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Open Friday - 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Meet Our Staff

The Boss

David Marskell

Role: CEO of THEMUSEUM
What’s your favourite part about working at THEMUSEUM? Watching the parents and children interact. Watching the staff grow and mature into astute business and arts leaders.
If you had 1 million dollars and one week to live, what would you do? Donate it to THEMUSEUM.
If you could go back in time, what would you do? Bet on the 1992 Toronto Blue Jays to win the World Series.

Sales and Operations, Special Events

Robyn Hopkins

Role: Director of Revenue Generation
Would you rather win an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy or Tony award? A TONY!! That is my dream!
What TV channel doesn’t exist, but should? A live stream of every show on Broadway! Notice a theme?
What movie would be greatly improved if it was made into a musical? Every movie, but more specifically, I’d be curious to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as a musical. It could be beautifully heartbreaking.

Stephanie Marks

Role: Partnerships and Special Events Coordinator
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Chocolate chip cookies. Just saying the words make me hungry for one (or ten).
Most recent Google search: How much does it cost to have Drake sing at your wedding? (Googling for a friend- it’s me, I’m the friend).
Who is your favourite T.V. show character? Definitely a tie between Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons & Elaine Benes from Seinfeld.

Claire McGratton

Role: Partnerships and Special Events Coordinator
What is your strangest phobia? I’m really afraid of whales. I went on a whale watching tour when I was younger and a Blue Whale surfaced right by our boat which sounds really cool but I was too busy panicking about the possibility of it flipping the boat. That being said – whales are cool and should be left alone, and the solution is just me staying away from the ocean.
The most recent google search: I’m planning a trip to Scotland with my mum for April and my most recent google search is very telling – “Actually haunted places in Scotland to visit”  
Who are the 5 guests at your dream celebrity dinner party? Mindy Kaling, Freddie VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Kim Cattrall, Corinne Fischer – weirdest dinner party? Absolutely.

Daniel MacPherson

Role: Exhibit Support and Technology 
If you had 1 million dollars and one week to live, what would you do?  Who thought up this scenario?  How do I know my time is about to expire?  Am I supposed to spend all this money?  Is someone trying to kill me because I have this money?  How did I get this money?  Did I take this money?  Is my downfall brought on by this money?   Oh this greed.
What’s your favourite part about working at THEMUSEUM? I know where everything is.
Describe my instagram aesthetic. WISIWYG no filter.

Gustavo Rodriguez

Any hidden talents? I don’t have any hidden talents.
If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be? If I could have any pet, maybe a Siamese cat.
What’s your favourite part about working at THEMUSEUM? My favourite part about working at THEMUSEUM is all the stuff I have to build with each new exhibit.

Adam Vuylsteke

Role: Special Event Support
What is your favourite dinosaur? Tyrannosaurus. Specific shout outs go to the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, and THEMUSEUM’s very own Maverick – I love that guy!
If you were a Disney villain, who would you be? There are so many great classic villains… but I’ve got to go with Tamatoa from Moana – this is primarily based on Jemaine Clement’s singing of Shiny. Decapods rule!
 If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Pizza. “Pizza is the best food ever invented. It’s cheap, it’s greasy, you can put whatever you want on it, and it satisfies that craving to destroy your body” – Every Pizza Lover Ever

Kevin Dubeau

Role: Special Event Support
If I could have any pet in the world, it would be: A tiger, or definitely some kind of jungle cat, just so long as it promises not to eat me.
In case of a Zombie Apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: Anything that would allow me to keep my distance: probably not a good idea to get any of that stuff on you! And yes that would include my feet as I may decide to just run away if I see one.
“To boldly go where no man has gone before” or “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away”? No question: “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away.” They have lightsabers! Which I am sure would also make a great Zombie Apocalypse weapon…

Matt Pedersen a.k.a Matty. P

Role: Special Events/School Programs
If you were a Disney villain, who would you be?  If I were a Disney Villian I would probably be Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Monster Hunter, Big Mouth, Eat three dozen eggs for breakfast, Just wants to be loved *cough (and then insanely jealous when I’m not) *cough. That about sums me up.
What is your favourite dinosaur? I don’t think you can ask Kids that grew up in the 90s what their favourite dinosaur is and get a definitive answer.  ALL DINOSAURS RULE!! However, I am partial to the ankylosaurus. Special mention to the Archopteryx and Pterodactyl since they aren’t really dinosaurs.
In the case of a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice? After seeing Shawn of the Dead a few years back I cannot picture a zombie Apocalypse without a cricket bat and a crate of vinyl records.

