Board of Directors
- Stever Aubrey–Chair
- Barbara Alleyne–Vice-Chair
- Julianna Flanders–Secretary
- Dale Garth–Treasurer
- Nat Benjamin
- Robert Blacklow
- Jeb Blatt
- Marcia Mulford Cini
- Gordon Cromwell
- Meredith Degen
- David Foster
- Deirdre Frank
- Peter Gearhart
- David Grain
- Fain Hackney
- Fred Jackson
- David Lewis
- Calvin Linnemann
- June Manning
- John McDonald
- Christopher Morse
- Jim Newman
- Phil Regan
- James B. Richardson, III
- Paul Schneider
- Alison Shaw
- Shelley Stewart
- Elizabeth Hawes Weinstock
- Cathy Weiss
- Lana Woods
- Denys Wortman
Nat Benjamin is the founder and co-owner of Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway in Vineyard Haven. He came to the island in 1972 with his wife, Pam, and young daughter, Jessica, looking to settle down and work at a boatyard after various sailing expeditions to locations such as Spain, Morocco, and islands in the Caribbean. In 1968, Benjamin was hired to sail a nearly forty-foot schooner from Malta to Newport, RI, a journey that took over one year to complete.
In 2014, Benjamin sailed his fifty-foot, auxiliary schooner to Haiti to deliver books, craft materials, clothes, games and other supplies to a local orphanage; a journey Benjamin documented in his two-part booklet, Passage to Haiti. This story earned him the Charles H. Vilas Literary Prize member award from the Cruising Club of America in March of 2017. Today, Benjamin resides in Vineyard Haven with his wife, Pam.
Jeb Blatt is Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing at Jack Morton Worldwide where he oversees Account Services, New Business, and the agency’s global Integrated Marketing practice. Over his career, he has worked with Fortune 100 companies including Subway Restaurants, Liberty Mutual, CVS, Walmart, Reebok, and the American Heart Association. He is particularly proud of his work with pro-bono organizations suce as Thompson Island Outward Bound and Metro Lacrosse, both of which help to bridge the opportunity gap facing underprivileged students. Additionally, Jeb is a visiting Faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter. He has also been a guest speaker at a variety of national marketing and advertising conferences. He’s a passionate writer, loves golf and it occasionally loves him back. Jeb and his wife Elena have three daughters, live in Weston and Edgartown, and are members of the Edgartown Yacht Club and Chappaquiddick Beach Club.
Marcia Mulford Cini
Marcia Mulford Cini led an active civil law practice with offices in Edgartown and Vineyard Haven, specializing in real estate, zoning, affordable housing, historic property preservation and nonprofit organizations for over two decades. She has served two terms on the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, spent a decade on the West Tisbury Historic District Commission, and has been a selectmen’s appointee to the Tisbury Community Preservation Committee since its inception. She holds a Master of Arts in Preservation Studies and Juris Doctor degrees from Boston University. Marcia splits her time between West Palm Beach, FL and Vineyard Haven with her husband Bill.
Gordon Cromwell is the Director of Strategic Finance and Operations at Empower Schools in Boston, Massachusetts. After receiving his Bachelors from Denison University and Masters of Business Administration from Vanderbilt, Cromwell held positions in equity analysis and sales at Canaccord Genuity, Turner Investment Partners, and The Boston Company Asset Management. Cromwell is involved in a variety of non-profits including the Brookline Food Pantry, and serves on the Advisory Boards of Citizen Schools, Boston Prep Charter School, and Rehearsal for Life. Cromwell resides in Chestnut Hill and West Chop with his wife Wendy and their two children.
Meredith Degen has come to the Vineyard her whole life. During childhood, she stayed on East Chop with her grandmother, Gladys Dowley Lewis. As an adult, she and her family have stayed in Lower Makonikey at the home of her parents, Jack and Phoebe Lewis. Meredith and her husband, Tom Degen have recently moved into their home in Vineyard Haven and summer there.
After graduating from college with a degree in Economics, Meredith was employed by a regional investment firm in Texas, and following that was an underwriting manager with Chubb Insurance in Texas and Wisconsin.
