Tomlinson Becomes CCC’s First Female Board Chair

FasterSkierJune 19, 2018

(Press release)

Ontario’s Jennifer Tomlinson Named New Chair of the Board of Directors for Cross Country Ski de fond Canada

Tomlinson to lead Board of Directors committed to excellence, and sport development

CANMORE, Alta.—Jennifer Tomlinson will become the first woman ever to serve as chair of the Board of Directors for Cross Country Ski de fond Canada.

An energetic leader and strategic thinker in her professional career, who brings a lifelong passion for skiing and coaching, Tomlinson was acclaimed to the position for a two-year term during the organization’s Annual General Meeting in Canmore, Alberta, over the weekend.

“Cross country-skiing is deeply rooted in our family, and I’m extremely proud to carry the torch in our sport’s quest towards the future building on the success in our past,” said Tomlinson. “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with a Board of experienced professionals, that is national in scope and representation, who are committed to guiding our sport.”

An engineering major who went on to complete her MBA at Queen’s University, Tomlinson has been an Associate Partner with Avenai since 2014. She brings both experience and critical skills needed in her new role with the national sport body: vision; strategic thinking; relationship building; and strong governance experience and knowledge.

The Ottawa resident gained experience in leading, developing and implementing business strategies that build and transform organizations with her government clients over the last three decades, serving on Boards in non-profit sport, and in her coaching roles.

“Be it sport or business, the goal in my mind is the same – set aspirational goals and deliver excellence by building a team of professionals who are united under a vision they believe in,” said Tomlinson, who has served on Cross Country Ski de fond Canada’s Board of Directors since 2014 and takes over as chair from Jamie Coatsworth who served two, two-year terms.

“Our sport has had tremendous success over the last 10 years and we now have an opportunity to learn from that success and build towards our future. It is an absolute honour and privilege to bring my experience to the leadership team at Cross Country Ski de fond Canada in an effort to shape a new era for our sport in Canada.”

A skier, coach and official over the last 45 years, cross-country skiing is in Tomlinson’s blood and the sport has shaped her personality and character. As a leader, she values perseverance, respect and teamwork.

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“I was never one of the best athletes, or the smartest people on my teams, but my skiing coach Dave Mallory taught me that when you put in the effort and commit to yourself and your team, you never know what you might achieve,” added Tomlinson. “Not losing sight of this mindset, my goal will be to enable a culture that is focused on investing in each other, improving communications with all of our stakeholders, establish programs that are sustainable, and most importantly, ensure our athletes know they have a team of supporters behind them who are creating an environment that will lead them to success on the ski trails.”

Having been a volunteer at the national, provincial and club level, Tomlinson has chaired several committees as a member of Cross Country Ski de fond Canada’s Board of Directors, including the Governance Committee, where she led the re-creation of the governance policy, the Education Committee, which she co-chaired, and the Human Resources Committee, responsible for the hiring and review of the organization’s chief executive officer.

“Jennifer Tomlinson is committed to excellence at the elite level, but also understands the importance of forging relationships with the divisions and clubs from coast-to-coast-to-coast if Canada is going to continue to develop Olympic and Paralympic champions in cross-country skiing,” said Shane Pearsall, chief executive officer. “Not only does Jennifer understand our sport in the boardroom, but as a skier and coach herself, she understands what our athletes require and deserve to achieve their goals.”

Tomlinson will lead a mix of new and familiar faces on the Board including: Angelo Cristofanilli; Sarah Daitch; Ryan Jackson (Athlete Director); Ted Kalil; Patricia MacDonell; Jeff Sim; Bruce Simms; and Jo Wolach (DCC Chair).

CCC is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Mackenzie Investments, Swix and Lanctôt Sports– along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, CCC develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on CCC, please visit us at


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