2017 Queen’s Harbour Yacht Club Bridge Officers
Commodore Carman Ragonese
I moved to Queens Harbor in 2011 with my son James. I am originally from Milwaukee Wisconsin and have traveled all over the world. My hobbies include model airplanes and trains, SCUBA diving, NASCAR racing, NFL-GO PACK! and Boating and old cars. I repair just about anything, love home improvement projects and I enjoy cooking. Attended Arizona State University with a degree in Aeronautical Science. I have served on the Yacht Club board for 3 years including Fleet Captain and Secretary and Vice Commodore. I have been a pilot for Jetblue Airways for 17 years where I have served multiple positions varying from Check Airman, Hotel Chairman, Turn team, Pilot hiring, and currently Airbus 320 Captain. I have a 35 Ft FourWinns that keeps me busy turning wenches and buying parts. Call me if you’re interested in volunteering for projects!
Vice Commodore Elliott Russian
Photo and bio coming soon
Treasurer Joe Mrkvicka
My wife Kathy and I just moved to Queen’s Harbour in June 2017, although our boat, Taliesin (Sea Ray 320 Sundancer), has resided in the marina since September 2016. We are both originally from the Chicago suburbs, Kathy – Brookfield, Joe – Aurora. We left Illinois in 1997 for the DFW area. After 10 years there (Colleyville and Sanger) we moved to the King & Bear neighborhood at World Golf Village and were there for 10 years. I attended IIT before transferring to Northern Illinois University where I earned my Accounting degree. I am a Delivery Project Executive with IBM (via Price Waterhouse and PwC) where I have 20 years of experience leading business process outsourcing and application maintenance services delivery. My prior positions include IT Consulting, Controller of industrial distribution companies, and accounting management in the real estate management industry. Kathy and I are looking forward to actively participating in the QHYC and resuming golf, which took a back seat to my private pilot escapades back in 2001.
Secretary John Strohofer
In late 2014, we moved closer to family, warm weather and salt air, when we chanced upon the Queen’s Harbour community and fell in love with the life style it offered. I’m a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, but spent many of my formative years growing up in Cliffside Park, NJ, across the Hudson from New York City. I went back to Cincinnati to attend college at Xavier University earning a Bachelor of Science degree; then joined the Navy’s aviation officer training program for what turned into a 30 year career.
In the Navy I flew helicopters, managed ships, and worked as a diplomat at NATO in Brussels. I finished up my naval career in charge of Navy Recruiting for the southeast Region of the US. Over the years whenever we were stationed ashore we were fortunate to be able to sail from the naval bases. So, I enjoyed recreational sailing in Pensacola Bay, FL; Narragansett Bay, RI; and San Diego Bay, CA. One year, the family vacationed in Isle of Palms, and we sailed the Cooper River off Charleston. After the Navy, my second career was sales of commercial real estate sales across Georgia from a head office in Macon. Lake Tobesofkee, formed by a hydroelectric dam project, and the Ocmulgee River were the two closest water recreation sites. Our time on the water in Macon was spent kayaking, skiing and tubing.
Once we settled in, I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful beaches and learn small boating in the Intercoastal and St. John’s River. Up to this point in my life, my small boat experience while not nil, was limited compared to most boaters in Queen’s Harbour. The QHYC provided warm welcoming people and a knowledge base of local boating, sailing and fishing. The JAX Boat Club was recommended as a great way to learn the waterways and be exposed to numerous boats; it was just what I needed. The Fishing Society and Sailing Club provided invaluable information, although I still haven’t caught “the big one”. Currently, I’m a land yachter, with plenty of friends who have boats… perfect.
As your secretary, I’ll faithfully record the notable exploits, tall tales, sailing experiences and all remarkable nautical adventures of our membership that I become aware of and are fit to print, as well as, the details of how we were able to accomplish those feats throughout the year. Here’s to a great year, see you on the water!
Fleet Captain Dan Mechenbier
Lydia and I retired to Queens Harbour in 2004 and have been busy having fun ever since. The first organization we joined was the Yacht Club (Thank you Bill Arnold!) and we have continued to enjoy the camaraderie ever since. I am not a boat owner, having once been possessed by a small plywood hull sailboat, aptly named “The Sinkable Molly Brown”. That little tub taught me everything I’ll ever need to know about boat ownership. My main goal as Fleet Captain is to introduce all of our members to Pussers British Navy Rum.
In my previous life I worked as a field agent for the FDA, keeping the world safe from ne’er-do-wells in the food, pharmaceutical, medical research and blood banking industries. In retirement I’ve kept busy serving on the POA Board of Directors, various committees thereof and our own Queens Harbour CERT. I also spend a couple afternoons a week (along with a good number of your neighbors) tutoring local kids in an after school program in the Mayport area. In my spare time I handle donations, correspondence and other related matters for a small, family style orphanage in Honduras.