Since the birth of her four children, Meredith has concentrated on volunteer work. Currently, she is a regular volunteer at One City Early Learning Center and Wright Middle School. She works one-on-one with preschoolers and middle school students. She also volunteers with Madison’s Attic Angel Association, running activities for seniors and participating in major fundraising events.
Stever Aubrey has been a successful senior executive with extensive operations and marketing experience. Having grown and sold three companies, he is currently consulting with start up organizations and exploring new ventures. Stever was the co-founder and CEO of Dovetail Health based in Needham, MA which was sold to United Healthcare in 2015. Previously he was the President and COO of Pri-Med which was sold to Bain Capital in 2004 and he was an Executive Vice President and General Manager at Hill Holliday Advertising for 10 years. Stever spent over 25 years of his career as an marketing and advertising professional in both New York and Boston.
Stever graduated from Denison University. He was previously on the boards of The Partnership and The Trinity Boston Foundation. He has served on the Jimmy Fund Committee at Dana Farber, and has been involved with City Year and the Boys and Girls Club. Stever has been married to his wife Elsie for over 30 years, and they have two grown children, Lilah and Tyler. Stever and Elsie are now living year-round in Edgartown.
Barbara Alleyne is the former Managing Director in Global Fixed Income for Citigroup. She is a graduate of Northeastern University and received her MBA from Columbia. Alleyne spent many years at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street firm specializing in fixed income securities, where she ran a small team marketing money-market securities.
Alleyne joined the Northeastern University Corporation in 2001 and became a Trustee in 2007. She is actively involved in the Black Alumni Scholarship Fund and passionately advocates for education. On Martha’s Vineyard, she has been a strong supporter of Adult and Community Education of Martha’s Vineyard (A.C.E.) and joined the Cottagers, an Island philanthropic organization, in 2014 when she became a year-round Oak Bluffs resident.
Julianna Flanders, a resident of Chilmark, leads an active role in the Island community. Julie is the principal broker for Flanders Up-Island Real Estate and the owner of the Captain Flanders House Bed & Breakfast. She has held leadership roles with MV Savings Bank, YMCA of MV, Chilmark Community Church, MV Horse Council, Chilmark Parks and Recreation Committee, and Chilmark Parent Teacher Organization. Julie is also a lifetime member of the MV Agricultural Society. She is a proud mother of a teenage daughter.
For more than 30 years, Dale Garth was involved in building companies in a variety of industries, primarily in business strategy and finance roles. Most recently he was CFO of Health Dialog, a rapid growth health care services business. Previously he was CFO of Waban (parent of BJ’s Wholesale Club), CFO of Talbots, and a partner in the LBO of Kohl’s Department Stores.
Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Garth graduated from Vanderbilt University and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. In his non-profit activities, he has chaired the planning and approval of major renovation projects at two country clubs, and has also been involved with Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Boston Children’s Museum.
He and his wife Robyn have raised four children and enjoy their extended family. The Garths have lived in Dedham, MA since 1989 and have been spending summers in their vacation home in West Chop since 1997.
David Foster has been a Harvard faculty member in biology since 1983 and the Director of the Harvard Forest since 1990. Foster graduated from Connecticut College in 1977 with a focus in Botany and Religious Studies and then continued on to the University of Minnesota to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology. He is the author of six books including his most recent, A Meeting of Land and Sea: Nature and the Future of Martha’s Vineyard (2017) that explores the island’s history, ecology, and conservation.
Foster serves on various boards for foundations and organizations and is also a research associate at the Polly Hill Arboretum, the Principal Investigator at the Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research Program, as well as the Chairman and President at the Highstead Foundation. Foster splits his time on his properties in Cambridge and West Tisbury with his wife, Marianne Jorgensen, and their two children.
Deirdre Frank has spent many weeks of most summers on Martha’s Vineyard starting when she was five years old at her great-grandfather’s Circuit Avenue house in Oak Bluffs, in the Methodist Camp Ground. He had been a Methodist minister in New York City, and the house stayed in the family for three generations. Dede and her husband Woody now live in Chilmark, in a home they purchased in 2001.
Dede graduated from Wheelock College in Boston with a major in Early Childhood education and an interest in social work. Until recently, she and Woody lived on Long Island, where she was involved in many non-profit organizations including the Parent-Child Home program. She has also served on the boards of Hospice Care Network and the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. After more than 15 years on the board of the Family and Children’s Association, she served two years as Board President.
