Our Board

The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes is a publicly accountable not-for-profit corporation with charitable status.

Trustees are elected by the Museum Membership at the Annual General Meeting in May and together they form a Board of Directors. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the conduct of the Corporation and the achievement of its objectives by exercising its due-diligence responsibilities through regular meetings of the Board, Executive Committee, Standing and Special Committees.

Our Board is a dedicated, passionate and professional group of volunteers who believe in the value of community organisations and the potential for the Museum to create meaningful engagement and contribute to the future of its community.

We are forever grateful for their time, expertise and passion - both past and present.

 

 

Our Officers of the Board are:

Chris West

Chris West

Chairman

Chris has been an Investment Advisor with 3Macs, a division of Raymond James, since 2007, advising clients from a background of practical entrepreneurial experience. With a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Philosophy from Queen’s University, Chris went on to build a 25-year career as a private investor and entrepreneur, owning and operating companies in Canada, the US and the UK ...

He attributes his success as an entrepreneur to a knack for seeing opportunity; the discipline and the patience to realise it; a natural ability to connect and communicate. In his current role at 3Macs/Raymond James in Kingston, he combines his skills in finding opportunity in the markets with his ability to communicate with individual investors. Chris relies primarily on well-chosen dividend stocks and bonds in order to build wealth for his clients, a traditional approach that bypasses industry gimmicks and expensive products.

Chris is active in the community and is currently the Museum’s Chair of the Board of Directors, in addition to being the Chair of the Advancement and Executive Committees.

Serge Labbe

Serge Labbé

Vice-Chair

Serge retired from the Canadian Army as a Brigadier General in 2008 after nearly 40 years in the regular force. Over the years, Serge’s appointments have included; regimental command and staff appointments (Royal 22ième Régiment and Canadian Airborne Regiment); Plans and Policy Advisor at NATO Headquarters, Brussels; Deputy Chief KFOR Joint Implementation Commission (2000-2001) ...

and Commander, Canadian Strategic Advisory Team Afghanistan. After retiring, Serge returned to Afghanistan working alternatively for both the Afghan Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, and the Office of the NATO Senior Civilian Representative as Senior Political Advisor until 2013. He continues to consult for NATO, overseeing the preparation and execution of high-level exercises. Serge has a B.Eng. Hon. in Chemical Engineering from RMC 1974; attended the UK Royal Military College of Science in 1983 and Canadian National Defence College from 1988-1989; and completed the US Armed Forces Senior Joint and Combined Warfighting Course in 1994.

At the Museum, Serge is the Vice-Chair and the Chair of the Governance and Planning Committee.


 

Kelly Pope Wiley

Kelly Pope-Wiley

Vice-Chair

Kelly brings over 20 years of progressive marketing and communications experience across education, media, fundraising, and provincial and municipal government roles. During her career she has led teams to develop successful communication and marketing strategies. She has also contributed and led highly successful teams in the development of detailed financial plans to support clients ...

organisation-wide strategic plans, and the development and launch of brands; the growth of college enrolment; the creation of communication strategies and issues management. Kelly has an Advanced Diploma in Business Marketing from St. Lawrence College (1995) and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Laurentian University (2016). Currently, she is a Consultant with IG Wealth Management. Prior to joining the Museum’s Board, Kelly served as a director on the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston's board, a trustee for the Davies Foundation and a member of many community committees supporting the arts, sports, tourism, innovation and marketing initiatives.

John Plant

John Plant

Secretary

John joined the Board in 2013 with a distinguished naval and academic career. He began as a cadet at RMC that soon took him to the UK where he trained as an engineer and reached the rank of Engineer Officer. After 3-years of service at sea, John was selected to study naval architecture at MIT. This set him on the path to meeting a group of systems engineers who encouraged him to complete a PHD (without the completion of an earlier degree) ...

His thesis was published by MIT press as a research monograph series on systems engineering. John, now a Lieutenant, returned to Canada where he took up the post of Lecturer and several administrative posts before becoming Principal at RMC. His service with the RCN continued to the rank of Captain following his 9-year appointment as Commanding Officer at HMCS Cataraqui. John also has a long history of volunteering with engineering and military associations, but he would say he is most proud of the family he shares with his wife Kay; their 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.

