MEET OUR BOARD
Our Board of Directors consists of business owners, fishermen, non-profit leaders and community members who live and work on the island, and care deeply about preserving its fishing culture for future generations.
John Keene, President
John is a long-time island resident who grew up in Menemsha, working in one of the Vineyard's fish markets with his brothers and sisters. As a kid, he lobstered, quahogged, and harpooned for swordfish, dreaming of growing up to be a commercial fisherman. But instead, he bought a chainsaw, and then a tractor, eventually starting John Keene Excavation, Inc.--the company he still owns today, over thirty years later.
Shelley Edmundson, Executive Director
Shelley spent every summer with her family on Martha’s Vineyard exploring the island’s
shores and fishing off her grandfather’s boat, the Seabird. Shelley received her PhD in Zoology/Marine Biology studying channeled whelks (nicknamed 'conchs'), marine snails that support one of the Vineyard's largest commercial fisheries. Throughout her research, Shelley collaborated with many local fishermen with the goal of helping protect the species and sustainably manage the local fishery. Shelley’s love of the Vineyard, marine biology, and the commercial fishing community drives her passion to work for the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust.
Matt Mayhew, Clerk
Matt Mayhew grew up fishing for sea scallops, squid, and swordfish on the F/V Quitsa Strider II with his father, and is a member of a long line of family fishermen in Menemsha. He currently operates an oyster farm, Menemsha Creek Oysters, in Menemsha Pond and works as an electrician. Matt is a founding board member of the MVFPT and brings a life-long passion of working on the water and a commitment to help the next generation of fishermen. He lives in Chilmark with his wife, Molly and daughter Ida
Stanley Startzell, Treasurer
Stanley Startzell is a Certified Financial Planner who has been offering investment advice for 30 years. He is currently a registered representative of Lincoln Investment. On top of being the Treasurer of the MVFPT, Stanley is the Treasurer of the Menemsha Water Company Cooperative Corporation, and a Board Member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Martha's Vineyard. He lives in Menemsha with his lifetime and fishing partner, Debbi Zetterberg, and two children, Linzy and Ben.
"My goal is to invest all our efforts and contributions into fishing futures throughout the island."
Emily Bramhall was born into a family deeply connected to fishing and the sea. Her formative years included fishing, clamming and scalloping along with some marine biology and ocean sciences. Emily's favorite job was working alongside Everett Poole at his fish market, unloading and filleting totes of locally caught flounder and other fish delivered right to the dock. She joins the board hoping to assist in preserving the local fishing industry in a sustainable manner. She is presently the Executive Director of the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard.
Wesley Brighton is a founding board member of the MVFPT. He fishes commercially for lobster, conch, striped bass, and scallops out of Menemsha harbor. Dedicated to projects that seek to maintain healthy, viable and sustainable commercial fishing industries on the Vineyard, Wesley helped initiate Vineyard Wild-Caught–a local seafood movement designed to highlight local seafood products. While his days are spent primarily on the water, his educational background is in creative writing.
Katie is the president of Menemsha Texaco Service, Inc. She's been managing it with her husband, Marshall, for 25 years. She has two children who both love to be on the water. Her youngest has his student lobster license and was so proud at the age of 12 to be the youngest commercial fisherman in Menemsha.
"Although I do not come from a long line of commercial fishermen l do have a deep appreciation for the history and heritage that is the heart of our island community. With commercial fishing becoming more complex, I hope doing my share to advocate for our commercial fishermen, educate the public on the fisheries, and express both the significance and importance of keeping the fishing tradition alive will be beneficial for generations to come."