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David Green
Chairman & Secretary

David is the founder of Archipelago Equities, a real estate and small business venture firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. David has been involved in a variety of businesses, including real estate development, automotive, sports, marketing and specialty food importation. His involvement in The Bahamas and The Island School spans over 20 years, serving as Managing Director of the Cape Eleuthera Resort. David and his wife Rae have two children, Jacq (S ‘04) and Alec (S ‘11), who “grew up” at the Cape. In 2014, David and Rae founded Sandford House Treatment Addiction Centres providing residential and outpatient services in Grand Rapids historic Heritage Hill district.


Chris Maxey

Chris founded The Island School in 1999 while serving as a residential house master and teacher in the Interdisciplinary department at Lawrenceville School. After graduating with a BA in history from Yale University, Chris served six years as an officer in the US Navy SEAL community. While at Lawrenceville he received a Joukowsky Fellowship and holds an M.A. degree in Marine Studies from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.


Stephen Holowesko

Stephen and his wife Alessandra have four kids and three dogs and live in Nassau, The Bahamas. His family has roots in Eleuthera, stretching back to the early 1700′s. Stephen is a graduate of Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, RI, and from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. His career stops include teaching English in Japan, Television Tokyo’s Washington, DC bureau, and Goldman Sachs, in New York and London. Stephen is currently a partner at a Nassau-based hedge fund. He and his sister co-founded the Ride for Hope Bahamas, a cancer-related charity in The Bahamas.

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Greg Buckles

Greg is the Dean of Admissions at Middlebury and brings three decades’ worth of experience as an educator and administrator to his role as Dean of Admissions at Middlebury. He came to the college in 2008, having arrived from Kenyon College, where he served as Director of Admissions. Prior to his work in higher education, Greg was a teacher, coach, college counselor and assistant headmaster at two different boarding schools. A graduate of Denison University, he also holds an M.A. in literature from Trinity College in Connecticut. Greg is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying cycling and skiing in the Green Mountain State, and at one point was a professional fishing guide in Alaska - a pursuit with many apt metaphors for the admissions process, he notes. Greg and his wife Liz, a teacher, are the parents of four children, and as such, he appreciates the excitement and anxiety that go along with the college search process. 

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Dr. Francesca Forrestal

Francesca is a post-doctoral associate at the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami and has a Ph.D in Marine Biology and Fisheries and an MSc. in Marine Affairs and Policy. She attended The Island School in Fall 1999 and returned to work as a SCUBA instructor in Fall 2001. She served on the Cape Eleuthera Foundation Board from 2004 until she joined the CEIS board in 2012. Francesca lives in Miami with her husband Ian.

Trevor Bacon

Trevor is the Director of Marine Programs at the Moore Charitable Foundation. He is on the boards of Oceans 5 and Shark Conservation Fund, funders’ collaborative dedicated to protecting our oceans and preventing the overexploitation of sharks. Since 2011, Trevor has worked on multiple shark research expeditions with the Island School. He is an avid free diver and amateur underwater photographer. 


Alessandra Holowesko

Alessandra is the past board president of the Lyford Cay Foundation and also past Chairman of the Lyford Cay International School Board of Directors. She was a founding force in the establishment of the FOCUS project, an academic summer enrichment programme in Nassau for underserved families. She has four children - and is happily married to Stephen.


Dr. Charles Murphy

Charles ‘Chuck’ Murphy was on the Lawrenceville Board of Trustees in 1998 when the then headmaster Michael Cary and CFO Bill Bardel proposed a field trip and loan to start The Island School. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but little did he know it would pull him back to take a leadership spot in 15 years later. A physician in the Bay Area, Chuck is a long time visitor to the Bahamas.


Dr. David Phillipp

Dave and his wife, Julie Claussen, have sent daughter Madison (Fall 2011) and son Mickey (Spring 2010) to The Island School program. Dave is the principal scientist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, and co-founder and a director of the Fisheries Conservation Foundation. Dave is involved in a number of the flats ecology research projects underway at Cape Eleuthera Institute and throughout the Bahamas, supervising graduate students working on several of them. Dave also co-chairs the CEI Scientific Advisory Committee.


Ben Snyder

Ben Snyder is formerly the head of the upper school, now director of experiential and international programs at the Noble and Greenough School, which has sent more students to The Island School than any other school since 2000 with Ben’s direct support and leadership. His daughter Abby attended the Island School in Spring 2006. He helped launch both a software technology start-up and a new college in California before ending up in Massachusetts, and brings his perspective and expertise at dealing with clients in the high- expectations environment of a selective school. His love for breaking students out into the world as part of their high school experience is evident in the increasing commitment he has fostered on the part of Nobles to international learning. He has personally led student trips to many places; Vietnam and South Africa among them. 


David Verdier

David and his wife Beverly have sent daughter Renee (Spring 2003) and son Travis (Spring 2005) to The Island School program. Dave is a doctor of ophthalmology in private practice in Grand Rapids, MI. He is a member of several medical associations and serves in an advisory capacity to many community-based organizations including the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation, Macatawa Park Cottagers Association, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. 


