Member Spotlight: Ethan Hanabury


Ethan Hanabury and partner Joe Vallo


"still get a thrill seeing the Monument and the shoreline in the distance."


“I grew up in the 60s and 70s in Weymouth, a suburb of Boston. I knew of no other gay people growing up, and I didn’t feel like coming out then was an option for me. So, when I finally came to P’town as an out gay man in the mid-eighties, I enjoyed the freedom and the gay community with all its traditions, including the Boatslip Tea Dance and 1am pizza at Spiritus.” So says Ethan Hanabury. It is the story familiar to so many in Provincetown.

Ethan’s family had a small cottage in Barnstable while he was growing up, and the family occasionally ventured to P’town on a rainy day. Fast forward: Ethan and his partner Joe Vallo purchased their Provincetown condo in July 2019 with an inheritance from Ethan’s mom who passed in 2018, and they named the condo ‘Maison Marie’ in her memory. It turned out to be fortuitous timing in that Ethan and Joe were able to spend the entire summer of 2020 in P'town during the pandemic.

As a Provincetown homeowner, Ethan spends nearly six months a year in town. It’s a reward for his 22 years as the Senior Associate Dean of Columbia Business School. It is also a respite from his work as an executive coach, working with senior leaders to become the best they can be. Ethan typically works with C-suite executives in Fortune 500 companies, not-for-profits, and recently coached two senior leaders in the Joe Biden presidential campaign.

Because he wanted to get involved in the community in some way, Ethan investigated groups he found on a website that listed all of the not-for-profits in the area. He joined the PPRTA because he wanted to work with like-minded, committed, part-time owners to make P'town an even better place than it already is. Ethan would like to see PPRTA become known as a thought leader about P'town, an organization that anyone might go to for their perspective, research and insights. It would be great, he says, if the Town Manager would use us as one of his or her key thought partners.

For Ethan, there is no single experience that tells him "This is the place I have to be". He is grateful every day as he scans the beauty of this place, from flower gardens on Commercial Street to the breathtaking art created right here in P’town. Ethan enjoys the “gay pilgrimage” across the marsh to Boys Herring Cove Beach; outdoor yoga classes on the Boatslip deck and on the beach; and his bike rides. A favorite ride is along 6A down to Truro. He still gets a thrill riding back and seeing the Monument and the shoreline in the distance.

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