Meet our Amazing Team
Board of Directors
Henry Lotin (President & Co-chair)
Henry is a Research Economist, Policy Analyst, and World traveller writing under the moniker “Occidental Tourist”. He is also a retired Canadian diplomat, serving abroad at the UN in New York, New Delhi, and in Vienna at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Fascinated with the mystery of Space, riveted by Planetariums locally and around the World, since childhood. Actively sought to bring a planetarium back to Toronto since 2004. Supported research projects that highlighted the need for Toronto for enhanced infrastructure development to attracting global talent and tourism to Toronto. Owned a Downtown Toronto Inn for over a decade. Founded Space Place Planetarium Canada in 2018 with Mike Fich, and Randy Attwood as Co-Chairs.
Professor Mike Fich (Secretary & Co-chair) -
University of Waterloo professor of astronomy
Canadian lead investigator in numerous international observatory projects, including; SCUBA-2 camera (the principle instrument of), James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), High resolution spectrometer for the Infrared (HIFI), Herschel Space Observatory. Currently a leader of team building a new telescope: the $50-million Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope-Prime (CCAT-p) in Chile.
Jo-Ann Davis - Sr. Management Consultant at Leman Group and Education Advocate
Jo-Ann has led successful strategic change initiatives for 15 years for some of Canada’s largest corporations, as well as provincial ministries and agencies. Jo-Ann is former Chair of the Board, and trustee for the Toronto Catholic District School Board (2010 – 2018). In addition to her role on the Board at Space Place, Jo-Ann is currently on the Boards of Directors of Young People’s Theatre, Canadian International Council, and the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy.
Richard McDonald (Technology Lead)
Richard is a retired IBM Distinguish Engineer. One of his passions is the development of technical skills in young people. He’s an active volunteer at FIRST Canada and mentor at UoT. While he was studying Astronomy and Computer Sciences at UoT, he worked as a part time lecturer and theatre operator at the McLaughlin Planetarium.
Kirsten Vanstone - Senior Manager Operations at The Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences
Kirsten is a not-for-profit manager specialising in organizations connected with science and STEM. She has more than 18 years’ experience working in museums, planetariums and science centres and is an active volunteer with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. She has a BSc in Astronomy & Physics and a Masters degree in Science Communication. Kirsten is from Toronto, where her first job was working the elevators at the CNTower.
Wintta Ghebreiyesus - Toronto Metropolitan University
Wintta is a PhD candidate in aerospace engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her Master’s and now her PhD research is a joint initiative with Bombardier on cabin noise control. Wintta was an integral part of a team that designed and built a deployable wheel system for SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod competition. She is an advocate for women and girls in STEM through her involvement with groups like Canadian Women in Aviation.
Trevor Cummings (Treasurer) - Principal Economist at OMERS
Based in Toronto, Trevor is a Principal Economist at OMERS focused on country investability, climate change, and the energy transition. With a childhood curiosity kindled by CD-ROM encyclopedias, enriched with Astronomy 101 & 102, and deepened by visits to the Hayden Planetarium, Trevor’s fascination with space is, too, an endless expanse. Trevor holds a deep appreciation for STEM education and is passionate about inspiring the next generation.
Jason MacIntyre - Partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Jason is a partner at the law firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He chairs the firm’s Aviation & Aerospace Group and is a co-lead of the firm’s Drones Group. His practice focuses primarily on secured lending and structured finance transactions, with a particular emphasis on aviation, project finance, infrastructure and defence.
Special Advisors to the Board of Directors
Bill Chomik - Senior Principal, Vice President Institutional at Kasian
A leading Canadian architect and visionary in his field, Bill has 43 years of experience in architecture, overseeing the design and construction of over 750 buildings worldwide. Bill was responsible for the design of the Eugenides Planetarium in Athens, Greece; the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium at the Liberty Science Centre in New Jersey; TELUS Spark Dome Theatre in Calgary, Canada; and The Songam Space Centre in Seoul, Korea, among many others. As Senior Principal, he leads the delivery of architecture, facilities programming, master planning, and interior planning services, as well as Kasian’s Institutional Market Sector.
Ian McLennan - Consultant to Museums, Science Centres Planetariums, Theme Attractions and World Expositions
Consultant, project planner and designer of new and refurbished museums, science centres, giant screen theatres and planetariums around the world. A few of his recent projects include TELUS World of Science – Edmonton, Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal, and Science North in Sudbury. Earlier, in his over fifty-year career, he was the Founding Director, Queen Elizabeth Planetarium in Edmonton, Canada’s first public planetarium, and the first GM of Ontario Place. Ian has been principal consultant on many major planetariums, including the world-famous Lowell Observatory in Arizona, Adler Planetarium in Chicago, the National Air and Space Museum (Einstein Planetarium) in Washington, DC and the iconic Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California.
The Space Place Team
Committees and Committee Leaders
We rely on a number of experts from diverse backgrounds on the Space Place team to communicate with our collaborators, to help with outreach initiatives, to bring you exciting new STEAM content and to coordinate website development efforts.