News from the Board

An update from Brad Greeley, Board President

At a special Board meeting May 18th, the Star Island Board of Directors re-elected me as President and elected Russ Peterson to be our new Vice President. Russ is a regular at NHC and has been the President of South Church in Portsmouth which I also attend.

Open-up went very well. Perhaps the most exciting news was the remarkable progress being made on the West Wall. Our fire inspections all went very well and our first conferences—ARTS and YAC—are now up and running.

Registration. We are coming along but are behind last year’s numbers. If you are not yet decided, please join us. The Board voted to eliminate Room & Board charges for children 2 and under. It is an obvious investment in the future. We are on target budget-wise for the end of the year, but we need to fill more beds in a number of conferences.

As you can see in the picture, the Chapel path has been greatly improved. However, we still are exploring options for Chapel seating.

We have taken a hard look at who we are and how we function. I am confident that we have learned a great deal and are moving ahead well. We all are looking forward to the summer as never before. On behalf of the SIC Board, we hope you get to the Island for a week, or perhaps just a few days. We need you to come back, feel the spirit of our Island and be refreshed so you will be re-inspired to help us continue on our mission.

Yours in Star spirit,
Brad Greeley


Portsmouth Herald reports on new Star Island CEO

Be sure to check out this article from the Sunday, May 18, 2008, Herald: New CEO wants Star Island to shine.

The new chief executive officer of the Star Island Corp. at the Isles of Shoals has a goal of bringing the island up to code and into the 21st century.

Of course, visiting Star Island is a bit like stepping back in time, and that’s important to many of the regular visitors.

And that means walking a fine line to accomplish both objectives.

Some great photos accompany the article, and you’ll also want to check out another recent photo gallery of Star pics on the Herald site.


Star Island Newsletter

Star Island Newsletter

Spring 2008

Volume XXXIV, Issue 2

    Inside this Issue:

  • Seacoast Day
  • Shelter Rock Grant
  • On Solid Ground: 2008 Annual Fund
  • Passages
  • Personal Retreats
  • We Apologize
  • News from the Island
  • Conference Availability Update

On the Island

Star Island Corporation welcomes new executive: Seasoned educator, college administrator to lead

The following is a news release from Star Island Corporation

ISLES OF SHOALS, RYE, NH—An experienced educator and former Stanford University senior administrator is the first Chief Executive Officer of the Star Island Corporation (SIC).

Victoria Hardy, of Lowell, Mass., is the new head of the non-profit religious and educational organization operating summer conferences at the enchanting Oceanic Hotel & Conference Center at Star Island, one of the historic Isles of Shoals.

Hardy will lead the historic and serene island destination to a new productive platform in 2008 following a short 2007 season. Hardy most recently served as a professor and academic department head of design and facilities at the Boston-based Wentworth Institute of Technology where she worked since 2003. “The opportunity to work with the Star Island Corporation is one that I delightfully embrace,” said Hardy. “It is a tranquil and historic island destination attracting a diverse audience and reflecting the best of New England.”

Star Island is one of only a handful of places in the region where groups, individuals and families can come together for a quintessential New England getaway, Hardy said. Star Island is known for its traditional environment. Offering a rare glimpse at the grand hotel era when Star Island—home to the extraordinary Oceanic Hotel—attracted such notable artists and writers as Childe Hassam and Nathaniel Hawthorne, the educational and religious conference center will reopen for a full season in mid-June.

“We are excited to welcome new visitors and long-time conference guests to the Oceanic Hotel and grounds for an engaging family or corporate retreat, a religious or educational conference or to simply reflect on the days gone by in an open and safe environment,” she said.

Prior to her work in Boston, Hardy, 61, was the primary facility management faculty at Ferris State University in Michigan for ten years. Before joining Ferris State, Hardy spent twenty years managing programs and facilities at Stanford University, in the Meadowlands in New Jersey, and in Detroit, in addition to consulting in the arts and entertainment industry. She was named the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Distinguished Member of the Year for 2005, received the Boston IFMA Chapter Education and Professional Development Award in 2005, and was selected in 2001 as the IFMA Distinguished Educator. Hardy completed her term responsibilities at the Wentworth Institute and joined Star Island Corporation full time March 10 after her appointment by the board of directors.

