Rob Ranney

A student of the Nantucket real estate market and now Captain of Real Estate, Rob Ranney was born in Santa Monica California, and has been a year-round resident here since 1977. After studying in the US and abroad, Rob worked in the Nantucket Registry of Deeds, as an airline customer service and station manager and as a freight-forwarder for a major trucking company. A licensed Real Estate Salesperson since 1987 Rob is currently a Realtor member of the Cape Cod and Islands Association of Realtors. Since joining Denby Real Estate Inc. in September 1996, Rob has studied the real estate market here, compiling monthly and yearly sales statistics and maintaining the only islandwide data base of sales information going back to 1980. At the end of every April, you can see Rob driving a 1927 American LaFrance antique firetruck leading the annual Daffodil Antique Car Parade. Rob can also be found spraying water at the Fire Department in the deluge that is the Annual 4th of July Main Street Waterfight. [email protected]

Peter B. Brace

Peter B. Brace, Captain of Soundings, is an environmental writer who has lived on Nantucket since 1992. He grew up in Concord, Mass., and several towns in Maine. His island writing career includes over ten years' reporting and editing on environmental issues at various publications. Peter is a regular contributor to a wide variety of island publications. He is also serves on Sustainable Nantucket’s Farmers & Artisans Market Committee and is chairman of the Harbor & Shellfish Advisory Board.
A hiker and kayaker, Mr. Brace has published two books: Walking Nantucket: a Walker’s Guide to Exploring the Island on Foot,  (2004) and Nantucket: A Natural History (2012).
[email protected]

Christy Bassett Baker

Christy Bassett Baker, a Captain of family life on Nantucket, lives permanently on island with her husband, their young daughter, and her three, four-legged adopted siblings.  Christy loves life on the water and is the Communications Manager at the  Nantucket Boat Basin.  After graduating from Nantucket High School and earning a BA from Connecticut College, Christy travelled extensively, teaching English in Spain and volunteering abroad.  Christy loves to travel, take photos of landscapes, and journal about her experiences in different cultures.  She loves reading historical fiction and free-lance writing when she has some downtime.  An avid runner and animal lover, Christy is the founder of the ShamRock Run road race, which annually raises funds for the Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals.  Above all else, Christy enjoys spending time with her family, be it running with a stroller, fishing with her husband on his commercial boat or sitting at the beach with her great-aunts, grandmother, and entire family, watching the sun set over the water.  Christy is looking forward to sharing her experiences as a new mom on Nantucket throughout the year as well as recall special moments from her own childhood on island, for which she feels incredibly blessed.

Dorothy Stover

Dorothy Stover, a co-Captain of Wellness, is a Lover of Life.  She keeps her mind, body and spirit in balance by following a simple mantra: "Love Thyself."  She loves her main squeeze Jack the Cat, enjoys long walks, being close to the water, practing Pilates/Yoga, and it's hard to get her off the dance floor when she gets moving.  She believes in smiles, free hugs, and that every day there MUST be a reason to drink Champagne and eat chocolate!  She is The Love Author and has written a little book called Amazing Love Diet, and is working on her second book, War on Love.  She is also the blogger behind Lazy Personal Training, which she began over debate with herself on whether to take a nap or go to the gym.  When she is not writing about Love/Wellness/Life, she is the CEO of Nantucket Allies, which just launched their first business solution in December 2013, The Nantucket Trade Bank and recently launched Nantucket Save Local and The Nantucket Wallet.  She just completed her 200 hour training in India at Rishikesh Yog Peeth. She loves connecting with yoga students on a personal and private level as well as enjoys teaching at Dharma Yoga Nantucket.  She is also a Self-Love Coach and Relationship Consultant, helping her clients love the life that the live.  Her ambition in life is to help others shine as brightly as they can.


Reema Sherry

Reema Sherry is an independent writer, gardener, & scallop opener.

Patricia D. Jones

This is Pat Jones' first year living full time on Nantucket. After decades of teaching English at the high school and college level, she is now embarking on a new and challenging odyssey. Both retirement and Island life are new and exciting and occasionally daunting.  In this column she will share what it is like to live on Nantucket year round. As a poet, a writer, and a novice visual artist, her metaphor for the journey is “Throwing Paint.”

Jascin N. Leonardo Finger

Jascin Leonardo Finger has worked for the Maria Mitchell Association since the late 1980s, becoming curator of the Mitchell House, Archives and Special Collections in 1999.  She has taught at the Nantucket New School and for three years, the MMA and the Egan Maritime Foundation shared her as curator in a unique job-share.  Jascin holds an undergraduate degree in history with a minor in art history from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree in history with a focus on women and gender studies from Lesley University.  Her master’s thesis is titled “The Daring Daughter of Nantucket Island: How Island Women from the Seventeenth through the Nineteenth Centuries Lived a Life Contrary to Other American Women.”  She has also completed graduate work in preservation law.  The island has been a part of Jascin’s life since she was two years old and she is the fourth generation of her family to have Nantucket in her blood.  She lives year-round on the island with her husband, a naval architect, their son, and Siberian Husky.

