By Diana Colson
Two Board Members of the Siesta Key Association retired March 1st after years of exceptional service. Peter van Roekens served on the board for a total of 12 years. He specialized in all things having to do with Big Pass. He was also instrumental in handling many smaller, more localized issues, such as getting the lighted bollards installed in the Village. Ron Flynn is a well known Sarasota realtor. At SKA he has served as a quiet force behind the scenes, and a specialist in meticulous research. The work of both of these dedicated men has helped maintain a high quality of life on our treasured Siesta Key.
Peter van Roekens and his wife Nancy first came to Siesta Key in 1979. They loved the place so much that they purchased a vacation condominium.
Both grew up in the Northeast. Peter graduated from Temple University and also attended Boston University. He raced his Alfa Romeo Giulietta sports car in New Jersey and Maryland, and was elected to Mensa in 1975. Nancy attended Delaware University, Columbia, and BU, where she received her Master’s Degree. She became a Reading Specialist who worked with Gifted as well as Learning Disabled children in grades K-6.
In his early career, Peter founded and ran two service companies in Pennsylvania, where they were married. The couple was soon blessed with one son and one daughter. The family moved to Massachusetts when Peter became a Director of Multivendor Systems Engineering at Digital Equipment Corporation, a major American company in the computer industry. While at Digital, Peter co-developed a hardware patent with two others. In the 90’s, he became Vice President at Compaq Computer, which at the time was the nation’s largest supplier of PC systems.
In 2000—after they both retired and the children were launched—the van Roekens became full-time Siesta Key residents. Today they are the proud grandparents of triplets who are almost 14, and also of a granddaughter who is a freshman at Brown and the recipient of two scholarships.
Peter is a past President of Siesta Key Association and has also served as Vice President and Secretary. He is a past President of Terrace East Condominium Association, where he currently serves as Secretary. He works very closely with the Siesta Key Village Association. Peter and Russell Matthes were the driving forces in getting SKVA and SKA to work together on the “Ocean Blvd. Adopt-A-Road” project. The two groups also banded together on the “Siesta Fiesta T Shirt sales” as well as the “Light up the Village” project with Cheryl Gaddie.
Peter and Nancy sailed for 40 years. They traveled from New England to Florida on a 44’ Brewer, and also went to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. Today, Peter is founder and current chair of the Boaters’ Coalition with members ranging from Marco Island to Clearwater. He started surveying Big Pass in 2001 and now has over five million depth soundings. Needless to say, he has spectacular firsthand knowledge of the dynamics of the Pass, and puts that knowledge to good use in defending Siesta Key from an unwanted first-time dredging.
Ron Flynn was originally from Hampton, Va., and studied Business Management at Mercy College in New York. He also studied at Norfolk College of William & Mary. He was on active duty for 6 years in the U.S. army, where he received leadership experience. He served in S.E. Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and is a Life-member of Disabled Veterans of America, and a Member of the American Legion. He is a member of the National Veteran-Owned Business Association. His Florida Corporation, “Ronald Charles Flynn, P.A.”is a certified Service-connected Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDOVB), verified and registered with the Veterans Administration.
Ron worked for 28 years as a Network Engineering Manager AT&T in White Plains, NY, and Atlanta, Georgia. He then worked for 5 years with Lucent Technologies-Bell Laboratories in Atlanta, Ga. He and his wife, Ildiko, moved to Sarasota 12 years ago, where he now is a sales associate at Key Solutions Real Estate and a specialist in commercial and residential properties. Key Solutions is located at 6021 Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key.
In addition to being a commercial Realtor, Ron holds the “Certified International Property Specialist” (CIPS) designation with 11 years experience in commercial real estate in Sarasota, Florida. He also holds the “Transnational Referral Certification (TRC), and the “e-Pro” certification.
Having recently retired from the Board of Directors of SKA, Ron remains as a Candidate member of Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute, and a Member of Commercial Investment Division (CID) of the Sarasota Association of Realtors(R). He is also a Member of Sarasota Association of Realtors(R), a Member of National Association of Realtors, and a Member of Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce.
Ron is an experienced “blue water” sailor, having sailed throughout the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, and the east coast of the U.S. from Palm Beach to Annapolis. He studied martial arts for 10 years and holds a black belt in Tang Soo Do karate. Ron also enjoys pistol shooting at local ranges, and running around the Sarasota water ways in his little Boston Whaler with his wife, Ildiko, and fluffy little Maltese dog, “Bentley”. He also enjoys tinkering with his vintage 1982 Porsche 911, and driving from key to key.
As a realtor and full-time resident of Siesta Key, Ron specializes in residential waterfront and beach properties, and commercial retail, office, warehouse, restaurant, and marina properties. As a longtime member of the Board of Directors of SKA, he was considered the go-to guy for conducting detailed, accurate research. Retiring SKA President Catherine Luckner spoke of Ron Flynn as being a talented, brilliant man who was a quiet force behind the scenes.