Dan Wolf is the first-term State Senator from the Cape and Islands, one of the most unusual legislative districts in the country, stretching from the far tip of Provincetown across 11 Cape towns plus the Town of Barnstable and all of the islands of Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Gosnold. He was elected in November, 2010, after his first campaign. This is his first elected position.
Dan’s family roots are in Philadelphia. He came to the Cape in his first year of life, and grew up summering along the shores of Pleasant Bay. With four siblings, a father who is a successful business entrepreneur, and a mother who is a professor of American history, family conversations around the dinner table were always spirited, and often political. Dan attended Germantown Friends School for 13 years; Quaker values and education shaped his worldview.
After graduating from Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Dan combined his passions: Cape Cod and airplanes. He earned his private pilot license at the Chatham Municipal Airport and then his commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates while in Hyannis. After working as a community and union organizer in the Boston area, he returned to the Cape in the mid-1980s to manage the Chatham Municipal Airport, where he worked as a flight instructor and aircraft mechanic.
In 1988, Dan and a handful of others founded what would become Cape Air and Nantucket Airlines. They began with one airplane, and one route – Provincetown to Boston. Twenty years later, Cape Air is one of the largest independent regional airlines in the country, serving more than 36 communities and more than 700,000 passengers annually in regions as diverse as Key West, the Caribbean, northern New England, rural Missouri, and Guam. Cape Air employs roughly 1000 people, one of the largest employers in the region. Headquarters remain in Hyannis.
In 1995, in keeping with Dan’s principles of marrying sound business and fair equity, Cape Air became an employee-owned company. Cape Air also has earned recognition as one of the most philanthropic companies in southeastern Massachusetts. In addition, the company is an environmental leader. A cornerstone of the company’s Greening Initiative is one of the largest photovoltaic systems in southeastern Massachusetts, which provides 100 percent of electricity used in the company’s 50,000-square-foot administration and maintenance headquarters.
Dan believes that his strong business, philanthropic, and environmental background, coupled with his equally strong belief that our economy should serve the core beliefs of our citizens rather than define our direction, will help him represent the Cape and Islands well. In his first term, he has been named co-chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and vice chair of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, as well as serving on the following committees: Tourism, Arts, and Culture; Environment, Agriculture, and Natural Resources; Health Care Financing; Veterans and Federal Affairs; Public Service; and Redistricting. He also is co-chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Caucus.
He and his wife Heidi Schuetz have lived in the same house in Harwich for more than 23 years, raising three daughters. All three have graduated from Nauset Regional High School.