Sunday, March 13, 2016

#EBCTeam2016: Mark Burton

Exactly how tall is Mount Everest? That depends on what side of the border you’re on. China has said the peak is at 8,844m (29,016 ft), while Nepal says 8,848m (29,029 ft). That’s because China argues that the mountain should purely be measured by rock height, excluding the meters of snow at the very top. Whether or not that’s the better measure, the international community regularly includes snow when describing the heights of peaks around the world. The two countries came to an agreement in 2010, settling the official height as 8,848m.

Our next climber is Mark Burton, who has been dreaming of seeing Everest since he began mountaineering eight years ago.

My name is Mark Burton. I am incredibly lucky to have one wife, three teenage kids, and three dogs. We split our time between our house in Unionville, Ontario and our cottage in Muskoka.

Professionally, my background is a bit eclectic. I have a science degree from Queen's University and a law degree from the University of Western Ontario. I was a partner at a big Toronto law firm, prior to which I was a lawyer on "Wall Street" in New York City. I specialized in corporate law, with an emphasis on initial public offerings, VC financings and mergers and acquisitions. I have been a partner at a "Big Four" accounting firm, working on the consulting side in restructuring and turnaround situations. I've been the CEO of 5 small to mid sized technology companies, 2 of which were TSX listed public companies and 3 of which were venture capital (VC) backed. All of these companies were ultimately sold to large public technology companies. I have been a member of quite a few private, public and not-for-profit boards of directors and advisory boards, and shortly will be assisting with the Outward Bound Canada board. Currently, I am "temporarily semi-retired", and doing strategy, operations and transactions consulting work for a small number of private clients.

Personally, I love sports, fitness and outdoor adventure. I am a climber, a golfer, a pilot, a scuba diver, a sailor, a skier, a backpacker, a paddler and an avid beer-league hockey player. A long time ago I did the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii.

I am thrilled to be joining Outward Bound Canada’s Reach Beyond Expedition to Everest Base Camp and Island Peak. Seeing Everest and climbing a Himalayan mountain has been a dream of mine since I started mountaineering eight years ago. Combining my passion for climbing with the chance to raise funds for Outward Bound Canada was too good an opportunity to pass up.

During the many outdoor expeditions I have been part of, I have seen first hand how impactful and inspiring outdoor adventures can be. The funds raised by Outward Bound Canada, through expeditions like this one and through the generous contributions of sponsors, provide those that might not be able to afford it with the chance to experience the power that the outdoors has to inspire, empower and, in some cases, heal. I am honoured to be able to play a small part in the great work that Outward Bound Canada does for so many.

To support Mark in fundraising for Outward Bound Canada's charitable programs, please visit his personal fundraising page here.

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