Mary Bergman, Executive Director
After two years as the Director of Media and Communications, Mary Bergman now serves as NPT’s Executive Director.
Originally from Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod, Mary has lived and worked on Nantucket since 2014. Her ties to the island go back to the 1920s when her great-grandparents lived on India Street. She has a BA from Smith College in American Studies and an MA from American University in Public History.
A writer and historian, Mary has long been fascinated by Nantucket’s built environment. She enjoys uncovering the stories of the people who built and lived in the island’s historic homes, and believes Nantucket’s historic structures are our most direct link to the past. To lose these historic buildings is to lose an important piece of the island’s fabric.
Favorite Historic Island Location: Front Street in ‘Sconset and Smith Point in Madaket. Both neighborhoods feature interesting architectural details, are perched on the edge of the island, and catch the first or last rays of the day.
Favorite Season on Nantucket: While I love the slower pace of life winter offers, summer on Nantucket can’t be beat. I love that it is light outside from almost 4:30 in the morning to 8 at night.
Michelle Whelan, Director of Development
Michelle joined the NPT in February 2018. In 2003, Michelle moved from NYC to live on Nantucket year-round as a full-time artist. In 2008, combining her love for the island with her professional background in publishing and program development, she began her tenure at Sustainable Nantucket, where she served as Executive Director until 2018. Michelle’s work with the NPT is a continuation of her commitment to preserving Nantucket’s special character and unique sense of place. Michelle holds a BA in Studio Art & English Literature from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a professional certificate in Fundraising & Development from the University of California, Davis.
Favorite Historic Island Location: Between Fair Street and Pleasant Street. There are all these tiny little side streets I love to walk down, with charming historic homes where you can glimpse lovely gardens nestled up behind them. I also love the house names on Fair Street. Fairy Tale, Love of Fair, Fair Thee Well, etc…
Interesting Fact: I am a painter– studio artist by training– and keep 3 plein air painting kits in my car during the warmer weather. One for me and one for each of my two daughters.
Favorite Season on Nantucket: I love the late summer / early fall on Nantucket. September and October are just amazing. The weather is usually gorgeous. It is often still warm enough to swim. The foliage is beginning to turn but flowers are still blooming. The fall harvest season is in full swing. The crowds slow down but the restaurants are still open. I try never to go away in September or October because I don’t want to miss one moment on the island.
Julie Kever, Administrative Assistant
Julie worked in another historical arena for 13 years with the Nantucket Historical Association and loves to see folks interested and learning about island history and the old crafts. Julie sees working for the Preservation Trust as a continuance of the focus on keeping history alive, just through older buildings mostly, which pulls in so much about craft.
My favorite Historic Island location: Would have to be the Abiah Folger Franklin Homestead site, which sits on a little hill and overlooks town. I like to imagine her there with all her siblings having so much room to explore the surrounding hills, picking the native blueberries and beach plums. Also, I am a direct descendant of Peter Folger, Abiah’s father, so I feel like I’m visiting my cousins when I’m there.
Interesting Fact: I can’t pass a bush of beach plums that are ready to pick and am addicted to the smell of them cooking down in preparation to make the jelly. I’ve never made any other kind of jelly in 40 years.
My favorite season: on the island is Autumn, which can’t come soon enough, nor last long enough. It’s honey collecting, cranberry harvesting, beach plum cooking, scallop fishing and bumping-into-island-friends time!
Rita Carr, Director of Media and Communications
Rita joined NPT in January 2020. She first came to Nantucket in 2018 as an intern with the Nantucket Historical Association. With a background in history and museum education, she is inspired by how the built environment of Nantucket combines with the island’s natural beauty to form a place where the past feels uniquely present. She holds a BA in History from Vassar College and an MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta.
Favorite Historic Island location: The Eleanor Ham Pony Field. I love the bit of open space in the middle of small streets filled with interesting houses where you can spot unique architectural details any route you walk down.
Favorite season on Nantucket: I love the late fall, when things slow down and the moors turn red. There’s a clarity to the light here in late October and early November that’s unlike anything I have experienced elsewhere.