Dede and Woody now live in Boston, which provides an easier commute to Martha’s Vineyard and to Hingham and Marblehead, where their sons and extended families live. They also spend time in Hobe Sound, FL, where Dede was recently on the board of the Loblolly Community Foundation.
Born in Chicago in 1948, Peter Gearhart is an architect living and working in the Boston area. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Arizona (1971). For over 40 years, he and his firm have provided architectural services for the restoration, renovation, reconstruction, and adaptive re-use of existing and historic structures.
Peter met his wife Noel in the early 1990s, but both have visited the Vineyard since the 1960s. Noel’s parents built a house in Katama in the early 1970s and she has been a regular ever since. In 2012, Peter and Noel bought the historic Vineyard home they now own, at 108 Main Street, Vineyard Haven.
Peter’s primary relevant experience on non-profit boards is with The Cambridge Homes (formerly The Cambridge Home for Aged Women) on Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge, MA. When he joined their board in the early 1980s, the organization was faced with an aging, and financially fragile, facility that needed a new direction. By 1997 a gut renovation was completed and the former antiquated nursing home has become a modern and very successful assisted living facility.
David Grain is the Managing Director and CEO of Grain Management. Prior to Grain, David served as President of Global Signal, Inc. (formerly NYSE: GSL), the largest communication tower owner/operator at the time. David has also served as Senior Vice President at AT&T Broadband’s New England Region and was an Executive Director in the High Yield Finance department at Morgan Stanley. He also served as an Operating Advisor to General Catalyst.
David received a B.A. in English from the College of the Holy Cross and M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Southern Company.
David is a 1980 graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, he and his family moved to Vineyard Haven full time in 1974. His father, Walter Grain, grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and first visited the Vineyard in 1954. Mr. Grain’s mother, Dora Grain, was a longtime community activist and active member of the Vineyard chapter of the NAACP. David and his wife Dr. Lisa Butler were married on the Vineyard. They currently split their time between Sarasota, FL and West Chop and have two adult children.
S. Fain Hackney is a managing director of Reynolds, Rappaport, Kaplan & Hackney, LLC and has more than two decades of experience in the areas of real estate law, commercial finance and corporate law. He joined the firm in 1996 after practicing in Philadelphia, PA from 1987 until 1996. He was an associate in the Reorganization and Finance Department of Duane, Morris & Heckscher and then served as in-house counsel in the Commercial Transaction division of First Union Corporation in Philadelphia before moving to the Vineyard in 1996.
Since moving to the Vineyard his practice has focused on residential and commercial real estate and commercial lending. He also has experience in general business law, including forming and advising a variety of business entities. In addition, Fain was recognized by Boston Magazine as a rising star in 2005.
Fain is currently a member of the Board of YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard, Inc. where he serves as clerk. He was a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Board for ten years and served as both Treasurer and President. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Martha’s Vineyard Cerebral Palsy Camp, more commonly referred to as Camp Jabberwocky. Mr. Hackney is a Corporator for Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank and was the past President of the Dukes County Bar Association.
Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Frederick Jackson, Jr., attended the University of Chicago. While working his way through college, Jackson founded and sold two companies in the electrical supply industry before creating and selling a financial services company named ChecKlear Corporation.
Fred joined the marketing department of IBM in 1977. His roles included the management of field sales, a headquarters marketing function and a corporate finance function while also serving as CEO of RDN Corporation, an IBM internal investment holding company. When he moved to Florida, he continued in his role with IBM as Business Development Executive for the Software Group with responsibilities for software mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances worldwide. After retiring from IBM in 2005, he launched the consulting firm of BeecherJackson.
Fred is a founding sponsor of The Institute for te Study of the African American Child (ISAAC). He has served on the board of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Internet Coast Advisory Council, United Way, One Community One Goal Career Academies, and the Regional Business Alliance. He and his wife Yvonne split their time between Coral Gables, FL and Oak Bluffs.
