The Martha’s Vineyard Museum medal honors leaders in the Vineyard community and recognizes their commitment to preserving the history, arts and culture of the Island. It has been presented by the museum since 2009.

This year’s recipients are Skip Finley, Juliana Germani and Steve Bernier. They were presented with their medals at a ceremony earlier this week.

Skip Finley spent his summers on the Vineyard and moved to the Island year-round in 1999. He is the marketing and sales director for the Vineyard Gazette Media Group, and has extensive experience in radio, running or owning as many as 44 radio stations nationwide during his career.

Skip Finley with his family at the ceremony. — Courtesy Martha's Vineyard Museum

Most recently, Mr. Finley is the author of Whaling Captains of Color: America’s First Meritocracy, which details the lives of over 50 black whaling captains in the U.S., some of whom called the Island their home. The book was published earlier this summer. He is also the author of Historic Tales of Oak Bluffs, and helped introduce many students at the regional high school to the business of radio.

At the ceremony he was introduced by Jane Seagrave, publisher of the Vineyard Gazette Media Group. Ms. Seagrave described Mr. Finley as “A man of boundless energy, irrepressible good humor and an abundance of talent who keeps finding new ways to give back to the Island he has loved his entire life.”

Juliana Germani is the first Brazilian immigrant to become a teacher at MVRHS. She was introduced by Jane Sampaio, a world language professor at the regional high school. Ms. Sampaio said Ms. Germani has “devoted herself to the Portuguese program’s success and growth, believing strongly in its mission to educate students to be linguistically and culturally prepared to be contributing members of the global society.”

In addition to teaching, Ms. Germani is secretary and board member for Island Grown Initiative, a member of the advisory board for MVYouth, and writes a weekly column in the Martha’s Vineyard Times about the Island’s Brazilian community. She has also taught Portuguese to Island police officers through a program initiated by the Tisbury Police Department and partnered with Edgartown police chief Bruce McNamee to hire more bilingual Island students for summer jobs as part of an initiative to introduce students to the field of criminal justice.

“I am grateful to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum for helping me to document a chapter in Island history in which Brazilians are playing a major part,” she said at the event. “I’m thankful I can play a small part in this vast and multi-faceted story.”

Matthew Stackpole, former director of the museum, introduced Steve Bernier. — Courtesy Martha's Vineyard Museum

Steve Bernier, owner of Cronig’s Market since 1985, was introduced by Matthew Stackpole, a maritime historian and former director of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Mr. Stackpole praised Mr. Bernier’s leadership.

“It gives him a great insight into the many component parts that comprise the big picture of this Island,” he said. “Pick any category you want and you will find a way that Cronig’s has provided some form of support.”

Mr. Bernier thanked Mr. Stackpole and the museum for the recognition. “It’s an honor,” he said. “It’s wonderful. This is a beautiful place and I’m happy to be here to serve.”