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Meet the Astronz Team

            Gary Holmes

       General Manager

 

Gary Holmes is a former three-term North Shore City Councillor and has had more than 30 years’ experience in sales, marketing, public relations and managing not-for-profit associations.   

 In 2010 Gary was awarded a Winston Churchill Scholarship to study Business Improvement Districts in the US and UK, and has presented to a number of national and international conferences on Business Associations.

 In 2015 he was selected by the International Downtown Association (IDA) as a participant in the inaugural week-long Emerging Leaders course held in New York and is currently serving his fourth term as an ex-officio International Executive Director on the IDA Board.

 Gary is a keen photographer and is looking forward to increasing his knowledge on astronomy and astro-photography as he begins his journey with the Astronz team.

Carol Molamure

Chief Financial Officer

Carol holds a Bachelors (Hons) Degree in Mathematics with Management Applications (specialising in Accounting, Mathematical Modelling and Statistics) from Brunel University, Middlesex, UK. 

Carol has worked in the accounting, management and administration field for more than 20 years, in a diverse range of industries.

 

Steve Dean

Operations Officer

Steve has a deep understanding of astronomical equipment and has contributed to adding to the portfolio range of Astronz.

He’s a digital native and has contributed to the efficiency of Astronz’s recently upgraded modern systems.

 

John Drummond

Operations Officer

John has an MSc (Astronomy) and is currently researching the history of cometary astronomy in NZ as part of his PhD – he’s a student in the Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland. 

A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ, John was the President of the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ for 3 years and is the Society’s Executive Secretary.

John’s astro-photographs have been used in many overseas books and magazines and two NZ stamps. He was the Director of the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ’s Astrophotography Section for thirteen years, until 2018. He is the Director of that Society’s Comet and Meteor Section.

John became fixated with astronomy at the age of ten when his mother pointed out ‘The Pot’ in Orion. He was hooked! He joined the local Astronomical Society and started regular group meteor watches, telescope viewing and listening to astronomy talks. John lives near Gisborne where he has a range of reflecting telescopes up to 0.5-metres in diameter. He uses these to run Gisborne Astro Tours. He images with these telescopes and CCDs, and carries out astrometry of comets, asteroids and NEOs, and sends his observations to the IAU Minor Planet Center.

John has helped confirm many comet discoveries. John has also co-discovered about 20 exoplanets in collaboration with the Ohio State University. He is a co-author of more than 60 research papers and is a contributing editor for the Australian Sky and Telescope magazine. He enjoys giving talks around New Zealand on historically-famous astronomers and astronomy in general.

John is a secondary school science teacher. He enjoys surfing the great waves of Gisborne and pottering around on his small farm tending to his sheep.

Hannah Ralph

Operations Officer

Hannah is an avid Astronomer and is currently in her final year of studying Astrophysics at Auckland University of Technology, and majored in Radio Astronomy & Physics. When her studies are finished, Hannah is keen on researching exoplanets through Radio Astronomy. 

 

   Josh Storey       

 Operations Officer

Josh is a keen amateur astronomer who runs his own astrotourism business.

Josh was a Telescope Operator at Stardome at Auckland’s Observatory & Planetarium and formerly part of the Auckland Astronomical Society Outreach Team.

 

.         Andy Cho        

Operations Support

Andy is a very accomplished astronomer who, after 22 years of observing under the Northern Night Skies, migrated to New Zealand from South Korea 6 years ago purely in pursuit of the Southern Night Skies.

Observing primarily through a 16” F/4 custom-made Dobsonian telescope, Andy is an exhibition quality practitioner of the art of Astro sketching. As a keen observer Andy has participated in observing and recording most of the Messier objects and also 6 total solar eclipses by travelling internationally with the sole purpose of observing them.

Andy has published books on astronomy and observing in Korean and plans to do the same in English in the coming years. His goal is to get to know intimately both Northern and Southern night and he's motivated by William Herschel’s “I have looked further into space than ever human being did before me" and would like to say “I will be the first human being who has looked at both Northern and Southern skies for my whole life”.