The Y Board of Directors includes representatives from each town on the Island, meant to fully represent the interests of all Islanders. The Board of Directors’ leadership upholds the enduring vision of the Y to strengthen our Island community.
FROM New Jersey
ISLAND HOME Vineyard Haven
Originally from New Jersey, Bob moved to the Vineyard year-round with his family when he was 15 years old. Bob has his Doctorate in Education and was a Health and Physical Education teacher at the Tisbury School for 20 years and served as principal of the West Tisbury School from 1993 until his retirement in 2001. In addition to his work with the YMCA, Bob currently serves as a trustee for Martha's Vineyard Bank, MVTV, Martha's Vineyard Veterans Advocate, and the Martha's Vineyard Diversity Coalition.
I'm on the YMCA Board because the Y cares about the Island community and so do I. The programming and services offered by the Y have been a great benefit to the people on the Island.
With my wife and kids.
The ponds and ocean where I can fish, clam and crab.
Martin Luther King
Going to the Y!
FROM Eastern PA
ISLAND HOME Oak Bluffs
Originally from eastern Pennsylvania, Bill Howell was first introduced to Martha's Vineyard 30 years ago by his wife, Nina, and moved the family full-time to Hart Haven in Oak Bluffs in 2007. After graduating from Colgate University in 1988 he spent a year back-packing around the world before enlisting in the Army National Guard. Bill received his Masters of Business Administration in 1994 from Lehigh University. He worked for Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in Boston and then spent 18 years at Silicon Valley Bank as a Managing Director in various client and venture capital facing roles. He left Boston after eight years of commuting to spend more time with his wife and three teenage children. Bill joined Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank in April, 2016. He served in the Army National Guard for 16 years in the Infantry as a non-commissioned and commissioned officer and is a veteran after serving in Bosnia. He is a former member of the board of Martha's Vineyard Youth Soccer and has coached several teams. He currently serves on the boards of the Sheriff's Meadow Foundation and the Martha's Vineyard YMCA.
"I joined the Y when it first opened in 2010 and have been an active member since. I volunteer on the Y Board because I think the Y is the primary focal point for our community. My favorite part of being on the Board is that there is diverse group that truly has the Vineyard community as its focal point. I hope the Y continues to be a place that's all inclusive, has the best interest of the community in mind, and is a place where members feel happy.
The Y has impacted the Island by creating a collection point for friends and families to gather. My family supports the Y because it is so integral and supportive of our community."
Outside with my family exploring somewhere.
The beach across the street and Offshore Ale.
Exercising early in the morning before the day starts.
FROM Cincinnati, OH
ISLAND HOME Oak Bluffs
An island resident since 2007, Jonathan is an attorney at Dubin & Reardon, where he specializes in real estate law. He graduated from Kenyon College and Vermont Law School.
I learned how to swim at the Y, I made lifetime friends at the Y, and I love the healthy community the Y fosters.
Anything in the mountains, anything outside in the sun.
The Land Bank properties.
Swimming at State Beach or on my snowboard.
Keeping it moving. Mornings at the Y and afternoon hikes or swims.
ISLAND HOME Vineyard Haven
Doug received his BA from Western State College of Colorado in 1979 with a major in Business and Minor in Economics. From 1980-2000 Doug had a career in the Cable television and the radio industry serving in finance, management, mergers and acquisitions. Doug is currently the President and Owner of D. Best Construction, Inc. a local residential and commercial construction and remodeling company since 2002. Through this company, Mark has contributed generously to the Y and many other island non-profits. At present Doug serves on the Finance Committee and Strategic Initiatives Committee at the Y and was involved in the development and launch of the Y, the Teen Center, and the Pavilion. He previously served on the Board as the Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee from 2010 to 2017.
I became involved with the Y as a result of the recruitment efforts of Judy Crawford and Bill Skinner in 1998 before the Y existed, looking for someone with construction, finance and management experience to assist with the project.
I volunteer as a Board Member because it is one of the most effective ways to benefit the community as a whole. The positive well-being and experience that results for all. Greater positive results such as health, experiences, relationships and opportunities for all. The Y and it’s offerings have changed the health, attitude and make-up of the island for the better.
I donate to the Y because my contributions benefit the widest array of needs and island people with just a single organization. It has improved the lives of young and old, those in need, and those looking for athletic excellence. Most importantly, it has benefitted the family structure with family activities and services, and through better health, improved confidence and mental attitude for many, thus improving life overall for our community. No single private service, other than the hospital, brings about such a positive opportunity and change for so many.
The State Forest trails.
FROM New Bedford, MA
ISLAND HOME Oak Bluffs, MA
Community is important. I live to remind my kids that no matter what you become... it will always be rooted in where you started. The Y isn't just a place to "work out". It brings people together, which is essential to how people talk to solve problems. The Y has a mission to make MV a better place to live.
The Y is also limitless. It's one of those rare places that allows all age groups to gather, communicate and focus on issues that are cross-generational. The Y also can also serve as a leader in other community-wide efforts which affect all Islanders.
ALL New England Sports Teams!
Long Point.... for an extended day.
Morning Motivation with Margarita!
Visiting the Y 3-4 times a week!
FROM Martha's Vineyard
ISLAND HOME Vineyard Haven
Born and raised on Martha's Vineyard, Nell studied government and played varsity soccer at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. She completed a joint degree in law and public health (JD/MPH) at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and then moved to Boston to work as associate counsel for the Senate Ways & Means Committee at the Massachusetts State House. After moving back to the Vineyard full time, Nell worked as the Legislative Liaison for Representative Tim Madden and then as Director of Operations for Martha's Vineyard Community Services. Nell currently work as a teacher and restorative coordinator at MVRHS.
