parenting, reading, being active in our communities, and trying to be great humans.
What we’re reading: Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, non-fiction books about modern China, textbooks (lots of us are pursuing degrees, certificates, and just expanding our knowledge) and anything interesting we can get our hands on!
What we’re listening to: The Cure, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Japanese Breakfast, Grateful Dead, funk, indie and our Executive Director is very into UK grime music!

If they made a movie about our workplace, it would be called: CORE (the name of Chill’s main program)
Inclusion in the outdoors matters because:  With inclusion comes diversity, with diversity comes perspective, with perspective comes new skills, new connections, new tricks, new trails, new ideas. Inclusion and innovation in the outdoors is how purpose-driven organizations and lives are created. Together is always better.

Five years down the line, it’s our hope that: Respect is the new normal. Humans look for ways to support and lift up each other rather than bring the other down. Significant progress has been made to seamlessly integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and justice considerations into all facets of our lives. If these things happen we can then use our energy to accelerate the pace of positive change and create communities and connections where today there are none.


The One-Year Goals

(What’s the company culture we wish to create?)

  • To be added later!