Mark was born and raised in Harrison, NJ and is the youngest of seven children. Mark and his family moved to Rutherford thirty years ago. Mark and his wife Colleen have been married for 35 years and are the proud parents of four sons, Mark Patrick, Brendan, Nolan, and James, as well as three grandchildren, Kaylee, Garrett, and Carson John. Mark is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University and has been employed by Professional Insurance Associates of Carlstadt for 23 years. Prior to PIA, Mark worked for the Equifax Company of Atlanta GA.
Mark and his family are members of Saint Michael the Archangel Parish in Lyndhurst, where over the years Mark has been a lector as well as a soloist leader of sacred music. Mark is a member of the Rutherford Elks Lodge #547 and is a former member of the Irish American Association of Kearny. Mark has marched in the Kearny Saint Patrick’s Day parade for 45 years and was Irishman of the year in 2014. In addition to the Rutherford and Kearny parades Mark has also marched in the NY City Saint Patrick’s Day parade on several occasions.
While his sons were growing up Mark coached Little league, Babe Ruth, and travel baseball, including being the founder of the Rutherford Red Wing travel baseball program. Additionally, Mark was a two-time super bowl winning coach in the Rutherford Junior football program, as well as a recreation soccer and basketball coach.
In addition to his interest in sports, Mark is an avid reader of History, with a particular interest in military history. However, there is nothing Mark enjoys more than traveling with his wife Colleen. Gardening, and cooking, particularly large Sunday meals for his ever-growing family are two of Mark’s favorite things to do. Mark and Colleen are expecting their fourth grandchild in April of 2023.
Michael Charles Coyne was born in the Margaret Hague Hospital
to Michael & Marion Coyne. His Irish paternal lineage originates
from County Cork and his maternal lineage from County Clare.
Michael, the middle of 3 children, was raised in downtown Jersey
City and attended St. Michael’s grammar school then went on to
St. Michael’s High School where he played basketball. Michael
graduated from St. Peter’s College and then joined the United
States Army Reserve from 1969 to 1975.
He married Joan Ambrose in 1972. Their greatest joy is their 3 children (Christine, Bridget, and Michael) and their 5 grandchildren (Matthew,
Michael, Luke, Gabriella, and James). Michael became a
Hudson County Probation Officer shortly after his SPC
graduation and worked there for 43 years. Over the years
Michael has coached basketball and baseball for 3 high schools
in Jersey City – St. Michael’s, St. Anthony’s and Hudson
Catholic. Michael also volunteered to coach basketball at a
younger level at Sacred Heart grammar school in Lyndhurst and
Little League and soccer for the town. He and Joan are active
members of Sacred Heart Church in Lyndhurst for the past 48
Mike has volunteered to help with various fundraisers for
the parish, one of which is Irish Night where he cooks and
donates 50 pounds of corned beef! Mike and his family have
been engaged with the Rutherford Community for many years
and have made some wonderful friendships. He is truly honored
to be nominated as Deputy Grand Marshal of the 2023 RIAA
parade. There isn’t a more proud Irish American.
Brian A. Fitzhenry was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He grew up in North Arlington and attended St. Peter’s University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing.
His paternal Grandfather, Lawrence Fitzhenry and his family, are from County Wexford and his Grandmother Elizabeth (nee McFadden) Fitzhenry is from Donegal. Vincent Aloysius Meehan, Brian’s maternal Grandfather’s family roots are traced to Tipperary.
Brian is a highly respected business professional in the transportation industry where he has worked for over 30 years. He was a six-year member of the North Arlington Board of Education, where he also served as President. As the Past President of the North Arlington Education Foundation, Mr. Fitzhenry spearheaded the work to ensure that the North Arlington school district was the deserving recipient of grant monies to institute after school and summer programs for its youth, which is currently known as the North Arlington SACC Program and serves over 200 students year-round.
As a member of the North Arlington Fire Department since 1991, he served in a variety of leadership positions, including Chief of the Department in 2010 and 2016. His commendations include Firefighter of the Year 2006, Distinguished Service Medal, 9-11 Service Award and 3-unit citations.
Mr. Fitzhenry is currently serving his 4th Term as a Councilman in the Borough of North Arlington where he also holds the positions of Public Safety Liaison and the Board of Education Liaison.
In addition to these community efforts, Mr. Fitzhenry was Chair of the North Arlington Zoning Board of Adjustment and a member of the Queen of Peace Grammar School CYO Board. He also coached the Town’s girls and boys basketball, Little League and softball teams.
Having a love for his family traditions, heritage and music, he played the bagpipes with the St. Columcille United Gaelic Pipe Band, Kearny, NJ. He continues to be a member in good standing of the Knights of Columbus for the past 39 years. A life-long resident of North Arlington, Mr. Fitzhenry is married to Donna and has three children, Brian, Jr. 25, and twins Thomas and Erin Mary, 22.
Officer Chris Connors has been with the Hasbrouck Heights Police Department for approximately 8 years. He was born and raised in Hasbrouck Heights and currently resides there with his wife Melissa and son Landon.
Growing up, Chris always knew he wanted to serve his community as a police officer, and joining the Hasbrouck Heights force was his dream. Since joining, he was assigned to the patrol division and has been awarded number accolades including PBA recognition, distinguished service awards, valor awards, and was inducted into the NJ Police Honor Legion.
On August 1, 2022, Officer Chris Connors was the first on scene at an active fire at the residence of Rutherford Irish member Phyllis Caporino. After being alerted that Ms. Caporino was trapped on the second floor of the home, Officer Connors rushed in and carried Ms. Caporino out of her wheelchair downstairs to safety. The RIAA is grateful to him for his quick and selfless action to save one of our own.
Patrick M. O'Keefe joined the Rutherford Volunteer Ambulance Corps in 2018 and successfully completed the 240-hour EMT training program, becoming certified as a National Registry EMT shortly thereafter. At the beginning of the Covid Pandemic, between March and May 2020, Patrick logged 400 hours of volunteer service. Continuing that commitment throughout 2020 and 2021, Patrick handled 554 ambulance calls.
At a recent awards ceremony, The Rutherford Mayor and Council honored Patrick as the “Rutherford Volunteer of the Year,” in recognition of Patrick’s donation of his time and talent to the Borough. Patrick is a Senior at Montclair State University. Patrick has followed in the footsteps of his parents, Brian and Catherine who are both long time EMT volunteers in town. Patrick’s younger sister, Kerry is also a member of the ambulance corps.
Patrick is a proud Irish American whose maternal Grandmother is from County Kerry. Patrick is a 2018 recipient of the Rutherford Irish American Association Scholarship.
Tom Sharkey was born in the Inwood section of Manhattan to Patrick (of Roscommon) and Kathleen (of Cavan) who raised him along with his four younger brothers. He grew up in the Irish culture surrounded by a big extended family. One of his favorite memories was watching his uncles perform Irish music at Sullivan's Bar in Belle Harbor, Rockaway Queens every weekend.
Tom worked on Wall Street for forty years in the International arena travelling to over 25 countries as a member of the International Operations Association.
He met his wife Laura at Bear Stearns who, as anybody who sent their kids to St Mary's knows, Mrs. Sharkey taught first grade there for many years. Tom has always been active in the Rutherford community, and volunteered many years coaching Little League baseball, boy's basketball and girl's softball for both of his kids Jen and Ryan. After seeing many different cultures around the world he still holds Ireland as the one in his heart.