Stephen Murray

Stephen is in his third year as Head Master of the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey after ten years as Headmaster of University School in Cleveland, OH. He began his career at Deerfield Academy, where he taught, coached, and worked in the administration. He has served on a number of boards, including the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives, Citizens’ Academy Charter School, and Greenwich Academy. Steve and his wife Sarah have five children, including son James, who attended Island School in the fall of 2011 and returned in 2015 to work at CEI for a spring semester.


Dr. Jerome Lightbourne

Jerome Lightbourne is a Paediatric Cardiologist who returned home to The Bahamas in 1995 and serves as the country’s only Board Certified Paediatric Cardiologist with responsibility for public and private patients. He is a consultant physician of the Public Hospitals Authority and Doctors Hospital where he is department chair of pediatrics. He is trustee of the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation and a past president of the Bahamas Heart Association. He sits on the board of the Nazareth Centre for Children. He is the founding and current chairman of the Bahamas Antidoping Commission. He is founder and managing director of the Children’s Heart Centre (1995) and Pediatrics Specialists of the Bahamas (2000), with a satellite office in Spanish Wells, Eleuthera. He is married to Natasha nee Chea and they have 3 daughters: Teisha, Alicia and Adrienne, all avid competitive swimmers who have represented The Bahamas at many international swimming competitions including the World Championships. 


John Green

John Green is a high energy, fiscally conscious and goal-driven executive. He approaches every business challenge with an intrinsic flair and determination to succeed. For more than 20 years, John has found himself at the confluence of finance, craft beverage, ag-tech, commercial real estate, and urban development in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He currently serves as executive chairman of Founders Brewing Company, among the fastest-growing, global craft beer brands, as well as leadership positions with Revolution Farms, Odyssey Media Group and Cirkul. John has fostered community connections that have helped transform Grand Rapids into a vibrant destination for craft beverage, food culture and entrepreneurism by serving on the boards of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, Grand Rapids Whitewater, Grand Valley State University Foundation and the Island School in Eleuthera, Bahamas. John graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Economics. 


Mike VanGessel

Mike is an Island School parent of Tony (Spring 2011). Mike is the CEO of Rockford Construction, which he co-founded in 1987 with a vision to assist in the revitalization of the region through philanthropy, strategic local partnerships, and community engagement. As a Grand Rapids-based developer, investor, construction manager and property manager, Mike has deeply invested Rockford in the long-term success of master planning projects within the City and neighborhoods. As a part of sustainability and all of its forms, Rockford’s corporate office building is LEED Platinum certified. In addition, Mike has been instrumental in extending this sustainability to our 12-block neighborhood in partnership with Consumers Energy, known as Circuit West. Mike is also a community leader, serving on many boards and organizations advocating for students and young people. He encourages Rockford team members to get involved with the community – giving time and talent is a common thread throughout Rockford Construction. A Michigan State University graduate and a Grand Rapids native, Mike is a driving force for initiatives that positively impact the way people live, work, learn, heal, and play. He is a business thought leader, community advocate, and catalyst for change, creating a bright future for today’s youth. Mike and his wife, Gayle, have two sons and one daughter, and currently reside in Grand Rapids, MI. 


Will McCalpin

Will McCalpin attended The Island School in Spring 2006 and is excited to bring his passion for energy & the environment to the Board of Directors. After completing an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy with a minor in Environmental Studies from Princeton University, Will went on to work in distributed generation wind & solar for the early part of his career. Will is now a Product Manager at Swoop, a San Francisco-based tech startup focused on delivering a best- in-class on-demand roadside assistance platform. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring Marin.


George Giannos

George attended The Island School in Fall of 2010 and has since returned to Eleuthera numerous times to work at CEI, CSD, and with the admissions committee. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 2017 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. George currently resides in San Francisco, CA and is a project manager at Brodie, a construction management firm that focuses on higher-education projects throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He also serves as the president of the Bronco Builders Association, the Santa Clara University construction and real estate alumni group. 


Horatio Smith

Horatio was born and raised in Nassau but travelled to Windermere High School in Savannah Sound, Eleuthera for his secondary education which led to his enrolment at The Island School in 2002. Horatio has a diverse professional background in event conceptualization and production both at home and abroad in addition to running his own catering company, he has managed and food services department for Lyford Cay International School and was the Head Chef and Manager at the award winning Studio Café in Nassau. Horatio has served on the Youth Board for the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas, as well as assisting Jerome Miller, of Jerome Art, for 8 years in his Annual Art Show, hosting the receptions at each show. Proceeds from the shows have gone towards scholarships for the College of the Bahamas for the Winston Saunders Foundation. Recently Horatio has taken a step back from mainstream business and restaurants as he works with six time NBA All Star John Wall from the Washington Wizards. He is working on new restaurant and hotel concepts while trying to harness and direct creative energies. Horatio aims to create a space that blends the lines between his passions; Food, Art, Music, Fashion and the Environment.