David Lewis holds a masters degree in History Museum Studies from the State University of New York, and has served as a museum educator, researcher, curator, and exhibit designer for numerous museum projects. David is a recognized expert in American firefighting history, and is frequently requested as a speaker, guest researcher, and historian. He has worked on countless firefighting history books, and consulted and/or curated dozens of firefighting history exhibits at museums across the United States.
David was first appointed Curator of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum in 1989 and has played an active role in the ongoing preservation and restoration of Aurora’s old Central Fire Station ever since. David is active in Aurora’s downtown community. He was a funding member of the Cultural Creatives who planned and implemented the Aurora ArtWalks. Currently he serves on the board of directors for the Aurora Cultural Creatives and the Aurora Public Library Foundation.
David’s family has a long history on Martha’s Vineyard. He splits his time between Aurora, IL and East Chop.
John McDonald is a partner and cofounder at Beacon Hill Capital which he started in 1986. Since 1987, BHC has been focused on the institutional tax credit investment and has helped corporations invest over $10 billion in the Affordable Housing Tax Credit industry. John and his wife Melissa McCullough have just built a house in Vineyard Haven and are currently building another house in Aquinnah. John has been coming to the Vineyard for over 40 years. In his semi-retirement, he enjoys sailing and has previously sailed to the Vineyard from Haiti.
Jim Newman holds a BA from Marietta College and MA in education from Kean College in New Jersey. After college, Jim was a teacher in the Peace Corps working in Liberia. Upon returning from Africa, he worked as a teacher for the city of Newark from 1966 to 1997 serving as reading specialist, human relations specialist, and elementary teacher.
Jim has served on the board of the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School and chaired the Aquinnah finance committee. He currently serves on the Aquinnah board of selectmen. Jim lives with his wife Kathy in Aquinnah year-round.
Philip Regan received his bachelor of architecture from the University of Miami in 1988. When he returned to the island, he began a three-year internship that blossomed into a lifelong career and in 2004; Phil was named Managing Principal of Hutker Architects’ Martha’s Vineyard office where he continues to work today. Phil has served on the board of Sherriff’s Meadow Foundation since 2011 and is a founding member of the Cottage City Historic District Commission and has been the commissioner since 2003. Phil is passionate about island sports and was the lead design consultant and fundraiser on both the Shark Tank and Penn field. Phil and his wife Debbie reside in Oak Bluffs with their three children.
James B. Richardson, III
James B. Richardson III, grew up in Longmeadow, MA and received his doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Illinois. His archaeological research includes Peru and Martha’s Vineyard with a focus on maritime adaptation and climate change. He also conducted excavations in western Pennsylvania. Other interests include Colonial archaeology, the archaeology of whaling, the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. He is Curator Emeritus of Anthropology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh. He directed the development of the Egypt, Inuit and American Indian halls at the Carnegie and was chair of both anthropology departments, interim director of Carnegie Museum and is on board or committees of the Heinz History Center and Peabody Museum, Andover.
He has been associated with the Museum since the 1940’s and worked with Gale Huntington at a site in Vineyard Haven as a teenager. His family has been coming to the Vineyard since the 1840’s and his Grandmother’s family built the Lawton cottage, the first wooden cottage in the campgrounds. He summers on East Chop with his wife Judy.
Paul Schneider is the author of five works of historical non-fiction about North American topics, all of them published by Henry Holt in New York, all of them still in print. It’s fair to say that making history meaningful and accessible to the general public has been his profession and passion the past twenty years.
Before turning to book writing he was a journalist specializing in environmental stories for a wide range of national magazines. He is currently the editor of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, which regularly publishes historical pieces about the Vineyard.
Paul lives year-round on the Island with his wife Nina Bramhall. He has served on the boards of the Vineyard Conservation Society and, in addition to the Museum, is currently on the board of Sail MV.
Alison has been a photographer all of her professional life and has lived on Martha’s Vineyard full-time since 1975. She graduated with a BA from Smith College before starting her career with the Vineyard Gazette doing production work and free-lance photography. She was also the former archivist at the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society (now MVM). During her 25-year tenure at the Gazette, she was a 4-time recipient of New England Press Association’s “Photographer of the Year” award. In 2000, Alison left the Gazette and, along with her partner, opened the Alison Shaw Gallery in the Arts District of Oak Bluffs. Alison has twenty published books to her name. Thousands of her fine art photos are in public and private collections. She is regularly published in major magazines, runs a photography mentorship program, and teaches photography workshops worldwide.