Sarah Bois

Sarah Treanor Bois, PhD, is the Director of Research and Education at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation (LLNF). Having first joined the conservation scene on island in 1998, Sarah has worked at or with many of the island’s non-profit conservation groups including the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, the Maria Mitchell Association, Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Nantucket Islands Land Bank Commission, the Nantucket Land Council, and the UMASS Boston Field Station, among others.

Sarah received her PhD in Ecology from the University of Connecticut where her research focused on invasive plant spread in New England and efforts to prioritize species management. As the coordinator and program biologist for the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE), Sarah worked with and trained volunteers throughout the northeast to identify and document non-native species occurrences. Through IPANE, Sarah has become an advocate for citizen science and its incorporation in scientific research.

When not at LLNF, Sarah can be found with her husband and son hiking, birding, fishing, cooking, practicing archery, or playing in the garden.

Kenneth Blackshaw

Ken Blackshaw’s ornithological career began in the early 1950s under the tutelage of Nantucket’s birding doyenne, the late Edith Folger Andrews. Since then he has traveled the world over, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force, IBM, and now retired, seeing birds, studying their behavior and authoring and editing many books about birds. He is nationally recognized for his birding skills. Catch Ken with Birding Nantucket on WNCK, Nantucket's NPR Station at 89.5 FM, weekdays at 8:04 am.

Marsha Egan

Island resident Marsha Egan loves working with ACKers who are movers and shakers. Celebrated professional keynoter, facilitator, author and ICF board certified workplace productivity and business leader coach, Marsha is devoted to energizing people to make the best use of their resources so that they can lead their lives and achieve what's important to them.  She's CEO of the professional coaching firm, The Egan Group, Inc, which she started in 2001 after a 20+ year corporate career. Married to island native Bob Egan, they and their two Jack Russells returned to the island in 2011, and enjoy all of it! Need a shot of inspiration twice weekly? Get her brief, energizing, and motivational "Success Boosters." Visit and register with your email address.

Reach out to her:; marsha(at); @marshaegan;; @MarshaEgan


Cara Ceraso

Cara is a Nantucket resident who recently opened her own law firm, Anchored Law, LLC. Cara is excited to bring almost 12 years of experience as a commercial litigator to Nantucket, her favorite place, to help Nantucket residents resolve their legal disputes. Recognizing that litigation is not for everyone, she completed her mediation training with MWI in Boston to offer a suitable alternative to litigation for parties seeking a more relaxed forum to resolve disputes. Cara earned her law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 2004 and her Bachelor's degree from Boston College in 2001. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Nantucket. 

Email: [email protected]


Tel: 508-257-1515


Melanie Gowen

Melanie Gowen, Captain of Commerce, recently transposed herself from metropolitan Washington, DC to Nantucket. Gravitating toward the natural island beauty where she feels most at home, she was drawn especially to the design side of Nantucket. Growing up she spent time on Mt. Desert Island and Martha's Vineyard, but when Melanie discovered ACK through her godmother who bought her summer home in Quidnet, she felt an immediate deep connection to the entrepreneurial spirit, strength of preservation, and creative cross-pollinization of ideas throughout the island community. 

With five plus years of finance and marketing experience, Melanie beings a wholistic design eye and a knack for discovering extraordinary finds and connecting them to broader ideas and people. 

When she's not designing or brainstorming, Melanie spends her time out and about in nature, coolhunting for new ideas, entertaining, or catching up with close friends and family. She loves Italy, dogs, boats, and tennis. Melanie Gowen Design offers residential and commercial interior design and property branding services. Melanie assists with selection of architectural details and finishes, collaborates with architects and builders, and decorates fcuntional, beautiful spaces with furniture, fabrics, accessories, and creates custom pieces tailor-made for your living space.

Melanie studied Interior Design just after high school and has since received a B.S. in Interior Design & Strategy from Cornell University with a concentration in International Marketing from Lorenzo de'Medici Institute in Florence, Italy. In her corporate days, she worked in management consulting, marketing and operations in Washington, DC. 

Hilary Newell

Hilary Newell, Captain of Home & Garden, moved to Nantucket MA in 1986. She came around the point the first time on Mother’s Day weekend 1986 with her husband, Pete Smith, who was considering a job at Bartlett’s Farm. The cherry blossoms were swirling around downtown, the effect was magical, they said they would "give it five years...." and the rest is history.  

Hilary, working in Bartlett’s greenhouses, learned the ins and outs of growing all types of garden plants and flowers.  Now her current titles are Greenhouse Production Manager, and Marketing Director.  She and Pete work together every day, and have been fortunate to travel to many beautiful places and see lots of wonderful gardens, always learning as they go.  Hilary documents the plants and dabbles in the gardens at their home on the island. Favorite plant?  Julia Child roses, of course. 

