Dorothy Byers – Chair
Dorothy Byers is an educator with 40 years of experience in Ontario schools. In her most recent role as Head of School at St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School, a not-for-profit independent school for girls in Oakville, ON, Dorothy, found her passion: nurturing and supporting STEM programs for girls. Prior to SMLS, she was a teacher and administrator in the Peel District School Board. Recently retired, Dorothy now has the time to fiercely promote opportunities for diversity in STEM fields through her role as Chair of the Board, FIRST Robotics Canada; she is the first woman internationally to assume such a position. With a Masters in Education in Curriculum Development, she is keenly aware of the impact of real world application of concepts on learning. Although her degrees are in English, Drama, and Geography, Dorothy is a closet engineer who learned from her dad who worked in STEM fields.
Educated at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, Lisa has over 20 years of combined experience in Organizational and Events Management, Corporate Sponsorship, Marketing, and Public Relations. Past positions include Director of Corporate Sponsorship, Stratford Festival of Canada and Senior Director of Development, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Today, Lisa is co-owner of The York Plastic Surgery Centre. Lisa has coached several FIRST LEGO League teams and is a passionate advocate for youth in STEM and innovation. She has spoken at several conferences in Canada and the United States about her teams’ experiences and the innovative products the kids have developed.
Dave Ellis- President
Mr.Ellis began his career as a teacher in 1998 and started coaching a FIRST LEGO League team in 2005 which he coached until 2010. After growing the program in the TDSB, Dave took over the then-volunteer role of Director of FIRST LEGO League for Ontario in 2008. In 2010 Dave was officially seconded from the TDSB to continue developing the program eventually to over 550 teams in Ontario. In 2014, Dave led the initiative to run the first-ever Canadian International Open at U of T with 72 teams in attendance from 22 countries. In 2019, he started the FIRST Tech Challenge program in Ontario and in 2020 began working as the VP of Programs for FIRST Canada. Starting July 2021, Dave was selected as President to lead FIRST Canada into its next phase of growth and evolution.
Dr. Gorbet is Associate Professor, Centre for Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Gorbet’s teaching includes courses on the profession of engineering, microcontrollers, robotics, control systems, museum design, and technology art. Dr. Gorbet is a key member of Gorbet Design, a design firm and consultancy specializing in public interactive artwork and experiences.
Since 2004, Mr. Homer has provided independent strategic, financial, M&A and restructuring advisory services to major corporate and government clients. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Homer served as Deputy Chairman for Scotia Capital. Prior to joining Scotia Capital, Mr. Homer worked for approximately 20 years in the investment banking business in Canada. He has been a member of the Province of Ontario’s Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress since 2001. Mr. Homer sits on or chairs a number of advisory boards. Education: B.Applied Science (Engineering) (University of Toronto) and M.B.A (Harvard).
Marguerite Jackson has extensive experience as a senior leader in public education, including CEO of Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office, preceded by being Director of Education for both the Toronto District School Board and the North York Board of Education. Marguerite has served on the boards of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Canadian Club, United Way and Junior Achievement. She was named Honorary Director of the Herb Carnegie Future Aces Foundation. Marguerite has been recognized with the International Business Communicators’ CEO Award of Excellence, Bell Canada’s Award of Excellence for Leadership in IT, and as a Distinguished Educator by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Education: BA from McMaster University and MEd from OISE/Uof T.
Jeffrey Li is currently a corporate lawyer at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, but has been passionately involved with FIRST Robotics since 2003, in almost every capacity from student participant to college mentor and team founder to regional event volunteer. Prior to becoming a corporate lawyer, Jeffrey worked in business development and marketing for Procter & Gamble. Jeffrey also sits on the board of directors for Homeless Connect Toronto, a registered charity. Education: J.D. (Queen’s University), iBBA (York University – Schulich School of Business).
Charles Offor is an elementary Vice Principal at Daystrom Public School within the Toronto District School Board. Throughout his 28 year teaching career, Charles mentored and facilitated opportunities for new and experienced educators to learn from each other. As an Adjunct Professor and Host Teacher, Charles supervised, modeled and evaluated York University Teaching Candidates, Ryerson University Students and Secondary School Co-op Students. As an educator and administrator, he supported STEM initiatives and coached Lego Robotics teams. Charles has volunteered with FIRST Robotics Canada in a few high profile positions, such as Game Announcer, Master of Ceremonies and The Ambassador of Fun,
Education: BA & BEd from York University.
Vance Scott is the Principal at Victoria Park Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario. He has served as the Director of Robotics for the Toronto District School Board. He now serves as Treasurer for FIRST Robotics Canada.
Shanan Walsh is a multi-faceted adventurer, in constant pursuit of technological excellence, innovation, and change. Working today at Achievers as the Director of Operations, Shanan contributes to the company’s vision to change the way the world works by folding into that recipe-valuable experiences of years past. Shanan’s focus on science and technology was first catalyzed by her involvement with FIRST at St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School. Building upon foundational knowledge alongside a robot (or two) within her final years at SMLS, this chapter forged her passion in engineering. Soon after, that passion formed into a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Chemistry degree from Queen’s University. Shanan’s work today is focused on identifying impactful solutions within systems and teams alike, building upon integrations and new innovations with the mission to achieve synergy, scalability, stability, and success. Not unlike the first chapter that was opened with FIRST.
Chair: Dorothy Byers
President: Dave Ellis
Sponsor Liaison: Gord Homer
Secretary: Lisa Andrade
Treasurer: Vance Scott