 


 

Jay Sheff

Tom Wightman

Treasurer

Tom is a professional accountant (CPA, CA – Retired), having spent 25 years as a partner at international accounting firm KPMG. Tom has a B. Comm (Hon’s) from Queen’s University, and joined KPMG immediately after graduation, where he spent his entire professional career. During his time at KPMG, Tom specialized in income tax and practiced in KPMG’s Edmonton and Ottawa offices before transferring to KPMG’s Kingston office as managing partner.

Over the years, Tom served on KPMG’s Canadian Board of Directors, and on several national committees. Tom has been, and continues to be, involved with numerous charitable organizations. He very much enjoys the time he spends with his three children and seven grandchildren, all of whom live in Kingston and spend time in the summer at their family cottage.
 

At the Museum, Tom also serves as Chair of the Finance and Human Resources Committees.

 

 

Our Board Directors are:


Ron Kowalczyk

Ron Kowalczyk

Ron has a long history of construction and project planning, and management throughout the region. He has recently retired from the very busy role of managing the Queen’s University construction projects over the last number of years. He employs value engineering and cost saving techniques, working directly for clients to ensure their projects are completed on time and on budget ...

with excellent client satisfaction. He was also the Vice-Chairman of Ethics for the Toronto Real Estate Board and a Member of the Board of Directors of the North York Chamber of Commerce. Ron’s background and successes fill a long existing gap in the Museum Board’s capabilities, and has been immensely useful in the preparation of complex infrastructure grant applications for the new museum.

At the Museum, Ron is the Chair of the Projects Committee working on its $18M redevelopment project.

 

James McDonald

James McDonald

James is a partner and member of the Litigation Group at Cunningham Swan LLP. An advocate by nature, James has a broad-spectrum litigation practice that includes municipal, corporate, commercial and contractual disputes. Among other areas, James has direct experience with municipal zoning and by-law litigation, commercial lease and real property litigation, and construction disputes and liens ...

In 2017, James retired from Naval Reserve of the Canadian Armed Forces into the Supplementary Reserve, having previously served as a Marine Engineering Systems Operator with HMCS Prevost in London, HMCS Brandon in Esquimalt, BC, and most recently Kingston’s HMCS Cataraqui. In recognition of his community involvement and efforts, James was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and has twice successfully challenged the International Four Days’ March and received the Vierdaagskruis Cross (2008 and 2019). On weekends, when he is not exploring the outdoors with his daughters, James can be found puttering in his workshop and experimenting with different woods and finishing techniques.

 



George Merry

George Merry

George is a retired physician who has lived most of his life on Wolfe Island. He began his medical careers as a general practitioner and later became a member of the Medical Faculty at Queen’s University and of the medical staff at St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital. George’s keen interest in the environment and years serving as a volunteer with Ducks Unlimited resulted in the award of ...

a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of his contribution to conservation in Canada. He recently received a lifetime achievement award from Ducks Unlimited for his 40-years of service. George has a long history of boating on the waters of Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence. He has been a CORK volunteer and operated a VIP press boat during the Sailing Olympics.

 

Kelly Pope Wiley

Steven Millan CA, CPA

Steven oversees all facets of Human Resources as the Associate Vice-Principal of Human Resources at Queen’s University, leading the development of the department’s strategic goals and objectives. Steven is a graduate of the Queen’s Commerce program and a CPA.  Before his current role in Human Resources, Steven spent over twenty years with the Smith School of Business at Queen’s where he was the Executive Director of Finance, Administration and Operations. Prior to joining Queen’s, he was a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and the Financial Controller for Strathcona Paper. ...

He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Hotel Dieu Hospital, the Jean Mance Foundation, and the Finance Committee for Hotel Dieu Hospital.  Steven was also a past Chair of the Audit Committee for Hotel Dieu Hospital and the President of the Eastern Ontario Chartered Accountants Association.

Steven grew up in Kinston and proudly spent his youth working in the family business, Millan Brothers Groceries, which was located in downtown Kingston.  The Millan family started the multi-generational business in 1876.  The focus of the business for most of its history was as a marine chandlery, suppling groceries and hardware to the ships that once frequented Kingston and the surrounding area. Steven grew up along the river and spends as much time as possible cruising the Thousand Islands with his wife Kris, on their boat Liquid Asset.