Exhibitions & Programming

Laurel McKellar

Role: Senior Director, Exhibitions & Program Development
What’s your favourite part about working at THEMUSEUM?  Working with all of the different artists – local and international – for our exhibitions!
What is your favourite Beatles song?  You’ve got to hide your love away – I also love the Eddie Vedder version.
Describe your Instagram aesthetic in 3 words: Daughters, design and family.

Katelynn Dietrich

Role: Director of Strategic Initiatives
Who are your dream TV parents? The Dream Team Trio of Danny Tanner, Jesse Katsopolis, and Joey Gladstone from Full House. They do a mean rendition of the Teddy Bear song.
What is your strangest phobia? I’m afraid of Canadian Geese. If you went to the University of Waterloo you know what I mean. Ironically I have a stuffed UW Goose on my desk.
Secret Confession: One time I saw Afroman in an airport and was too scared to ask for a photo and autograph. Best part David Marskell offered to chase him down for me.

Sarah Rolko

Role: Exhibitions Coordinator
Who is your favourite F.R.I.E.N.D.S character, and why? Hands down, Miss Chanandler Bong. One of the funniest sitcom characters of all time, don’t @ me. His wit and sarcasm is just everything. He has so many classic lines that I laugh at EVERY SINGLE TIME, even if it’s literally my 50th time watching it.
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Probably sushi. I basically already do this every time I go for AYCE.
What is your strangest phobia? I’m deathly afraid of birds, which I personally think is pretty rational since they are basically DINOSAURS!! But people tend to laugh at me when I tell them I’m afraid of birds, so I guess it’s pretty strange.

Ashley Miller, PhD

Role: Family Experience Coordinator 
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Mangoes
What is your favourite dinosaur? Compsognathus
If you were a Disney villain, who would you be? Shenzi from the Lion King

Riley Shortt

Role: The Underground Studio MakerSpace Coordinator
In the case of a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice? Zombies are my least favourite supernatural creature but I would use a Mad Max style vehicle to pummel them down.
Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter of Lord of the Rings? Lord of the Rings
What is your strangest phobia? Oompa Loompas

Claire MacFarlane

Role: Education Programs Coordinator
Who is your favourite F.R.I.E.N.D.S character, and why? Phoebe, because she wrote smelly cat and it’s probably one of my favourite songs.
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Ice cream. There’s just so many different flavours, I’d never get sick of it!
What is your strangest phobia? The dark.

Jacob Latimer

Role: Manager of Visitor Experience
If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be? A Red Mouse Deer. Seriously. Look up a picture of a Red Mouse Deer right now. Their bodies make no sense. It’s like they skipped leg day at the gym.
If you could go back in time, what would you do? What would I do? Nothing! Doing things back in time is like the ONE thing literally every time travel movie and TV show says not to do before someone does it and sets off some horrible alternate timeline. No thanks.
What’s your favourite part about working at THEMUSEUM? Having the pleasure of interacting with students and visitors interested in new experiences. The atmosphere at a museum is so different from that of a classroom or lecture hall because it inspires learning instead of demanding it. Combining curiosity and passion in a person often helps someone learn about themselves and it’s pretty cool to experience that firsthand.

Erika Bester 

Role: Visitor Services
Who is your favourite Disney Character? How can I pick just one? they all have great qualities. I guess I would choose Cinderella because she has great shoes, animal friends to help her with her work and I think we all need a little bibbidi-bobbidi-boo help sometime. 
What is your favourite dinosaur? I’m partial to Maverick.
Would you rather win an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy or Tony award? Why not all?! Though if I had to choose just one, I would like a Tony. In a different lifetime, I was born to dance and sing.

