[ our team ]

We work hard for you! While many talented people are working to bring you the products and services you enjoy, here are just a few of the key personnel you may encounter.

Marcie LaVanway


Strong Enterprises is one of the few parachute manufacturers to remain entirely family owned and retains the truest reflection of our founder’s innovative nature, passed down through the generations. Although Ted is no longer with us, his story is still being written today. Not only by Marcie, his wife, who still owns and works at our factory, but also by generations of people who’ve worked at Strong Enterprises, helping to create some of the world’s finest and most innovative parachuting equipment on the market today. We are pleased to continue the process of reinterpreting and reimagining the existing principles of Strong Enterprises into something fresh, current and comprehensive. Through the use of mainstream materials, new manufacturing techniques and new construction methods we are creating stronger, safer, more economical and as always truly durable parachute equipment.


Mike Rinaldi

Vice President

Mike joined the Strong Enterprises team in December 2003. Nowadays he spends his time at Strong Enterprises in operations and finance but he can still be found out in the field with Strong Enterprises providing sales, service and support to our customers in the Tandem, Sport, Pilot and Military industries all around the world. Mike grew up in the Bronx, NY and moved to Florida in 2002. Skydiving since 1999 (D-24196) he is a Coach, Strong Tandem Instructor/Examiner and an FAA certificated senior parachute rigger. In his spare time he enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors. He dreams of one day having a small farm to raise animals and grow foods out in the country somewhere.



Production Manager

Kelley joined the Strong Enterprises team in August 1983, making her the longest employed full-time member of the Strong Team. Kelley came to Strong directly out of the Army. As a parachute rigger for the Army and now Strong Enterprises she has over 42 years of parachute rigging experience. Strong Enterprises is proud to have her on the team. She is an FAA certificated master parachute rigger and has made numerous skydives. She has worked on every parachute and project during the last 30+ years and has rigged, packed, maintained, and repaired them all. Kelley travels to many Air Shows and Clinics packing emergency parachutes and many pilots have come to rely on her attention to detail and quick turn-around time for their packing needs. She loves to spend her free time outdoors especially on/by the water or with her animals.


Chuck McHugh

R & D Consultant

Chuck joined the Strong Enterprises team in October 1995. Being experienced in most departments at Strong he can be found working in the sales, engineering, inspection, rigging and Tandem departments. Chuck is an FAA certificated master parachute rigger, FAA private pilot and Tandem Instructor. He has been skydiving for over 30 years (D-13619) and has over 3700 Tandem jumps and over 6000 sport jumps. Chuck enjoys sharing his insights and experience by giving presentations on many topics including parachute safety, procedures and maintenance during the Parachute Industry Association Symposiums as well as informal talks/presentations to pilots, Tandem Instructors, Tandem Examiners, and Packers on Drop Zones across the country. When he isn't playing with parachutes Chuck can be found playing on his boat in the intracoastal waterways, exploring, fishing, and just relaxing.


John Hawke

Sales & Marketing Manager

John joined the Strong Enterprises team in May 2017. He has quickly become an integral part of the sales team, using his experience and expertise to support our customers. He has an amazing ability to understand our customer needs and can match up customer requirements with the correct Strong Products. He is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major having served nearly 25 years as an active duty parachute rigger for U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. John made his first parachute jump in 1984, and has since held many ratings including FAA certificated master parachute rigger, Military Tandem Examiner, and FAA private pilot. After spending 30 years in Fort Bragg, North Carolina he traded fatigues & boots for shorts & flip-flops and now calls Central Florida home. John loves spending time with his wife, kids, and granddaughter, and can often be found absorbed in music or writing projects.


Garfield Headley

the Great Sales Specialist

Garfield joined the Strong Enterprises team in June 2017. As a member of our sales staff he organizes customer orders, receives incoming customer gear and tracks customer requirements. He ensures accuracy and quality when preparing customer orders for shipping. Originally from Jamaica, he had lived in Canada before relocating to Florida in 1994. He is new to the parachute industry but is a quick learner, self-driven, and a reliable employee who truly believes in customer satisfaction.


Leira Lynn

Administrative Associate

Leira joined the Strong Enterprises team in December of 2016. She is keeps everything running smoothly by handling the administrative duties of all aspects of Strong Enterprises from payroll to purchasing. Before coming to Strong she was a tank turret and weapons repair specialist for the National Guard and a martial arts instructor. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her son and going on outdoor adventures.


Francesco Tartaglione

Tandem Field Representative

Francesco uses his experience and knowledge of the industry to assist Strong Enterprises in the field. Originally from Italy, he has over 20 years in the Italian Army Airborne Division as a Sergeant Major E9. Francesco is a Tandem Instructor/Examiner, MTTB Examiner, AFF Instructor, Static Line Instructor, Coach, Wind Tunnel Instructor and FAA certificated senior parachute rigger.