Officers – Biographical Information

 This Page is under construction.

Current Elected Officers of the Phoenix Chapter in January of 2017
President – Phyllis Redhair
Vice President – Al Wendler
Secretary – Greg Rucker
Treasurer – Athena Roberts

mjmPresident  Mike Mackowski was elected president of the Phoenix Chapter in February of 2013. He is an electrical engineer who has worked in spacecraft design and manufacturing for over 30 years. Programs he has worked on have included the recently launched Landsat 8, the Fermi and Swift gamma ray observatories, the Iridium communications satellite constellation, TOMS-EP, TIMED, Landsat 5, GRO, TOPEX and the Space Shuttle. He is currently employed by Orbital Sciences in Chandler, Arizona.Mike has been involved in NSS for decades. He was most active in NSS during the 1980s when he lived in St. Louis and led the St. Louis Space Frontier and Spaceweek St. Louis organizations (for more info see http://space-city-mike.net). While working for McDonnell Douglas, he gave nearly monthly talks at schools and other organizations over a span of several years.  For that he received the St. Louis Section of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Civic Award in 1990.  In Phoenix he has had multiple leadership positions with the local AIAA organization, focusing on K-12 educational outreach activities and has been a supporter of local NSS activities. He has given many talks to school groups including a workshop on “How Satellites Work” that can be tailored to almost any audience.  Recently he established a website that serves as a clearinghouse for local information on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). For the 50th anniversary of manned spaceflight (2011), Mike organized a public forum at Orbital’s Gilbert facility which won a national special event award from AIAA. Recently he has arranged for AIAA and Orbital involvement in the Arizona Science and Technology Festival.
PatrickTreasurer  Patrick Lonchar is the Treasurer for the Phoenix Chapter of The National Space Society. He has been an active NSS member and volunteer since 2006. He is responsible for the chapter’s finances, annual reports, and miscellaneous duties. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 2001 for family reasons. His passion for Space started when he was very young. He remembers getting up early before school and being very excited to watch the Apollo Missions with his father, and has been hooked ever since! Carl Sagan also was a big influence growing up. Patrick is also an active member and volunteer for The Planetary Society. He has had the opportunity over the course of his life to visit 5 of the NASA centers and hopes to visit all of them one day! As for his day job, he works as a client services analyst and has been working in and around IT for the past 20 years. He has one daughter in high school and the rest of his family still lives back in the Greater Cleveland Area. Other interests include music, playing guitar, hiking, biking, astronomy, and following the Cleveland sports teams. Ad Astra!
ChuckMedia and Publicity Manager  Charles Lee Lesher is a Veteran, Student, Engineer, (BS and MS) Editor/Author/Publisher and CEO of of Writers Cramp Publishing. InDesign Guru, Photoshop Junkie, Moderate Humanist, Freethinker, Son/Husband/Father/Grandpa and all around good guy. Among many projects and programs, Chuck has designed space hardware for Orbital Sciences and assembled oil logging tools for Halliburton.

Past Leaders

DaveDave Fisher was the vice-president and webmaster for the Phoenix Chapter of the National Space Society until his untimely death on January 19, 2013. He maintained this blog under the name ‘drdave’. In the summer of 2010, he became the editor for the national blog of the National Space Society. He was a Senior Business Analyst for the Industry Relations group at Money Management International, a non-profit consumer debt management company. He earned his PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry at The Ohio State University in 1974.Dave will be missed by all who were touched by his wisdom and kindness
GregGreg Rucker has served as the Secretary for the Chapter. Greg has been a member of the Phoenix chapter of the NSS since 2003 and has been a participant in most local NSS activities since that time. Some of those activities include manning information booths at the annual Sally Ride Festival at Arizona State University, space related movie screenings, local science fiction conventions, and other science related events such as Yuri’s night. Greg has been a speaker on space related topics at the Challenger space center, various science festivals, science fiction conventions, and in various other venues.Greg was a member of the National Space Society’s Board of Directors from 1997-2000, 2002-2006 and served as one of the vice president’s of the National Space Society from 1997 to 2005. A member of the L-5 Society and NSS continuously since 1983, Rucker has been an NSS chapter president and chapter founder. Rucker was also involved in the re-founding of the present NSS Atlanta chapter in 1994, was awarded the Spacepac Outstanding Service Award in 1995 for political action in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, and was first elected to the NSS Board of Directors in 1997 as Region 5 representative. Rucker created the NSS Endowment Fund for the Society in 1998 and implemented the NSS Investment committee. Rucker has also been a member of the strategic planning committee and participated in creating the NSS “Roadmap to Space” (strategic plan). Rucker has served on various other NSS committees including the budget committee, the Board nominating committee, and executive director review committee. Rucker recruited the editor for the “NSS Online Report”. Rucker has served as chairman of the executive director ‘search committees’ that recruited the last two NSS Executive Directors. Greg has been fascinated by the possibilities of space exploration and settlement since childhood. He holds a BA degree in history from the University of Southern Maine and studied mathematics at the University of Georgia. Greg has been a pilot since 1985. Rucker has served in other community roles such as Treasurer & Design Committee chair for Main Street, Elberton, GA, Chairman of the Elbert Co. Historical Society, as well as leadership roles in various other civic organizations. Over a period of 25 years in the insurance industry, Rucker has had profit and loss responsibility for multi-state life, health, dental, and disability insurance programs insured by New York Life, Humana, American Fidelity Assurance, as well as a dozen other insurance companies. He has served as the underwriting manager in the actuarial department of one the Blue Cross/Blue Shield organizations and been an underwriting consultant for Aetna. Rucker has raised contributions for downtown redevelopment, parks and historic preservation, as well as various other activities. Greg is listed as one of the major donors to the NSS and a member of the Buzz Aldrin Council. Greg currently serves as one of the members of the Pastoral Care Team at Community of Grace Lutheran Church.