President and Chief Executive Officer
Based in Vancouver, BC, Steve Sammut joined Rocky Mountaineer in 2012 and was appointed President in 2015, leading the Rocky Mountaineer team. Before his role as President, he served as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer overseeing all areas of Finance, IT, Strategic Planning and Corporate Development for the organization.
With over 20 years of experience, Mr. Sammut provides overall leadership to deliver growth, consumer value and long-term strategic direction for building the Rocky Mountaineer brand. He possesses an impressive business acumen with deep experience in the hospitality and real estate industries.
Prior to joining Rocky Mountaineer, Mr. Sammut held the position of Chief Financial Officer with Intracorp Projects Limited, a leading real estate development firm. He was also active in a variety of senior leadership roles at the global resort operator and developer, Intrawest ULC, including Corporate Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for the Real Estate Division. At the beginning of his career, he spent five years with CIBC World Markets Corporate Banking Group in Toronto, Ontario.
A Chartered Financial Analyst, Mr. Sammut holds a Master of Business Administration degree from McMaster University and received an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto.
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Mark Southern joined Rocky Mountaineer in his current role in 2018, where he provides oversight for rail operations, asset development, product operations and procurement, and oversees the entire guest experience.
Mark has more than 30 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry, including the role of Vice President of Guest Experience for Rocky Mountaineer from 2005-2008. Most recently, Mark was Vice President, Airports - North America for Air Canada, where he was responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of all airport services in Air Canada’s North American network. In this role, he was instrumental in streamlining processes to improve the guest experience during a period of unprecedented growth.
Vice President, Global Sales
Karen is a veteran of the travel industry with over twenty years of experience. She is a change agent who has led companies to increased revenue, improved profitability, and greater market share. She has a diverse and global background working in Sydney, New York, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Honolulu, and Los Angeles.
Karen started her career in Public Relations. After a brief tenure in the hospitality industry, she managed Virtuoso Travel Agency. This opened the door to leadership positions in sales and marketing with Orion Expedition Cruises, Qantas Vacations, and Travel 2. Karen joined Rocky Mountaineer in 2012 as Director of Sales USA and Mexico. In 2013 she relocated to Head Office to work as Director Global Sales Operations. In 2014 she restructured the business unit to increase sales, to enhance efficiencies, and to improve guest experience.
In 2016, she was recognized as a WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner, an honour celebrating fearless female leaders whose efforts to succeed continue to inspire others. The Top 100 Awards open doors for women to achieve higher levels of excellence by proving that with perseverance and dedication, opportunities increase for all female leaders to have an impact at the highest organizational levels.
In her role as Vice President – Global Sales, Karen and her team are responsible for the strategic direction and worldwide sales initiatives of Armstrong Group and its entities. Her expertise in Marketing, Communications, and Sales makes her a valuable asset to the dynamic team at Rocky Mountaineer.
Karen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Macquarie University in Australia. She is a recent graduate of the Sauder School of Business’ Executive Leadership program.
Vice President, Global Marketing and Communications
Monique Gomel has over 20 years of marketing experience across a number of global iconic brands. With a proven track record of growing sales through new product launches, brand repositioning and new market expansion, she has been recognized for award winning creative strategy and execution in both North American and Global markets.
Monique started her career in Marketing in Toronto in consumer packaged goods as a Brand Manager on the Listerine franchise at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (later acquired by Johnson and Johnson). In 2005, she relocated to Montreal to join L’Oréal where she spent four years as Marketing Director of L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics. When the opportunity presented itself to lead EA Sports’ first entry into the fitness segment, and first female targeted product, Monique returned home to Vancouver to join Electronic Arts as Global Marketing Director of EA Sports’ Active. EA Sports’ Active would go on to be EA SPORTS’ highest selling title on the Wii platform. In 2011, Monique joined Earls Restaurants as Vice President of Marketing, where she played a key role in the brand’s expansion into the US market. Since September 2015, Monique has held the role of Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Rocky Mountaineer, a world leader in luxury train travel, offering unique vacation packages focused on western North America to guests from around the world.
Monique currently serves on the boards of Tourism Vancouver and Destination Canada, where she holds the role of Vice Chair. She earned an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Commerce with Honors from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
Vice President, Finance and Analytics
Since joining Rocky Mountaineer in 2010 as Director, Finance, and his subsequent roles as Executive Director of both Finance and Executive Director, Research & Analytics, Struan Howes has developed a deep understanding of the drivers of our business and consistently demonstrated strong thought leadership. Now as Vice President, Finance & Analytics, Struan is responsible for leading and overseeing our finance and analytics teams with a focus on the planning and execution of core growth initiatives. He is a leader in driving Rocky Mountaineer’s yield management focus forward.
Prior to Rocky Mountaineer, Struan was the Corporate Controller for Day4 Energy and worked in multiple roles in both the assurance and advisory practices at KPMG. Struan brings a wealth of corporate governance and financial reporting experience and a true passion for research and analytics, helping Rocky Mountaineer to reach its potential by critically thinking through the company’s strategic and tactical initiatives.
Struan is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and holds a BBA from SFU and is based in Vancouver, BC.
Vice President, Global Human Resources
Tyson joined Rocky Mountaineer following a lengthy career with WestJet Airlines and, more recently, with Walmart Canada. Having started on his career path with WestJet shortly after the company was founded, Tyson spent three years in customer service-centric roles before transitioning into human resources. Tyson is dedicated to creating robust corporate cultures that promote continuous business growth and cultivate customer loyalty by empowering and motivating employees to realize their full potential.
In 2007, Tyson took on the role of Vice President, People Relations and Culture, where he was responsible for aligning human resources strategies and deliverables to WestJet’s overall business plans. He led a dedicated team that oversaw the department's service model, including business partnerships, culture and engagement programs, technical training, payroll and systems. Tyson moved to the operations arm of WestJet in 2012 as Vice President, Inflight Services, where he led a team of 3,500 flight attendants, including those working in cabin safety and regulatory, guest experience, onboard product, provisioning and technical learning and development.
In 2017, Tyson relocated to Toronto to join Walmart Canada as Vice President, Associate Relations, where he focused on employee engagement, labour relations and employment practices that allowed for a better alignment between the employee and customer brand. Having grown up in Alberta, Tyson was pleased to move back west and join the Rocky Mountaineer team.