“Hardy brings a wealth of experience and demonstrated business expertise to the organization,” said Brad Greeley, president of the SIC Board of Trustees. “She also brings with it personal familiarity with diversity and a spirit and energy which match her experience and expertise. We are fortunate to have Victoria Hardy to guide our organization.”

Hardy holds a Bachelor’s of Science, a Master’s Degree in Management, and is a graduate of the Stanford Management Development Program. She is also a certified facility manager both in the United States and Japan.

There are many opportunities to visit Star Island, Hardy said. For example, last year the island hosted more than 100 people on personal overnight retreats. In addition, families or individuals may sign-up for one of the many conferences this summer season including the Natural History Conference, the International Affairs Conference, Elderhostel in September or one of the many faith-based meetings.

Others with private boats in Gosport Harbor are welcome to tie up a dinghy to the dock for a day visit. In addition, other boat companies offer day or evening island cruises to Star Island aboard the Uncle Oscar in Rye or the Newburyport-based Captain’s Lady. For those interested in visiting the island as an overnight guest in 2008 with a conference group, as a family or an individual, inquiries may be made via email by contacting office@starisland.org.

The non-profit Star Island Corporation has owned and operated Star Island for religious, educational, and kindred purposes since 1916, providing affordable individual and family retreat. While Star Island is founded on the liberal spiritual ideals of Unitarian-Universalism and the United Church of Christ, people of many denominations and faiths (including none) attend conferences regularly. Each of the Star Island conferences is self-administered by a dedicated group of volunteers and the island is staffed in the summer season by over one hundred young people, affectionately known as Pelicans. The organization is headquartered year-round from its offices in Portsmouth.

For more information about Star Island conferences, events or fundraising, log on to its official website at www.starisland.org or call the Star Island office at (603) 430-6272.

On the Island

Traditional Barn Dance Benefit: New York City, Friday, May 19th, 2008

Join New England’s best known barn dance bands and callers Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman for an evening of dance at All Souls Unitarian to benefit Star Island Corporation!

No experience is necessary. Tickets are just $25 per person ($50 for a family)—refreshments will be served and childcare is available (though optional—kids are welcome to dance).

All Souls is located at 1157 Lexington Avenue (Between 79th and 80th Street) in Manhattan.

For details, download the Flyer and Sign-up Sheet.

Neighbors in the Shoals

New Tunnel to Facilitate Shoals Traffic

Note: this article was published on April 1, 2008—while we’re making lots of capital improvements to Star Island this year, this is not one of them. It’s just for laughs!

Terrific news on an exciting project!

“The new tunnel is projected to be completed by late 2012 and is estimated to cost upwards of seven billion dollars. It will be modeled after the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, with one platform rising out of the sea at the four mile mark. Drivers will be able to make the nine mile trip from Rye to Star Island in just over ten minutes. Upon arriving on Star Island, drivers will have the option of entering a tight rotary and immediately returning to the mainland, or parking in a contemplated new town parking lot and doing a little sight seeing. For those choosing the latter, a number of new tourist attractions are in the planning phase, including a golf driving range, a super sized Ferris wheel, and a small but authentic whaling museum where visitors will have the opportunity to throw harpoons at the likenesses of various types of whales.

The facility at the four mile marker will feature restrooms, a snack area serving burgers and soft drinks, and a tie up area for fishing boats, pleasure craft, and lobster boats. At the request of some of the local lobstermen, a license to sell beer is under consideration.”

For details, see Noah Uturn’s article at the Rye Reflections website.


