Meet Our Board Members

OPERATIONS MEMBERS:

Sarah Nixon is engaged in the hands on management of three family-owned historic properties in Menemsha.  Sarah is part of the Earth Conservation Corps, the Washington Ballet, YMCA of MV, Wings Over America and the American Heroes Saltwater Challenge.

Tracey Olsen is a USDF bronze and gold medalist and the vice-president of the MV Horse Council. Tracey competed most recently in the USDF Dressage Finals Grand Prix in 2014 and 2015 in Lexington, KY.  She currently owns and operates Woodbe Farm in West Tisbury, a dressage training facility. 

Nicole Cabot is a Private Chef and Caterer and Island Grown Schools Coordinator at the West Tisbury School.  She is a former Director for the MV Hebrew Center.

Dan Doyle is a newcomer to the island.  He currently works for the NYC Build it Back program, an office created to construct homes that will better endure flooding for Hurricane Sandy impacted residents.

Cat Garfinkle has a diverse background in marketing and the healing arts. She is creative and results-oriented with strong planning skills and has been motivating teams to surpass goals for over 25 years. Cat is also a yoga / meditation practitioner and teacher. She lives in West Tisbury with her husband Myron.

Barbara Bates Conroy is a long time equestrian enthusiast. As co-founder of BBD Brand Development, Barbara brings with her a unique blend of expertise which includes business, marketing, and healing arts. Barbara’s professional career includes Registered Nurse, Vice President of Global Retail Development at Polo Ralph Lauren, and President of Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Division.  Barbara is certified in Hatha Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Medicinal 0ils, and Reiki Level 2.  Barbara is on the board of Fly Yoga Outreach (MV) and a volunteer at Norwalk Housing Authority (CT). She is an author, publishing early 2018, a mother of four and resides in Menemsha.

Samantha Look works for Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation and Vineyard Conservation Society, and formerly owned Crow Hollow Farm. She grew up riding horses on Martha’s Vineyard and graduated from the Regional High School and Swarthmore College. Samantha played a key role in the Horse Center’s 2016 pilot programs. She is married and has two children in the MV school system.

Michael Blanchard is a photographer and writer on Martha’s Vineyard and has been active in fundraising for addiction treatment for the past five years. Mike's book “Fighting for My Life” details his personal struggle with alcohol abuse and prescription medication addiction. As part of his healing path, he now devotes time to helping others. Mike also works as a coordinator for Island Health Care to assist patients with mental health and substance abuse disorders in finding affordable treatment services. Mike was a board director of Rising Tide to foster the use of equine therapy to help individuals with depression and addiction, and is now continuing his work with us to promote the healing connection of horses.


FOUNDATION MEMBERS:

Julie Flanders was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard. Her heritage can be traced back more than 300 years on the Vineyard. She began officially working for her father and grandmother nearly 30 years ago at Flanders Up-Island Real Estate. Julie is dedicated to several island based organizations. She is currently on the YMCA Board of Directors, a member of Board of Trustess of the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, President of the Martha’s Vineyard Horse Council, a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee in the town of Chilmark and also a Trustee of the Chilmark Community Church. She attended Martha’s Vineyard Regional Highschool and graduated from Bates College. Julie is the principal broker of Flanders Up-Island Real Estate.

Julie Skinner lives in West Tisbury overlooking Nat’s Farm and Misty Meadows. Julie has held extensive leadership board positions at non-profits in the arts. Since moving to the Vineyard in 2005, she has served on the Chamber Music Society and the Martha’s Vineyard Donors Collaborative boards.  She has a degree in Education from University of MI. Julie and her husband Bill have three children and five grandchildren. Julie is a horse lover and an avid rider; she currently owns “Graphite,” a Dutch Warm Blood.

Cat Garfinkle, who also serves on the Operations Board, has a diverse background in marketing and the healing arts. She is creative and results-oriented with strong planning skills and has been motivating teams to surpass goals for over 25 years. Cat is also a yoga / meditation practitioner and teacher. She lives in West Tisbury with her husband Myron.