Bill Comings, President, ’19

Bill has been coming to the Island summers since he was an infant. He and his wife, Margie, built a cottage in the early 1970’s so sons Scott and Doug could have the experience of summers on Block Island while growing up. After Bill retired from a career in apartment development and finance in the Washington DC area, he and Margie became full time Island residents in 2005. Bill is a graduate of Dartmouth College. Until recently, he served on the Zoning Board of Review and was a board member of BIRA.

Sue Gibbons, Vice President, ’20

Sue Theve Gibbons has been summering on Block Island since she was a baby, following in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents. She and her family moved to Block Island full time in 2001, fulfilling a long term wish to live year round on the island. Sue has a BS in Physical Therapy from Boston University, MS in Allied Health and PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from University of Connecticut. Sue taught for a number of years in the Physical Therapy Program at University of Hartford, and is now the High School Science teacher at the Block Island School, teaching courses in Physical Science, Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry and Human Anatomy, and partnering with Scott Comings of the Nature Conservancy to teach Field Biology. She is married to Peter Gibbons, with two grown sons who graduated from the Block Island School.

Thomas Doyle, Secretary, ’17

Tom and his wife, Pat, have had a home on Block Island for some twenty years. They have been full time residents since March of 2007. Until June of 2006, he taught Spanish and French at Western Connecticut State. He is also a board member of BIRA.

Debbi-Jo Horton, Treasurer ’18

Debbi-Jo Horton, CPA has over 25 years of experience in business development, accounting and taxation & non-profit organizational development. Debbi-Jo’s success has been noted on a national level. She has been called upon numerous times to testify in Congress on tax issues. Her strategy for high performing organizations is to bring the many talents of the people who work there together to achieve their vision. She is able to gather people of various expertises to bring a holistic approach to the business of developing people and companies. Debbi-Jo brings a unique perspective to the training and development field with her hands on approach. She does not depict your stereotypical CPA. She goes beyond the numbers to view the business issues on a much broader scale and to engage the workforce/or volunteers to go above and beyond their current visioning to see the multitude of possibilities that await them. Debbi-Jo holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bryant College, a Master’s Degree in Global Organizational Leadership from Johnson & Wales, and is a Certified Public Accountant. Her connections to Block Island go back over 20 years, first as a vacationer and for the last few years as a resident.

Barry Saxe, Stewardship Director, ’19

Barry spent his childhood in the Washington D.C. area and overseas in Turkey and Burma. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in mathematics, he settled in Toronto for eleven years and worked as a computer programmer. Barry left Toronto to fulfill a lifelong dream of sailing his boat to the Caribbean, where he and his brother spent almost two years enjoying the beautiful islands, the sea and the people they met along the way. Back in the States, he settled again in the Washington area. He and his wife Maggie were married in 1999, after first buying their house on Block Island in 1998. When they retired in 2006, they moved to Block Island full-time and now live at “Maggie’s Farm” with two collies, seven cats and two horses. Despite spending his career behind a desk, Barry developed a love and respect for nature and open spaces. He came to BIC in 2009 as a Board member and currently serves as Stewardship Director. His hope is to continue the conservation successes achieved by his BIC predecessors.

Jim McCormick, ’19

Jim moved to Block Island full time three years ago from Manchester, CT. He married his wife Roberta on the island in 1974 and together they raised their three children; Brandon, Darren and Kelly. Roberta and the kids spent their summers on the island and Jim commuted during weekends and vacations for over 40 years.

The majority of Jim’s career was in the banking industry where he held various positions. In the later part of his career he was a project manager in the Operations, Technology, Process Improvement, and Treasury Management areas of the bank. After retiring from Bank of America, Jim worked in the health care industry where he held positions as a Business Director and IT Implementation Manager.  

Jim enjoys gardening, biking and walking the beach and trails of Block Island and looks forward to working with the members of the Block Island Conservancy to continue to protect and preserve the open space on the Island.

Rosemary Tobin, ’20

Rosemary Tobin came to Block Island in November of 1997; she was here for a short visit but quickly fell in love with the Island and its people. She grew up outside of Washington DC in Rockville, Maryland, and attended college in Boca Raton, Florida at Florida Atlantic University. After college, she worked as a lobbyist led her to Chicago, Illinois. After eight years of working in the political arena she decided to simplify her life and leave Chicago to travel. Her travels ended here on Block Island. Rosemary lives with her husband, son, and two dogs, Lola and Sugar. She has successfully worked as a real estate agent for the last 11 years, and works for Lila Delman. In the summer, you can find her behind the bar at Eli’s.

