Community Involvement: Randy Mcneil has been working with the Howard Beach Memorial Services and the American Legion for the development of two memorials in Frank M. Charles Park in Howard Beach. The first has been completed – the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
The second, dedicated to Frank M. Charles himself, who was killed in action in World War I, will be a storyboard telling of his life and service to the country.
Mcneil is also a Deacon and councilmember for Saint Barnabas Lutheran Church.
Personal: A son of a “domestic engineer” mother and movie theater expert, artist, and arthitect father, Mcneil was born and raised in Howard Beach, which his grandfather was involved in developing. He lived in Manhattan for three years, which is where he met his wife of 21 years, Joanne. Together they have a 19-year-old son, Ryan.
Mcneil loves to travel, most recently to Scotland. He also enjoys snorkeling, going to the beach, and frequenting comedy clubs.
Occupation: Mcneil is the owner/operator of Blue Sky Landscaping Services, Inc. located in Howard Beach. Serving Howard Beach, Ozone Park, John F. Kennedy Airport and the surrounding area, it is a full-service company that does design, planting, water features, lawn sprinklers and maintenance. He proudly hires locals, he said.
Biggest Challenge: “One of the more difficult challenges is finding time to help…but somehow I do. Also, it can be difficult to hear opinions and criticisms from those who offer no help. Many have great ideas but are unwilling to give a hand. Particularly at Charles Park, many people are frustrated with the limited budget the federal parks have to make improvements there. So as work progresses our memorials, on the job site you get a lot of opinions on what we should be doing to improve the park, but we are not the parks department. Thankfully, I have had the good fortune of working with some very good and talented people, such as Ray York and Ed Murray from the American Legion, Pastor William Baum and John and Linda Engler from Saint Barnabas.”
Inspiration: “I am a firm believer in the fact that you have to give back whatever way you can; as little or as much as you can. It keeps you humble; do the right thing for the right reasons without expecting a return, except for your own personal good feelings. Call it Karma, the Law of attraction or divine intervention. What goes around somehow comes around!”