January 21, 2022 – Toronto-based Caldwell has assisted in the recruitment of David McKenna as president and chief executive officer of Rocky Mountaineer in Vancouver, Canada, Drew Railton, Les Gombik, John Davidson, Tim Bostick, Natalie Stones and Meghan Harrelson led the assignment. “Rocky Mountaineer is an iconic tourism experience, a global champion, so it is fitting we have a tourism visionary, champion and innovator as our new president and CEO,” said John Furlong, chair, board of directors, Rocky Mountaineer. “Over a distinguished career, David has demonstrated his passion, dedication, and resolve for advancing tourism, and we now look forward to David bringing these traits, and more, to the team. We are in the process of building this company to be stronger, more resilient, and more impactful than ever before.”
“David is no stranger to the impact the pandemic has had on tourism, and his experience and fortitude in strengthening business foundations, identifying, and developing new tourism opportunities, and engaging and coaching team members will be essential to the long-term success of this company,” said Peter Armstrong, founder of Rocky Mountaineer. “David has been a business partner of Rocky Mountaineer for more than 15 years; he knows our product and has worked with many of our team members. We look forward to his leadership in navigating the continuing challenges while also preparing the business for future growth.”
Mr. McKenna is a respected leader and innovator in the tourism industry. Prior to joining Rocky Mountaineer, he was president at the Banff Jasper Collection by Pursuit where he led notable tourism expansion and acquisition projects in the Canadian Rockies. He currently serves as the board chair of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
As Rocky Mountaineer’s President and CEO, Mr. McKenna will not only lead the company in rebuilding the business from the impact of the pandemic, but also identify and develop new tourism experiences in global destinations.
“I am thrilled to join the Rocky Mountaineer team at this exciting time in the company’s 32-year history,” said Mr. McKenna. “Despite the challenges of the past 21 months, there is a sense of optimism at Rocky Mountaineer that can be felt across the team.”
Rocky Mountaineer offers luxury train journeys through Western Canada and the American Southwest. It has been awarded the “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” at the World Travel Awards seven times for its GoldLeaf service and was recognized by National Geographic magazine as one of the “World’s Best Journeys.”
Experienced Recruiting Team
Mr. Railton is a managing partner in Western Canada. Drawing on more than 18 years of experience placing senior executives and board directors, he provides expertise in board, CEO and senior executive recruitment. Mr. Railton has experience as a director, serving on both volunteer and corporate boards, as well as extensive philanthropic involvement. Prior to joining Caldwell in 2006, Mr. Railton’s career spanned a wide range of industries and functions including roles in operations, sales, human resources, customer service and general management.
Mr. Gombik is managing partner of Caldwell’s prairie region. With more than 25 years of executive and board search and human resources experience, he has a broad perspective on the most pressing talent issues in executive management today. His particular focus is on board and senior executive positions for commercially oriented, public, private and private equity-backed enterprises within the industrial, consumer and financial services sectors.
Mr. Davidson is a partner in Caldwell’s industrial practice and a member of the Chicago office. With more than 20 years of recruiting experience, he focuses primarily on CEO, C-suite, and board level assignments for clients in the transportation and mobility sector. Mr. Davidson has done extensive work in private equity as well as the general industrial, transportation and logistics, infrastructure, and travel sectors. He can also facilitate the design and delivery of leadership assessment, development, and succession solutions.
Mr. Bostick is a partner in Caldwell’s industrial practice, and a member of the Dallas office. With 25 years of executive search experience, his expertise ranges from placing board directors, chief executive officers, presidents, and chief operating officers to placing senior functional leaders in finance, marketing, exploration and production, human resources, information technology, operations, legal and corporate/business development. His search work has principally been focused on senior level searches in the industrial, aerospace and defense, energy and private investment sectors to include public and private companies as well as portfolio companies of private equity sponsors.
Ms. Stones is a partner with Caldwell. Promoted to partner in 2021, she combines her deep research and milestone-led approach with over 17 years’ experience in human capital consulting, appointing CEO, C-suite executives, and non-executive directors to a range of industries across Asia-Pacific.
Ms. Harrelson is a consultant in Caldwell’s Houston office and a key member of the industrial practice with a focus on the oil and gas sector.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media