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Meet Skifest 2021 Co-Chairs: Ron Armstrong and Erin Brown

With more than 20 years of Skifest experience between them, Ron Armstrong of CIBC Wood Gundy and Erin Brown of Norton Rose Fulbright are the powerhouse duo responsible for pivoting this years 29th annual Skifest event. 

Faced not only with the challenge of their first year as Chairs, but also an unexpected global pandemic altering all previously laid plans, Ron and Erin have done nothing short of step up to the starting gate. Exemplifying that as Erin says, “with challenge comes opportunity.”  

Erin’s favourite Skifest memories circle around the relationships that are built and fostered at the event. Skifest gives the Ottawa business community an opportunity to come together and network in a fun, casual and comfortable setting, giving colleagues the chance to move beyond ‘work friends’ by sharing in the Skifest experience. Her husband, a former ski racer, and her newborn son have also accompanied her to Skifest to make for an extra special event dayRonald McDonald House Charities Ottawa’s focus on keeping families close and building support networks truly shines through in the experiences built for event attendees. 

Skifest just feels different. 

Allowing colleagues and wider networks to both compete and collaborate at the same time outside of the work environment is something you do not get at 600-person gala, or a golf tournament with teams of four. Skifest offers up a healthy serving of competition with a side of local, community support all wrapped up in one mission: to support the Ronald McDonald House and the families that call it ‘home.’ 

Ron is quick to agree that Skifest retains sponsors year after year because it genuinely feels like a community involved event. 

“Everyone is there because they truly believe in what they’re contributing to, you feel close to the charity and loyal to the cause,” he says 

This duo looks forward to tackling the tough challenges that COVID-19 has placed on the non-profit sector and the event world. Focusing on the involvement of businesses without the in-person networking aspect an après ski offers, while introducing additional audiences to Skifest with a new ability to extend our reach rounds out this virtual experience. 

This year’s event will see colleagues, friends and family members create ski teams’ of 4 to virtually compete in a race to the events fundraising goal of $100,000. This means there is greater opportunity to engage those outside of the business community, and outside of Ottawa, to come together to support Ronald McDonald House Charities. If you’re interested in learning more or signing up to be a Skifest sponsor, click here.  

Both Erin and Ron can agree that the overwhelming loyalty of the Skifest Committee throughout COVID-19, during a time when it may be easier to take a step back for a year, is inspiring. This commitment gives these Chairs a great energy to lead and motivate their team to build a fantastic virtual fundraiser from the ground up. 

With the 29th annual Skifest just weeks away, and the 30th anniversary on the horizon, this signature event is in great hands with Ron and Erin. Thank you to Skifest’s Title Sponsor, CIBC Wood Gundy and Auction Sponsor, Norton Rose Fulbright for lending this event these two wonderful leaders and for your unwavering support of Ronald McDonald House Charities Ottawa and the families that they serve. 

Ron and Erin, see you on the screen soon! 


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