Meet Our Board Members


Laura Plunkett lives in both Marblehead, MA and West Tisbury and has had a lifelong love of horses since her first riding lesson at age 4. She has chaired the Town of Marblehead Wellness Committee and the Cape Ann Waldorf School building site committee. Laura is the author of The Challenge of Childhood Diabetes, a book helping parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes and was a columnist for several diabetes magazines. She currently volunteers at Misty Meadows using her intuitive equine communication skills to help the staff monitor and care for each horse’s individual needs and the needs of the herd. Laura has a degree in psychology from Brown University.

Dan Doyle  is a former New Yorker who has lived on the island with his family since 2016.  He is a Regional Planner at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission where he does spatial analytics, writes proposals for project funding, and works with local leaders across the seven towns of Dukes County.

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.


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 Trustees 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 High School 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.