Alison is on the boards of Martha’s Vineyard Bank, Martha’s Vineyard Bank Charitable Foundation, Martha’s Vineyard Center for the Visual Arts, and Expressive Digital Imagery Institute. She is a Martha’s Vineyrd Hospital Art Fund committee member and a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association. She has also served on numerous town committees in Oak Bluffs.
Shelley Stewart Jr. has been coming to the Vineyard for almost fifty years. Shelley recently retired as the Chief Procurement Officer at E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. In that role he led procurement, global sourcing and logistics, as well as real estate and facility services, with a focus on delivering benefits through a strategic approach to supplier management, and assuring efficient facility utilization and maximizing the real estate footprint.
From 2005 until joining DuPont in 2012, Shelley was Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer at Tyco International. From 2000 to 2001, he served as Vice President of Supply Chain Management at Raytheon Company before accepting the position of Senior Vice President of Supply Chain at Invensys PLC, where he worked until 2003. He spent 19 years at United Technologies Corporation where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including Director of Worldwide Sourcing for UTC.
Shelley served on the board of directors of Cleco Corporation for five years until the sale of the company in April 2016. He chaired the Nominating and Governance Committee and served on the Audit Committee. Shelley currently serves in several capacities with Howard University. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Drexel University Center of Corporate Governance and a Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Shelley holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University and received his MBA from the University of New Haven. He splits his time between Philadelphia, PA and Oak Bluffs with his wife Ann.
Elizabeth Hawes Weinstock
Betsy Weinstock is an author of biography, journalism, and creative nonfiction. She writes under her maiden name, Elizabeth Hawes. Betsy and her family have ties to the Vineyard going back more than 35 years. They’ve owned a home in Chilmark since 1990.
Betsy has served on the summer board of the Chilmark Community Center for many years, and for nearly two decades she ran the center’s Thursday night lecture series. Speaking as an author, Weinstock sees the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s mission of preserving the Island’s history has a distinctly high calling. “It’s all about stories,” she says. “Everything is.”
Weinstock is married with three children and resides in New York City and Chilmark.
With more than thirty years of service in the public and philanthropic sectors, Cathy Weiss brings a wealth of experience in family foundation management, governance and strategic planning, organizational and resource development, grantmaking, and program development.
As the Executive Director of Stoneleigh Foundation for four years, Cathy oversaw all aspects of the foundation working to improve the lives of children impacted by violence. Prior to the Stoneleigh Foundation, she served as the first non-family Executive Director of Claneil Foundation, a 40-year-old family foundation, based in Philadelphia. She has served as the Program Officer of the Rockefeller Family Fund and also worked for the William Penn Foundation.
Cathy came to the philanthropic sector after a distinguished career in government. She was the Assistant to Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode (1985-1991) and New York Mayor Edward I. Koch (1982-1984). Cathy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors from the University of Wisconsin, in Madison. She lives in Philadelphia and summers in Chilmark with her husband Ed.
A former corporate finance and marketing executive and a lifelong devotee of the arts, Lana Woods is the founder of the Lana Woods Gallery in New York City. Her support of the arts includes the design of a youth educational program entitled, “Art Interactiv.” Her past and present leadership roles in the fine arts community include serving as co-chair of the Phenomenal Women Luncheon for the Amistad Center for Art and Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in Hartford, where she also serves as a member of the Center’s board. In addition, she also serves on the Advisory Council of Harlem School of the Arts, the Multicultural Audience Development Advisory Committee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Woman’s Committee of the famous Apollo Theater.
Lana left a position as Vice President for International Acquisitions & Business Development with GE Capital Services in 2002 to operate the Lana Woods Gallery full-time. In her former capacity with GE Capital, Lana managed large, multi-faceted teams in the acquisition of international businesses, negotiated complex supplier contracts and devised strategic marketing plans.
Lana holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. from Florida A&M University. Lana has been visiting the Island for over thirty years. She and her husband Willie reside in Harlem, NY and own a home on Hines Point. She has two sons, Tyler and Jordan.