Board of Directors

Meet our Amazing Team

The Faces Behind our Success

Henry Lotin (President & Co-chair)

Retired Canadian diplomat specializing in international trade and investment policy, promotion and development, serving as a research economist, and now economic consultant, devoting his efforts to bringing a planetarium back to Toronto. Since 2003, he has been engaged in tourism and investment promotion in the City, including a proposed redevelopment of Maple Leaf Gardens. Since retiring from public service in 2011, he has also undertaken a range of economic research projects for institutional clients, many highlighting the needs of Toronto for enhanced infrastructure development to accommodate and nurture talent and tourist growth.

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. Associate at Leman group

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 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, 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.

Cathy Tan Jadon (Treasurer) - CPA, CGA

Cathy is a designated accountant and has been in the finance and controllership field for over 12 years. Her experience covers both private and public corporations in the food, CPG, manufacturing and financial services sectors. She is instrumental in and has led various systems, controls and process improvement initiatives within these organizations. Cathy is also a volunteer with the CRA’s tax clinics.

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..

Rod Elliott (Communications) Global Public Affairs

Since joining Global’s Toronto office in 2009, Rod has been at the forefront of supporting clients in both disruptive and regulated industries including the health, cannabis and technology sectors. Rod spent five years working at Queen’s Park as Chief of Staff to three Ministers, including the Government House Leader and Minister of Economic Development. He holds a Certificate in Corporate Community Involvement from Boston College and a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Mass Communications and Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Special Advisors to the Board of Directors

Bill Chomik - Senior Principal, Vice President Institutional - 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

Committee Leaders, Authors, and Key Advisors

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.