Star Island Newsletter

Star Island Newsletter

Winter 2008

Volume XXXIV, Issue 1

    Inside this Issue:

  • The “FAB” Team
  • From the Development Office
  • From the President
  • Introducing Our New CEO, Vicky Hardy
  • 1988: Twenty Years Ago in the Star Island Newsletter
  • Our Neighbors in the Shoals: An Island Kingdom
  • Passages
  • The Passing of a Star of Star: Albert W. Doolittle
  • Poetry: A Walk on Star Island

On the Island

Star Island’s 2008 Conferences: On Solid Ground

Note: This letter from Brad Greeley was on the front page of the website from January 23rd, 2008, until February 28th, 2008. It is now being archived here in the News area.

Dear Friends of Star Island,

I’m writing to update you on the exciting progress made at Star Island over the past eight months as we prepare to open for our Summer 2008 season.

We apologize for the extremely unfortunate closing last summer due to fire code violations. We have taken stock and we are stronger than ever. Since June we have invested more than $270,000 in electrical and other improvements in addition to the more than $1 million invested solely in fire and other safety upgrades over the last six years. All of last year’s electrical problems are fixed and we are working with fire officials and other regulators on developing approved plans to meet all existing codes. We are already ahead on $200,000 of scheduled 2008 safety work.

Excellent, skilled staff are being recruited and the best qualities of our beloved buildings, we are happy to say, have been retained while making them much safer and more secure. If you want to know more about the other steps we’ve taken to sustain Star and to give you a great summer, contact us at office@starisland.org any time.

As we prepare for next summer, we are more excited than ever at the anticipation of our time on Star Island, a place for renewal, personal growth, connection and the sheer joy of our Island home.

The conference calendar is now available online and the Blue Book will be in your mailbox soon. If you aren’t a “regular” at your special conference, there are so many choices to pick from, you’re sure to find a conference that interests you. Come alone, with a loved one or the entire family and reconnect with the magic of Star.

See you this summer.

In Star Spirit,
Brad Greeley, President

On the Island

Chief Executive Officer Search

Note: This message posted on behalf of Brad Greeley, President.

Star Island Corporation is embarking on a search for a new Chief Executive Officer (we have changed the title of the Executive Director position). We seek an individual who will bring his or her unique abilities and skills to address the current and long-term strategic challenges and opportunities faced by the Star Island Corporation.

The search committee has begun its work and is striving to present candidates to the Board as early as January, 2008. I am pleased to let you know that Bruce Parsons is the chair of the committee. Bruce has been a member and Vice President of the Board of Directors, member and past chair of the Facilities Committee, member and current chair of the Property Standards committee, and a Pelican Reunion conferee for years after working as a Pelican.

The Board and search committee have integrated the recommendations of the Island Opening Late Committee into the job description for the new CEO. The search committee welcomes your ideas, feedback and your recommendations. If you know of a potential candidate please encourage him/her to read the search information and job description and get in touch with the committee at office@starisland.org.

Please note that the deadline for applications for this position is November 19, 2007. This is a full-time position; compensation and benefits are commensurate with experience.

The Board of Directors of the Star Island Corporation looks forward to a future that holds much promise for the Corporation and its constituents. A dynamic, experienced executive is very much a part of that picture.

On the Island

Call to Special Meeting of the Corporation

This message posted on behalf of Karen Mathiasen, Clerk.

Pursuant to Article IV, Section 2 of the bylaws, notice is hereby given that a Special Meeting of the Star Island Corporation will be held at the First Unitarian Church of Worcester, Massachusetts, (Directions) on Saturday, October 13, 2007, at 9:00 AM for the transaction of the following business:

1. To hear reports regarding the Island opening late, financial matters, and other issues concerning the 2007 conference season and their potential impact on future conference seasons, and in particular to hear the report of the Island Opening Late Committee.

2. To have an opportunity for discussion regarding the aforementioned issues.

Karen Mathiasen, Clerk

Note on RSVPing: Corporation members will receive special RSVP information by first class mail shortly. Non-members are welcome to attend this meeting; an RSVP to office@starisland.org is required as demand may outpace available space. Carpooling is recommended!

PDF copies of the agenda and driving directions are available.

Please feel free to forward this annoucement to any interested parties.

Addendum, Friday, September 21: A meeting of the Council of Conferences will follow the Corporation meeting at 1:30 p.m.; an agenda is forthcoming.