Featherstone Center for the Arts was home to Martha’s Vineyard “40 Under 40” celebration on Wednesday, a biennial affair that honors the Island’s leading young professionals. “They say that young people leave this Island; that this is an old Island,” Nancy Gardella, executive director of the M.V. Chamber of Commerce fired up an already celebratory crowd. “But take a look around this room.”
Indeed, the room, normally covered in pastels or pastiches, had been refitted to feature the portraits and bios of every recipient. The top 40 were also outfitted in nametags and necklaces made from shiny Mardi Gras beads.
“It’s a big deal,” quipped EduComp’s Ben Hopkins between bites of charcuterie provided by Sweetened Water Kitchen. “Particularly, it’s cool to be recognized for something you do at work.” EduComp is the Island’s only authorized Apple computer sales and service center, and specializes in creative network solutions.
“I’m thrilled to be honored by the Chamber of Commerce, especially in the company of all these rising stars,” offered Leah Fraumeni of Kelley House. Not only was Fraumeni being honored for her work as sales, marketing, and special events manager at the Island staple, but also had an art piece on display — a mélange of scrap metal and intricate gears titled “Junkyard.”
These under-40somethings were indeed an impressive set, representing industries as disparate as banking, cooking, healthcare, agriculture, radio, realty, and the arts. The MV Times’ own Brittany Bowker, editor of “The Local” section, was also feted at the event.
“This is such a beautiful facility,” Bowker said. “Normally I’d be covering something like this, not attending it.”
Gavin Smith and Angela Prout, both contributors to The Times among their many other ventures, were also among the 40 celebrated.
Recent MV Pitch finalist and founder of Amid the Waters Chiropractic, Dr. Bryan McShea was a 40 Under 40 awardwinner, as was Jacob Vanderhoop, chef at the Aquinnah Shop Restaurant (they’re opening on Mother’s Day weekend) and Celine Segel, originally from France, who relocated to the Island and operates WebWorx Design MV.
Champagne in hand, the honorees were ushered onto the back porch for a private photo shoot, and guests and relatives were then admitted to the gala, which continued till “Vineyard midnight” (8 pm).
The event was co-sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Bank, ResortMan, and Featherstone Center for the Arts.