Sherry Lefevre

Sherry Lefevre teaches in the Creative Writing Program at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she has taught film writing, creative non-fiction and storytelling. She has spent summers on island since 1963 and in 2009 bought and restored an early 19th century house on Pine Street.  Her book about that experience, The Heirloom House, is being published by Skyhorse Publishers, N.Y. and released in October 2015.

Thomas S. Ayars

Tom was brought up in Solana Beach, California, and in 1962 took to the sport of surfing, cutting his teeth at Seaside beach, the surf break of internationally known surfers such as Rob Machado. When he wasn’t on the water he was shaping and glassing surfboards in his Mother’s former potting shed, a skill inherited from his grandfather “Fritz” Ayars who was the “doper” on the Ryan aeronautics team that built the Spirit of St. Louis.

Not unlike other young surfers of that era, Tom joined the Jesus movement which later influenced his decision to become a Religious Studies major at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and then a seminary student at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena.

After seminary Tom changed career course and started his own historic restoration contracting business in 1985, while living in Ithaca New York- a town chock full of 19th and early twentieth homes, including his own vintage home built in 1878. There he apprenticed with a third-generation painting and wallpaper contractor. He moved his business to New Haven and Fairfield County, Connecticut in 1998, restoring many of the Elm City’s vintage homes.

Today Tom is extending his business model to Nantucket, where he and his wife Kathy have been vacationing since the late 1990’s. In 2010 they purchased a small cottage in town that they have been renovating. Over the years they have invested themselves in the community, visiting year-round ,and supporting the not-for-profit and for-profit businesses.

Tom loves watersports of all kinds, surfing, sailing, windsurfing, and Stand Up Paddling. Now that he is on island more, Tom hopes to take up fishing and scalloping. His hobbies include cooking, making shell jewelry, photography, pottery and painting. His love of reading science fiction and fantasy are translated to the work place through books on tape that entertain his imagination while on the job.

His goals as a contributor to Nantucket Chronicle are to cover issues of preserving historic homes and educate the public about “green” approaches to renovations.

John Cox Merson

John Merson is an author and speaker on the subjects of war and the experience of veterans. He has been buying, mooving, restoring, and renting historic homes on Nantucket for the past twenty years. Through his experience restoring homes, he has opposed construction projects that threaten Nantucket's beaches. Instead, he has favored land swaps through which oceanfront land is held by conservation organizations for all to use. He is a Massachusetts Licensed Construction Supervisor.

John is a member of the Nantucket Preservation Trust, the Nantucket Historical Association, Congregation Shirat Hayam, the Nantucket Unitarian Church, the American Legion, the VFW, and the Military Order of the World Wars. His favorite event is the Nantucket Film Festival

Douglas A Cote

A recent transplant from New York City, Doug Cote, an actor, musician and writer, has now moved to Nantucket full time to live with his fiance and new baby.  He got his start in the comedy world in New York while working at The Daily Show with John Stewart.  He went on to do stand- up and soon began acting in films and stage productions. He has appeared in numerous national commercials and voice-overs.  He is also founder of the band The Sweet Ones and can be seen playing around the Island with LANCE MOUNTAIN!

Inside the Whale--There is still confusion about what a podcast is.  In its simplest form it's a record episodic form-- like a radio show for the internet.  A major fan of the podcast medium, Doug has set out to create shows that are both entertaining and insightful, focusing on the diverse characters that live here.  As Nantucket continues to evolve, Inside the Whale hopes to continue progressive culture on Nantucket through conversations in a recorded format. Everyone has as story, and these are stories of the people of Nantucket.  



Alyssa Corry

Alyssa Corry, Captain of the soon-to-appear ACKList and Community Calendar here on,  is the events coordinator at the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce.  She will also be the volunteer coordinator at this year's Nantucket Comedy Festival.  Originally from Western Mass, she met her husband (a Limerick lad named Shane) over a spirited game of pool at the Chicken Box in the summer of 2006.  After trying to make a life in Boston for a little while, they happily gave up and moved to the island permanently in 2011.  Alyssa is an avid reader and beachgoer, a fluent speaker of French, and is pursuing her pilot's license in a Cessna 152.  She is incredibly excited to get involved in all aspects of island life and events. Email: [email protected]

Joanna Roche

Joanna Roche is a wellness, beauty and retail expert with a long career in the spa industry; she spent eight years with Canyon Ranch and then ran Pierce Mattie PR in NYC where she tried, tested, and worked with hundreds of beauty and wellness brands. She is currently an educator for the Esthetics Spa International speaker series, a member of ISPA and CEW(Cosmetic Executive Women). On Nantucket she is the Spa & Fitness Director at The Westmoor Club and is committed to promoting wellness and providing inspiration and tools for healthy living. Joanna is a runner, occasional yogi, entrepreneur and co-founder of ACKFresh, and mama (or tamer of wild beasts) to Luke and Noah.