Board of Directors

PETER R.B. ARMSTRONG
Executive Chairman & Founder

Peter Armstrong is the Executive Chairman, Founder and a principal of the Armstrong Group, owner and operator of Rocky Mountaineer.

In 1989, Mr. Armstrong assembled the successful team to bid on the fledgling Rocky Mountaineer service that was being operated by Via Rail, a subsidized federal crown corporation.  The company's turnaround and subsequent success has been achieved without government subsidy.

Mr. Armstrong contributes considerable time to business and community boards.  He is currently the Chair for the Vancouver Police Foundation, serves on the Board for the Business Families Centre (Sauder School of Business), the Board of BCAA and the Public Private Partnership Board (P3).  He is also the past Chair for the Board of St. George’s School.  Mr. Armstrong has received a Doctor of Technology from BCIT, a Doctor of Technology from Thompson Rivers University and a Honourary Fellow of the Sauder School of Business.  He is a recipient of the Canadian Venture Capital Association's Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Tourism and Hospitality and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for contribution to Canadian communities.  He has also been inducted into the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame and was named the 2007 Tourism Leader of the Year by Tourism BC.

Mr. Armstrong is native of New Brunswick, and has been a resident of Vancouver, British Columbia for over 45 years

JOHN FURLONG
Chairman

John Furlong was the instrumental leader behind the team that organized and staged the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. From the very beginning of the project, Mr. Furlong envisioned that the Games could be a true nation builder, helping to improve the fabric of Canadian society.

Prior to his appointment at VANOC in 2004, Mr. Furlong was the President and Chief Operating Officer for the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation. In his role, he became the Bid’s international face and key spokesperson, tirelessly clocking more than 1.2 million miles in his travels to promote the Vancouver 2010 Bid.

Mr. Furlong’s service to sport has landed him with numerous other forms of recognition - among them The IOC’s Olympic Order and the IPC’s Paralympic Order. He was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame as the 2004 W.A.C. Bennett Award winner.

LAURA-LEE ARMSTRONG

Laura Lee Armstrong is a native of Victoria, British Columbia. Her professional career encompasses a wide spectrum of experience within both the forest and tourism industries. Ms. Armstrong's forestry background includes positions within the U.S. rail, timber wholesale and export market segments with corporations such as Weldwood Industries and BC Timber. Her tourism experience includes FIT management experience with Gray Line Tours.

Ms. Armstrong graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry.

Ms. Armstrong offers a great deal of time to local major event charities and has contributed significant community volunteer time to Family Services of the North Shore, Kenneth Gordon School and Fraser Academy School.

Ms. Armstrong resides in West Vancouver, Canada.

TOM CHAMBERS

Tom Chambers is an experienced professional accountant, senior executive, corporate director and business advisor having served for 26 years as as Partner in senior management roles with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP while advising a wide range of clients. He is an acknowledged leader within the profession and business community on strategic and corporate governance issues. He currently serves on the boards of Terasen, Norske, and the Victorian Order of Nurses among others.

AL DUERR

Al Duerr is a founding partner and Managing Director of General Magnetic Inc., a company that has developed and is currently producing leading edge permanent magnet motors and generators for the energy and propulsion industries. His holding company, Al Duerr and Associates, has operations in China and Canada, and has provided training, upgrading, international certification and labour force recruitment services.

From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Duerr was the CEO of the International Projects Group for a Dutch owned investment company. Mr. Duerr also served as the Mayor of Calgary, Alberta for twelve years, from 1989 to 2001. In this capacity, over subsequent terms of office, Mr. Duerr obtained the highest level of public support of any Mayor in Calgary's history.

Mr. Duerr's career has included extensive international involvement both in the public and private sectors, especially in Asia. He was a founder and President of an environmental technologies company in Malaysia, and a Project and District Manager of an Alberta based Land Development Company.

Mr. Duerr earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Urban Geography from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters of Business Administration (Honours) from the University of Calgary. He has held and continues to hold numerous positions on Boards and Committees in Calgary and across the country including Chairman of Canadian Aviation Industries Inc., Chairman of Strategy Committee, Haskayne School of Business Management Advisory Committee, and immediate past Chairman of FortisAlberta..