On the water with family.
ISLAND HOME Edgartown.
Chris Miller is the is the president and founder of Millers Professionals Company
Serving the community has been a passion for Chris's over the last few of years. He has been creating jobs for families that live on the island and helping local churches and schools with his time and knowledge, specifically in regards to construction and landscaping. Also committed to social causes, Chris Millers has helped some causes locally and overseas (Brazil and Africa).
Besides being a businessman and an entrepreneur, Chris is a very adventurous person who loves sports and working out.
Coming to the Y everyday to work out or meet friends, Chris feels at home at the Y. When you are at home you help, you organize, you create new things and memories. That’s how Chris feels about the Y.
ISLAND HOME Aquinnah
Elizabeth Reisner Pickman works as an advisor in education and youth development. After teaching in the Brookline (MA) schools following grad school, Liz served as an education analyst in the U.S. Department of Education and then founded Policy Studies Associates, Inc., a Washington DC firm that conducts research and evaluation in education and youth development. Drawing on her 32 years as a research manager at PSA, Liz now advises nonprofits in the areas of education and youth services, with a focus on the design of performance management systems and the measurement of program impact. Liz graduated from Smith College and Harvard Graduate School of Education. She and her husband Jim divide their time between Aquinnah and New York City, and have two grown sons.
FROM Boston & Oak Bluffs
ISLAND HOME Edgartown
I was honored when I was contacted by the YMCA and invited to serve on the Board of Directors. The Y was a huge part of my 2 sons' lives and although they go to school off-Island now, whenever they are home they make immediate plans to go to the Y. My wife and I both use the Y on a regular basis as well. I was the Director of the Boys and Girls Club here on the Island for many years and worked previously for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston during both College and Graduate School and full-time for a number of years before returning to the Island.
FROM Westport, CT
ISLAND HOME West Tisbury
Judy grew up in Westport, CT, as a Y kid, learning to swim, play sports, and work with other kids to impact her community. Her children also grew up in the Y doing much the same. Judy later became a member of the Board for the Westport Y, and upon moving to the Vineyard, became a founding member of the Y. Judy has been on the Board ever since and spent many years serving as the President. She has five grown children with her husband Tad and fifteen grandchildren.
“There is no way to hold down my enthusiasm for our Y. I love giving tours to first-time visitors and watching their faces as they take in our bright, sunny, open building; our beautiful pool looking out on the Southern Woodlands; the amazingly equipped wellness center with its cardiac equipment, strength-building machines, its extensive free weight area, and its always active group exercise room. Best of all, I love taking guests through Alex's Place, our incredible teen center. The Vineyard is so fortunate to have such a marvelous community center right in the heart of the Island. During my tenure on the Board, I want to bring in all those people who have not yet crossed our threshold. I want to open our doors to everyone!”
My "happy place" is anywhere outside in nature. My time at the Y gets me into the kind of shape to really enjoy that nature.
Any beach, where the wind blows through my hair, the sand squishes through my toes, the waves lap at the shore, and the sun shines down on me.
Hiking, biking, group exercise, swimming, sailing, kayaking
FROM South Boston
ISLAND HOME West Tisbury
Joan started her adventure with the Y as the volunteer Board Treasurer back in 2004 when the YMCA was just a concept on paper. Her full-time job at that time was as President and CFO for an International Service organization. When the Y opened its doors in 2010, Joan chose to transition her work life to the island as well.
It has been a great experience participating in the progress of the organization from just an idea of a small group of individuals to a community gathering place.
My perennial garden.
Kayaking off Lamberts Cove Beach.
Running and kayaking.
FROM New York
ISLAND HOME Vineyard Haven
Jill is married to Silas Blake Axtell, she has 3 daughters, and 2 stepsons. Jill moved to Martha's Vineyard in 2009. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1986. Her YMCA career began in 1986 at the YMCA of Metropolitan Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. She continued her Y work at the YMCA of Greenwich, Greenwich CT., Wilton Family YMCA, Wilton CT., Old Town-Orono YMCA, Old Town Maine, and now the YMCA of Martha's Vineyard 2009- Present.
"I decided to make the YMCA a career when I was hired as a Fitness Director at the YMCA of Metropolitan Mobile in 1986. I loved inspiring and encouraging others to grow, change and be better than they imagined they could be. I realized that the Y was a about both personal and community development. My favorite part about working for the Y is creating opportunities to enrich the lives of many different types of people. Every day is a new opportunity to touch the life of someone in a new way. I feel grateful to have the ability to offer people ways to be brave and courageous, to find the power within themselves and their community to have a fulfilling and healthy life.
The Y has had tremendous impact on those that have made the Y a part of their routine. Whether it is personal fitness or community service, the Y has offered Martha's Vineyard a community center that is a lifeline for many, physically, socially and emotionally.
I donate to the YMCA of Martha's Vineyard so that we can continue to offer financial assistance to those individuals and families that cannot afford the many services and facilities that are available. I often have people stop by my office to say, "I don't know what we would do here without the Y. Thank you for making it possible for me to be here." Personally, I could never give too much money to the Y. I hope someday I will have the ability to be much more generous. I have firsthand knowledge of the impact the YMCA of Martha's Vineyard has made on the island in the last 8 years."
The ocean beaches of Martha's Vineyard and Mexico.
Next to the YMCA, my favorite place is watching the full moon and stars on a clear night on South Beach.
I take group exercise classes at the Y and walk my Great Dane, Harley.