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Open Wednesday - 10:00 am to 9:00 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

Victoria Wood

Role: Partnerships and Special Events Coordinator
Who is your favourite Disney character and why? Just one?! It would have to be Ariel, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a mermaid!
Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter!!
If you could travel back in time to any era, when would that be and why? I would definitely travel back to the 90’s to experience this awesome era as a young adult. The reasons? The music, the movies, and the fashion!

Elise Frangakis

Role: Partnerships and Special Events Coordinator
What is your strangest phobia? So this may be a weird one, I don’t know if it’s a phobia but more so a preference (with a tiny bit of fear), when people take the first sip from my drink. I have to take the first sip from my own drink, and if someone is offering me to try theirs then they have to take the first sip. If people take the first sip of my drink, I slightly panic and then tell them they can have the rest. The other strange “phobia” I have is people touching my knees, I HATE IT SO MUCH, I freak out every time someone touches them!
What is your favourite vacation destination? I haven’t really travelled too much, I would love to see more of the world. At this moment though I would say Los Cabos in Mexico, but if I had to pick one place I would love to travel to it would be Greece.
Who are the 5 guests at your dream celebrity dinner party? Didn’t even need to really think about this one, 1) Paul McCartney 2) Freddie Mercury 3) Jack Nicholson 4) Meryl Streep 5) Annie Leibovitz

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.

Anna Wilson

Role: Manager of Education Programs
If you were a Disney villain, who would you be?  The Queen of Hearts
What is your ideal superpower? Teleportation
Who is your favourite F.R.I.E.N.D.S character, and why? Ross, because he’s hilarious and genuine.

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.

Kayla Sutton

Role:  Manager of Visitor Experience
If you had to eat your weight in one thing, what would it be? Homemade chocolate chip cookies!
What is your favourite vacation destination? I always try to travel to new places! But my top choice for returning for a second trip would be Iceland.
If you had to dance in a flash mob, what song would you choose? Bohemian Rhapsody, fond memories of dancing to this one.

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

Jacob Latimer

Role: Visitor Experience Coordinator
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: Digital & Communications Manager
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 Coordinator 
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 Specialist
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: 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!

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

Brin Thomson

Role: 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.

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!

Corben Ekmanis

Role: Interpreter
Who are the 5 guests at your dream celebrity dinner party? Peter Dinklage, Kit Harrington, Matthew Mercer, Emilia Clarke and Bruce Willis (I get my name from his character Korben Dallas in The Fifth Element!).
Describe your Instagram aesthetic: I don’t really follow any specific aesthetic, I’m more of a “post whatever I want, whenever I want” kind of guy. I find social media way less mentally draining this way!
Secret Confession: I always read the last page of a book first, it’s a weird habit that I can’t seem to break for some reason.

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!

 

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