Leonard Perfido, ’18

Leonard and his wife, Ruth, first came to Block Island in the early 70’s and they purchased their West Side property in 1995 and redesigned and added to it in 2000. He has degrees from Yale (B. A. 1959) and (M. Arch. 1962) and for 11 years he worked and had an architectural practice in New York before founding Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel in Pittsburgh in 1975. The firm has continued since his retirement in 2006. He has been and is active in several not-for-profit organizations including City Theater in Pittsburgh, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and SITI Company, a theater company in New York. He and Ruth have for 35 years collected Art Moderne items from the 1930’s including furniture, decorative arts and household objects which fill their New York loft.

Seth Draper, ’19

Seth Draper is thirty two years old and is from Block Island.  He grew up on Block Island, attending the Block Island School from kindergarten through graduation.  Following school, his passions for the outdoors, culture and travel brought him to many countries.  He now spends his winters in Costa Rica and summers on Block Island.  His love of both communities focus on conservation and the importance of our natural resources and a warm sense of community.

 While on Block Island he started a landscape/excavation business, providing everything from lawn care to driveways and stone patios.  More recently he is re-focusing his energies to help with his family businesses – The 1661 Inn, The Oar and the Narragansett.  He has taken on the responsibility of continuing the legacy of his grandfather’s garden and exotic animal farm at The 1661 Inn. 

 He has joined the Block Island Conservancy board to continue the preservation of Block Island and to retain a healthy balance between human development and nature.  He is looking forward to working with this leading organization with both fundraising and landscape maintenance and development to improve Block Island’s unique beauty.

Lyle Anderson, ’20

Lyle and his wife first came to Block Island in the late 1990’s. After many years of vacationing on their boat, they purchased a home off Champlin’s Road eight years ago.  They are part-time year round residents and love the off-season!

Lyle has 35 years in the information technology field. He was a consultant for several computer vendors and head of technology for Aetna and News Corporation/TV Guide. He developed many of the internet properties for NewsCorp including tvguide.com. He now owns a video and web production company and a company specializing in aerial photography.  In his spare time he is President of New Castle Television and a board member of the Westchester Institute for Human Development where he chairs the Development Committee.

Lyle hopes to bring his technology and video production skills to help the Conservancy!

Dr. Robert Greenlee, ’18

Bob may be new to the board but has deep roots on Block Island and with conservation.  He and his wife Susan have moved to the island as full-time residents following his retirement in June 2015.  He practiced obstetrics/gynecology in Westchester County, NY from 1980 to 2008 and was with Westerly Hospital until his retirement.  He has served on the BIHS advisory board for many years.

Bob’s Block Island experience started in 1952 when he sailed here with his parents, Ralph and Dorothy, who after visiting multiple summers, bought land here in 1971 and moved here full-time in 1981.

Dorie Napoleone, ’18

Dorrie first sailed to Block Island in 1987 along with her husband Jim.

Together with family, they summered on their sailboat in the Great Salt Pond and frequented Block Island in the off season before purchasing their home in 1999.   

Although full time residents since 2001, Dorrie often traveled back to New York where she worked at Montefiore Medical Center as Director of Clinical Information Technology.    Prior to that she worked near where she grew up in Boston at Beth Israel Deaconess and Children’s Hospital as a Medical Technologist in Hematology.      

Since moving to Block Island, she has served on the board of BIRA, and as Coordinator for the Farmers Market.  She also currently serves as the Treasurer for the Block Island Arts and Crafts Guild.   

From the moment she came to Block Island, Dorrie fell in love with the natural beauty and unspoiled landscape.   

In these contentious times when much of the country seems so divided on so many important issues like climate change, she would like to focus her energy here, helping to preserve and protect our beautiful island.

Meg Vitacco, ’20

Meg grew up in Augusta, Georgia, moved to New York City to attend college, and lived there for almost a decade. Meg has lived on Block Island year round since 2012.  She shares a home with her partner (in both life and business) Josh, and their six year old puppy, Radar.  The three of them own and operate MUTT HUT, Block Island’s general store for dogs.

Michael O’Brien, ’20

Mike has been coming to Block Island with his brother Phil and sister Rosalie since he was an infant. He is the son of Tom and Ellen O’Brien and a third generation teacher. Mike, like his mother, taught special education in the Boston Public Schools system for the past 18 years before coming to live on the Island year round. When he joined the staff in September 2016, Mike became the second person in his family to teach at the Block Island School, following in the footsteps of his grand mother Gertrude Ball who was a primary teacher and music teacher at the school for many years.

Mike received his undergraduate degree in Social Science from Providence College and his masters in Special Education from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Mike most treasures his son Conor Michael O’Brien, his nieces Frances Grace Kivlehan and Grace Ellen O’Brien and his nephews Tomas, Sean and Christian Kivlehan.  They keep him young, smiling and on his toes.