On the trail of those grants: Alice Boyd’s interest and need led to career


Alice Boyd began her extraordinarily successful career securing federal dollars for Cape and Island towns out of instinct. The instinct was self-preservation.

“I was working for a program that was running out of money,” Ms. Boyd said. “I was losing my job.”

So she began searching for federal grants that might save her position. She wrote a grant application, won the money for her program, and kept her job. She’s been doing that ever since.

Two decades later, she is still writing grant applications, still winning money for worthy programs, but she has a different job.

Ms. Boyd is president of Bailey Boyd Associates, and the person most responsible for shepherding more than $7 million to Martha’s Vineyard over the past three years, in the form of federal grants. The firm, founded in 1989, works on community development projects, including housing, infrastructure construction, and sustainable employment. She now represents more than a dozen Cape and Island towns in the search for federal dollars.

Ms. Boyd also founded The Resource Inc. (TRI), and served as president and executive director for five years. TRI, which manages the various grant and loan programs on the Island, now has offices in Dennisport and Vineyard Haven.

“I love the Island,” Ms. Boyd said. “I’ve met and worked with some wonderful people. The spirit of cooperation on the Island can’t be matched anywhere else. Never seen anywhere like it.”

Local government officials offer superlative praise. Oak Bluffs selectman Ron DiOrio said Ms. Boyd understands grant writing, and the agencies that administer the grants.

“You build a trust level,” Mr. DiOrio said. “If they know someone is competent, the money is going to be well spent, administered well, they’re going to be more sympathetic to that proposal.”

Edgartown selectman Art Smadbeck said the grants add up to far more than their dollar total.

“The money gets spent here, it gets recycled here,” Mr. Smadbeck said. “The program is a very good example of how government can help in these hard times. It’s a win, win, win.”