Development & Donor Relations

Paige Phillips

Role: Director of Development & Membership
Would you rather win an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, or Tony award? Tony of course- triple threat baby!
What is your ideal superpower? To speak all languages- you’d have friends wherever you’d go, travelling would be a breeze, and your book/movie selection would be endless. It would make life beautiful!
Describe your Instagram aesthetic in 3 words: Friends and Family <3

Jenna Afshar

Role: Development Specialist
What is your ideal superpower? Flying. Air fare is way too expensive, and I have family all over the world that I would love to be able to see all the time.
What is your favourite dinosaur? Parasaurolophus… Don’t know why, they just look really cool.
What is your strangest phobia? Definitely belly buttons. Anything to do with them seriously grosses me out. Omphalophobia – look it up – it’s a thing.

Jordan Baker

Role: Development Specialist, Government and Foundation Relations
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Pizza. Any day, any time.
What is your ideal superpower? I had a recurring dream when I was a kid where I could fly, but only if I crossed my arms. It was odd, but fun. I’m not going to skydive or bungee jump, but outright flying would amazing.
If you could travel back in time to any era, when would that be and why? Anytime with great music. Can I transport modern medicine with me??

Marketing

Shannon Godelie

Role: Director of Marketing
If you could eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Raspberries! They’re in my top 3 favourite foods, plus they’re good for you so it seems like a smart choice.
If you could travel to any event in history where would you go? Woodstock ’69. What a lineup!
What is your favourite vacation destination? Oh, I definitely have a travel bug and have been to a dozen countries. Ireland, Germany, Italy and sunny California are high up on that list, but my all-time favourite place so far has to be Iceland. We’ll have to wait and see where my next adventure takes me!

Connor Simpson

Role: Graphic Designer
When is the last time you climbed a tree? Never.
Who is your favourite F.R.I.E.N.D.S character, and why? I’m guessing this is a TV show?
In the case of a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice? Slower people. Forever.

Taylor Marskell

Role: Communications Manager
What is your strangest phobia? Spiders. SPIDERS.
What is your favourite Beatles song? Come Together
Describe your Instagram aesthetic in 3 words: Simple, Authentic, Unfiltered

Christina Borota

Role: Digital Marketing Coordinator
What is your ideal superpower? Having the ability to be invisible, that way I could do whatever I want, whenever I want!
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Baked Brie and crackers, I LOVE cheese.
If you had 1 million dollars and one week to live, what would you do? Take my closest friends and family on an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece for a week! Whatever’s left I’d give to my parents, little brother and the World Wildlife Fund.

Interpreters

Sarah Young

Role: Senior Interpreter
What TV channel doesn’t exist, but should? The Truman Show Channel, except it’s just of me. 
The most recent google search: “How can I train my dog to sing along to Africa by Toto?”
Who is your favourite T.V. show character? I really like Amy Dunne from Gone Girl. I would like her to be my friend!

Brin Thomson

Role: Senior Interpreter
What is your hidden talent? I am a certified first-degree black belt in mixed martial arts or MMA for short. I have been trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, karate, kickboxing, and weapons training which includes bo staff and nunchucks. I also apparently move very quietly (according to my mom who thinks I’m always sneaking up on her) so I’m pretty much a ninja.
If you were a Disney villain, who would you be? I’m very interested in British history so I would go with The Queen of Hearts, mostly because she is pretty much a child-friendly adaptation of King Henry VIII.
Who is your favourite T.V. show character? Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones. Her sass and wit are unmatched by any other character I’ve seen. When I’m an old lady I want to be just like her.