Mr. Duerr resides in Calgary, Canada.

MICHAEL PHILLIPS

Michael Phillips is retired as Senior Vice-President, Investments of GrowthWorks Capital Ltd., which manages the Working Opportunity Fund in British Columbia, Canada. The Working Opportunity Fund is a uniquely Canadian form of financial institution dedicated to providing risk capital to a wide range of entrepreneurial business in B.C.

Prior to joining GrowthWorks Capital Ltd., Mr. Phillips spent over twenty years with financial and venture capital businesses such as Vencap Equities Alberta Ltd. and Business Development Bank.

Mr. Phillips is currently a director on the boards of nine Canadian companies including Armstrong Group (owners and operators of Rocky Mountaineer) where he has served as a director since 1991 and as Chairman since 1998.

RANDY A. GARFIELD

Randy Garfield served as President of Walt Disney Travel Company and EVP/Chief Sales Officer for Disney Destinations.  In a Disney career spanning 20 years, he led worldwide sales and group/convention services for its theme parks, resorts, cruise line and time share business and the resort reservation centers which handle millions of transactions each year. While driving strategy and consistently delivering record-breaking results, Mr. Garfield also helmed key travel and tourism associations and other National industry organizations to create global awareness of the importance of travel and tourism and to drive inbound travel to the United States.  

In addition to overseeing Disney leisure destinations in the Americas, Asia and Europe, he led The Disney Institute, which provides training and consulting services to businesses around the globe.  He garnered deep insight into powerful changes sweeping the global economy and his team has helped thousands of organizations adapt and transform the way they operate within a changing environment.

Mr. Garfield joined Disney in 1993, playing a significant role in creating the largest period of expansion in the history of the Disney Theme Parks and Resorts segment, which grew from $4.5B to $14.1B during his tenure.  He helped create and lead a host of new business ventures including the launch of the Disney Cruise Line (1998) and subsequent fleet expansions; opening of 5 theme parks and 27 new resorts; development of new international resort destinations in Hong Kong (2005) and Shanghai (opening in 2015); and the launch of other new businesses such as Adventures By Disney guided travel excursions and Golden Oak, Disney’s first-ever luxury residential community.

Before joining Disney, Mr. Garfield held executive positions with other notable companies.  He spent seven years with Universal Studios leading Marketing and Sales efforts for resort destinations in California and Florida.  He also served as Vice President of Sales for Royal Viking cruise line and spent 11 years with TWA in a variety of operations, marketing and sales roles.

Mr. Garfield attended UCLA where he studied political science and pre-law.  He and his wife, Ann, divide their time between homes in Central Florida and Canada.

LAUNI SKINNER

Launi Skinner is the Chief Executive Officer of First West Credit Union, one of Canada’s leading credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets under administration, 240,000 members and 1,700 employees. Ms. Skinner leads visioning and strategic direction for First West, based in British Columbia. A leader known for inspiring change and achieving results, she is regarded as a champion for credit union renewal and innovation.

Ms. Skinner brings more than 20 years of business-building experience in both the U.S. and Canada as a result of her time at Starbucks U.S. As president of Starbucks U.S., Ms. Skinner oversaw 7,000 company owned stores and 3,400 licensed stores and managed an extensive management team with operational responsibility for 130,000 employees.

Ms. Skinner has been recognized for her leadership and business acumen including being named one of “Four Women to Watch” in Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women feature. Awarded an honorary doctorate in 2014 by the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Ms. Skinner has also been named as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women four times and was appointed to the Hall of Fame by the Woman’s Executive Network. Additionally, she received the 2011 Stevie Award for Best Canadian Executive and was named one of Business in Vancouver’s Most Influential Women in Business for 2012.

Launi serves on the board of directors for Qtrade Financial. In the community she is a community leader for the Minerva Foundation for BC Women and volunteers as a board member for Science World. She is past event chair for the Vancouver YWCA Women of Distinction Awards and past board of governor for Kwantlen Polytechnic University.