Our Mission

Honor veterans, preserve military history & technology,
offer a unique hands-on educational experience via our rare vehicles collection, and
inspire the public to serve their communities and nation as active and engaged citizens.

 

History

The African Queen Project was founded in 2020 by a group of individuals dedicated to sharing the African Queen vehicles as a mobile educational and historical experience.  The first African Queen vehicle, a 1942 M16A2 half-track was discovered by Executive Director Mark Koloc while stationed at a French Foreign Legion base in Djibouti, East Africa. He secured ownership of the vehicle, shipped it back to the US, and in the next 12 years carried out a meticulous restoration. The African Queen half-track is so authentic it is currently on display in the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.  Since that time additional historic military vehicles have been added to the African Queen stable.

Through the African Queen’s project’s three core programs of

                • offering veteran-facing education programs,
                • advancing the art and science of historical preservation, and
                • honoring service veterans,

the African Queen Project seeks to recognizing generations of service and sacrifice to our country while helping America’s veterans re-enter the workforce.

 

 Board Members

Mark A.R. Koloc Sr. LT. Colonel, US ARMY (RET)

A combat veteran with 33 years of distinguished military service, Mark deployed on three Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Combat tours from 2003 to 2009, served with distinction in Africa, Afghanistan, Germany, Norway the Balkans and numerous other countries, and is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition for valor. LTC Koloc has an extensive background of work and coordination with the US State Department, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Health Organization (WHO), NATO and the United Nations.   Mark is currently the Executive Director of the 501 (c) 3 Educational Nonprofit, The African Queen Project, which he founded in 2020.

 

Lawrence Buja, Ph.D.

has led a distinguished career focusing on building societal resilience to global human security threats. He is a contributing author to the Nobel Prize winning IPCC AR4 report and received the USDA Abraham Lincoln Honor Award from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for his study on increasing global food security.  Dr. Buja received his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Utah and a M.S. and B.S. in Atmospheric Science from Iowa State University.

WIlliam Heidner

is the Museum Curator for the Museum Activity and Heritage Center of the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma Arizona. Following a 22-year career on active duty as an Army Cavalry Scout, Bill began his work in the Army Museum System  as the Museum Technician for the Museum Activity of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) at Fort Polk LA and the Museum Curator for the Museum Activity of the U.S. Army’s National Training Center (NTC) and 11th ACR at Fort Irwin CA. Bill has a B.FA. in Digital Design and a M.Ed. with a focus on Instructional Design. Bill was an Associate Faculty Member at Arizona Western College, teaching Computer Illustration as part of the Graphic Design program, from 2008 until 2019. 

J.D. Koloc

is currently the executive Art Director at Plateworks Plus located in Anoka, Minnesota. Plateworks Plus Designs and creates polymer printing plates to print on a wide array of corrugated packaging. J.D. started out in television graphics and has worked for NBC and FOX for over 20 years. As Art Director for Fox Television, J.D. was awarded 2 Emmys as well as BDA Golds and Silvers Honors. For 11 years J.D. ran his own Advertising Agency “Junkyard Dog” and was V.P. of the North Metro BNI chapter. One of J.D.s highest honors was designing the African Queen logo. J.D. Currently resides in Minneapolis with his wife Mary. He has two grown children. J.D.s hobbies include skeet, rugby and travel. 

MICHAEL JARJOSA

MICHAEL JARJOSA

A diverse business background with expertise in financial and legal matters. Mike is a licensed Ohio attorney, as well as a FINRA licensed broker and financial advisor. Mike spent 15 years as CFO and General Counsel at a mid-cap geodetic software company, guiding significant revenue growth during his tenure.  This included opening of numerous corporate entities worldwide both through startups and acquisitions.  Mike has a wealth of experience in corporate governance, contracts, international law and finance, merger and acquisitions, capital markets, financial planning and analysis, as well as planning and execution of corporate strategy, especially at the small to mid-cap level.   Prior to this, Mike worked in the steel industry and within the financial sector for a number of years in the capacity of sales and project management. Mike is currently the owner of Unplugged, LLC, which primarily operates as Pedal Wagon in Ohio and Kentucky, and with plans to expand into other markets in the near future. 

JOhn A. CheNey II

is currently the Engineering Manager for EAE Tech, Inc. John currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) and serves as Vice-President, Event Director, and the Commander of the Findlay Military Association (FMA) which hosts the annual Findlay Show, an Armed Forces Day Celebration. John and his wife Pam currently reside in North Baltimore Ohio and are avid collectors of military vehicles and artifacts and have over 50 vehicles, missiles and rockets. They also own and operate a replica and restoration business for the military vehicle hobby.