Jamie Simons

Role: Interpreter
What movie would be greatly improved if it was made into a musical? Jurassic Park – imagine Jeff Goldblum delivering his iconic lines while singing. It would be priceless.
What pizza topping will never be found on your pizza? Anchovies – they’re disgusting. Pineapple will always be found on my pizza though.
If you had 1 million dollars and one week to live, what would you do? Take my friends and go see as many museums as possible!

Donald Kells

Role: Interpreter
What is your hidden talent? I am ambidextrous! I love working with my hands and among my favourite things to make is art, be it sculptures, digital art, traditional painting, I love all of it!
What TV channel doesn’t exist, but should? I would love to see Adam Savage create a Mythbusters-esque show that really delves into the ‘behind the scenes’ of being a maker in various industries, such as modelmaking, engineering, woodworking, machinists, etc!
Who are the 5 guests at your dream celebrity dinner party? I’d invite Terry Crews, Chris Hemsworth, Adam Savage, Neil Degrasse Tyson, and last but not least, Jack Black since his band Tenacious D would be an amazing way to finish the Party!

Joy Kuai

Role: Interpreter
When is the last time you climbed a tree? I was 7 when I last climbed a tree and I fell and now I have a big scar on my elbow 🙁
Who is your favourite Disney Character? My favourite Disney Character is Rapunzel!
Describe your Instagram aesthetic in 3 words: Sporty, Cute, Joy

Sara Jean Hoffman 

Role: Interpreter
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? If I had to eat my weight in one thing it would probably be burritos!
Who are the 5 guests at your dream celebrity dinner party?  Angelina Jolie, Queen Elizabeth, Emma Watson, Ellen DeGeneres and Emilia Clarke.
What TV channel doesn’t exist, but should? My favourite tv channel already exists, it’s called HGTV lol.

Naomi Bender

Role: Interpreter
What is your strangest phobia? Rodents really freak me out!
What is your hidden talent? I can fall asleep anywhere 
If you were a Disney villain, who would you be? Yzma (from Emperors New Grove)  

Masooma Raza

Role: Interpreter
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Biryani (a spicy, colourful rice and meat dish that originates from the Indian subcontinent)!
If you could travel back in time to any era, when would that be and why? I would travel back to the 90’s to see the kid versions of my siblings and myself again and give them squishy hugs! 
Who is your favourite T.V. show character? Currently, it’s Toby from This Is Us. I love his confidence and energy!

Megan Pople

Role: Interpreter
Any hidden talents? I bake delicious oatmeal cookies, but maybe I’m biased.
What is your strangest phobia? A true phobia of mine is emetophobia… it’s kind of strange, given my educational background in nursing.
If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be? I would get a pet Wallaby and name it Skippy.

Alex Vassel 

Role: Interpreter
Who are the 5 guests at your dream celebrity dinner party? Me right now, me 12 years younger, me 12 years old, Lex Luther, Dr. Doom
What TV channel doesn’t exist, but should? The Eclipse channel.
If you had to dance in a flash mob, what song would you choose? Micheal Jackson Beat it!

Oliver Pavia 

Role: Interpreter and Special Event Staff
Who are the 5 guests at your dream celebrity dinner party? Conan O’Brien, Barack & Michelle Obama, Bruce Springsteen and Mel Brooks.
Would you rather win an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, or Tony award? I plan to win all four and achieve EGOT status. Though if that’s unattainable, I’d settle for a Latin Grammy.
What TV channel doesn’t exist, but should? The Staring Contest Channel.

Finance, Human Resources & Volunteer Management

Katharine Albrecht

Position: Controller/Bookkeeper/HR
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Dark chocolate. (Can that be subdivided into a mix of plain 70% dark, dark with sea salt, and dark with mint?)
If you had to dance in a flash mob, what song would you choose?  Hmm, tie between Deee-Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart” and Madonna’s “Vogue”.
What is your ideal superpower? To go through life not requiring sleep.

Why open THEMUSEUM newsletters?

"Just scanning the themes here, I think you and the programming team should be very proud of the relevance of your institution to so many of the important conversations of our time. Please keep doing what you’re doing!"

- Glen Drummond, Chief Innovation Officer, Quarry.com