Club Officers

Greetings form the Helena Amateur Radio Club! As elected officers for the club for 2021, we want to encourage you to practice your HAM Radio skills, participate in HAM activities and join us for monthly meetings and weekly Nets. You can find out more about our Club on various pages of this website. Please let us know if there is information you need or would like to see covered by this site. You can always reach us by using our Contact Us email link in the footer of each page.

Johnny McKenzie

Johnny Mac is a retired Chemical Engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (BSChE) – the University of Mississippi, class of 1980. He is and always has been since birth, an Ole Miss Rebel! Hotty Toddy!

Johnny was born in South Mississippi, raised on the Westbank of New Orleans. His high school years were spent at West Jefferson HS, the Buccaneers, graduating in the Spring of 1974. In the Fall of that same year, he enrolled at Ole Miss, graduating in the Spring of 1980. For almost forty-two years he was employed as a Chemical Engineer for various chemical companies. After retiring from engineering, Johnny worked for the last two and a half years as a Workforce Training Instructor for the Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, PCCUA, Helena Campus. Soon he will retire for a second time – May 2024.

Johnny became a licensed amateur radio operator in February 2018 – Technician. He successfully passed the General licensing requirements in May 2019. In January of 2021, he completed the requirements for and became a licensed Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator. Shortly after that, Johnny Mac became an ARRL Volunteer Examiner (VE). For the last three years he has served the Club as the VE Liaison with ARRL (American Radio & Relay League). As to his passion with amateur radio, it is POTA – Parks on the Air! He has been a serious POTA Activator since July 2019, failing at my first solo activation in the Fall of that year. Since then, Johnny has activated seven hundred seven unique POTA Parks, eight hundred twenty-nine total activations, and seventeen thousand two hundred eighty-six QSO’s. Currently, he has activated all POTA Parks in the states of Mississippi & Arkansas, and have begun working on Alabama. Johnny's final word – “POTA On!”. 73 KG5YMI

Vice President
James Babcock

James was born and raised in Phillips County, Arkansas. He will always call this region – Home! His formative, educational was through home schooling.

In 2004, his journey into the world of amateur radio began when his path crossed Ronald Myers who had come to the area, setting up low power Christian Radio Stations. James’ home church was one of the installation sites. Assisting with the installation ignited James interest in radio broadcasting.

Fast forwarding to 2012, Ronald Myers, K9RWA, returned to the Phillips County area, renewing their friendship. James learned that Ronald was an amateur radio operator. Learning more about the hobby, James jumped into the Amateur Radio World. In 2014, he successfully obtained his FCC Amateur Radio Operator’s License, passing the Technician exam and became - KG5BPN. Over the course of the next few years, he dedicated himself to studying and developing his passion for the hobby. He successfully obtained his General Class & Extra Class licenses. Along with this accomplishment, he became an ARRL VE and assists W5HAR - HARC with FCC License Testing.

He is very active in the Club’s events and currently serves as Vice President.

Secretary and Treasurer
Jeff Steele

Jeff was born and raised in Maine. Upon graduation from Cony High School, Jeff enlisted in the Army as a Radio Operator, 05E. Jeff’s first duty assignment was Turkish United States Logistic Command, (TUSLOG) Detachment 98, located in Erzurum Turkey. He was then assigned to Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he was temporarily assigned to the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), call sign AAT6USD. Jeff then switched to Indirect Fire, Infantry and was back and forth between the states and Germany, mostly assigned to units that were part of the First Infantry Division.

Upon retirement from the military Jeff attended Phillips Community College and Delta State University where he earned his MBA. He holds an Amateur Extra Class license, as well as an Amateur Radio Relay League Volunteer Examiner Certificate.

VE Coordinator
Johnny McKenzie

Johnny Mac became an ARRL Volunteer Examiner (VE). For the last three years he has served the Club as the VE Liaison with ARRL (American Radio & Relay League).

Coordinate all testing requirements through your VE Coordinator and drop him an email if you would like to arange testing at one of our monthly club meetings at: Schedule a Testing Session.
Please remember to include:
- Your Name
- Your telephone number
- The class of FCC license you want to test for, and
- a date that would be good for you

Our testing sessions occur on the third Thursday of every month at 6:00 pm (1800 hours).