MVBA approves new board members

Association discusses new hires for new roles, and reviews nonprofit status.

The Martha’s Vineyard Builders Association approved a slate of board members at their annual meeting Thursday.

The Martha’s Vineyard Builders Association (MVBA) at its annual meeting Thursday approved a full slate of board members for 2021, including three new arrivals.

Members who will continue to serve on the board of directors through their terms will be joined by Adam Butler of Timeless Stoneworks, Erik Lowe of Lowe Energy Design, and Matt Merry of John Keene Excavation.

Molly Costello, Jen Dennehy, James Moffatt, Ezra Sherman, and Rose Willet are departing their positions as board members, but will continue to be staunch advocates of the MVBA.

The board’s goalpost number of members is satisfied by this year’s slate, at 19 active members, with a minimum of seven required.

According to association board chair Newell Isbell Shinn, he has been working with Sarah Hughes on the nominating committee to put together an orientation package so people have a guide for “navigating through the drink-through-the-firehose that happens when you come onto this board.”

Isbell Shinn said one central goal of the nominating committee is to increase the diversity of the board “for many reasons,” but mainly to more fully represent the community.

“Within that, also to be very systematic about getting specific connections in all the towns,” Isbell Shinn said, so that the board can keep a pulse on various town initiatives, and get involved.

The board will also develop a succession plan, and more workable job descriptions for officers and committee chairs.

“The weight that folks who take leadership of the board carry is a lot; that is one of the reasons why we have added some staff. But I think there is more we can do to spread that responsibility around,” Isbell Shinn said.

Apart from welcoming new board members, the MVBA board also welcomed Gustavo Batista, who will replace James Moffatt as secretary, and Katrina Delgadillo, who will act as the first-ever communications coordinator for the association.

Delgadillo said community outreach remains a primary goal for the association, along with making all communications bilingual. “We are working with translators to hopefully build a mirror to our current website, so it’s not just a stiff translation, but a genuine translation, so our Portuguese-speaking community feels really involved and as valued as they should feel,” Delgadillo said.

She added that the MVBA will launch its first quarterly newsletter in March, which will also be translated into Portuguese.

According to treasurer Mark Tonnesen, thanks to Molly Costello’s pro bono work in moving through the application process, the MVBA is “in the homestretch” for being fully designated as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. 

“We have all the assurances that it’s a done deal, and we have been operating as such, in terms of our tax filings, so we are considered a tax-exempt organization in the eyes of the IRS,” Tonnesen said.