Board of Directors
Peter R.B. Armstrong
Peter Armstrong is the Founder and CEO of Armstrong Group, owner and operator of the award-winning Rocky Mountaineer luxury train company as well as numerous holdings in the travel, real estate and financial sectors.
Since its inception in 1990, Armstrong Group has evolved from a small entrepreneurial dream into one of Canada's most admired and respected companies. Under Mr. Armstrong’s leadership, the first acquisition was the federal government’s fledgling tourist rail service through the Canadian Rockies. That first foray has now become the acclaimed, Rocky Mountaineer, offering premium rail experiences connecting Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC, to the majestic Canadian Rockies. Rocky Mountaineer has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including the prestigious World Travel Awards’ “World’s Best Luxury Travel Product.”
Mr. Armstrong has served on many tourism industry, community and public company boards. Currently he serves as a Trustee of the Vancouver Police Foundation and also on the Board of P3 Canada.
He has been inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame and the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame and has been awarded many other accolades for his vision and leadership in the tourism industry. He has received an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from the Justice Institute of British Columbia (2012), an Honourary Doctor of Technology from BCIT (2007), and a Doctor of Laws from Thompson Rivers University (2007). In 2013, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Mr. Armstrong was born in Saint John, New Brunswick and has been a proud resident of Vancouver for over 50 years. He attended St. George’s School, BCIT and the University of British Columbia. He lives in the West End of Vancouver with his spouse, Suvina, together they have four children and five grandchildren.
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.
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.
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 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.
Bob Armstrong is a seasoned executive with a strong financial background and a broad range of business and community experience. He currently serves as Director of the Armstrong Hospitality Group, Director of Coast Capital Savings and Advisory Board member of Traction on Demand. From 1997 to 2014, he held several roles at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers including four years as Chief Financial Officer and four years as Chief Operating Officer, helping to drive increases in revenue and market capitalization throughout his time with the company. A Chartered Professional Accountant, Bob worked with KPMG for several years and held financial management positions in the shipping and television production industries.
In addition, Mr. Armstrong has advised many companies on dealing with the challenges of growing, expanding and innovating, with an emphasis on strategic planning and leadership development.
Mr. Armstrong holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University as well as several credits in Executive Education programs including MIT, Columbia, Harvard Law School, and the Sauder School of Business at UBC. Bob also holds the ICD.D designation, awarded by the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Mr. Armstrong and his wife Elizabeth-Anne have three children and reside in New Westminster, BC.
Tristan Armstrong currently serves as the Director of Leasing for National Hospitality Group, spearheading the commercial asset strategy for the portfolio. Prior to this, over the past seven years, Tristan worked for Ferrero Canada, a global family owned consumer packaged goods company, in a variety of trade marketing and sales roles. Additionally, as part of Rocky Mountaineer's Guest Experience department, Tristan gained invaluable experience in guest relations
Most recently, Ashley Armstrong has been Manager of Online Sales with Rocky Mountaineer, supporting a critical division of the company. For several years as a management consultant at Accenture's London, England office, Ashley worked with multinational corporations and the British government in the areas of project management and change management. Before earning her MBA at UBC, she worked with the Sauder School of Business and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs to develop and market educational business programs for entrepreneurial start ups and family businesses.
Chelsea Armstrong has extensive experience with global consumer brands, including Burberry and Kate Spade in New York, Aritizia in Vancouver, and Perry Ellis International in Los Angeles where she worked as a designer. Chelsea also has tourism experience from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and a product development role at Rocky Mountaineer. Building on this experience, Chelsea launched Jubilee Jones, a jewellery and accessories brand, in 2017. She also sits on the board of Create Now, a charity based in Los Angeles that gives youth opportunities to find their voices through arts mentorship and education.