Gus Yeager Servant Legacy Award

In 1989 the Christian Business Mens Committee of Metro Toledo sponsored our first prayer breakfast at the SeaGate Convention Center in downtown Toledo. Gus Yeager, a visionary who promoted the concept of bringing business and community leaders together, was a local entrepreneur who gave of himself daily serving the kingdom of God.

The Gus Yeager Servant Legacy Award was created to remember Gus’ contribution to the local community and to honor men and women, who, like Gus, have dedicated their lives to serving Jesus in the marketplace. Our intent is to honor Christian marketplace leaders who have led their families well, who have endeavored to build their work and their organizations on biblical, Christ-centered principles, and who have made a significant impact in their community and, ultimately, the world.

Using Paul’s first letter to his disciple, Timothy (1 Timothy 3:1-13), we have included the following characteristics to help define our award winner:
1. a person who is above reproach,
2. a person who has both maturity and moral integrity,
3. a person who is generous and hospitable,
4. a person who is a good steward of money and other resources, and
5. a person of great humility.

Jay & Jan Neilsen

Meet our 2023 Winners

Jay Nielsen M.D. & Jan Meier-Nielsen, LPCC

Jay is a semi-retired board-certified family doctor.  He is an active member of Grace Church in Perrysburg where he sings in the choir and cherishes his Bible studies.  He grew up in a church-going family, but always knew something was missing and searched for what it really meant to live a spirit-filled life.  At Grace Church he joined a Christ Renews His Parish men’s retreat (CHRP) and met Fred Diechert and a wonderful group of men who were desiring to live more Christlike lives just like he was. That retreat had more impact on his Christian walk than anything else in his life. In his medical practice, his patients knowing he was a committed Christian allowed him to walk beside them through their physical struggles and hopefully show them hope in Christ’s love.

Jan, who was initially an elementary school teacher, has practiced as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor for over 30 years. In over 40 years at Grace Church she has taught many classes, was a youth leader for several years, led children’s ministry, and has been involved in Bible studies. She also volunteers at Perrysburg Christians United Food Bank. When she was six years old, the mailman invited her to Sunday School, and she fell in love with Jesus at that wonderful little church.  Professionally, she specializes in weaving Christ into counseling techniques, and she has a particular passion for enabling couples to enjoy Christ centered loving relationships and helping parents to be more effective and successful.

Jay and Jan created a wellness center, where their goal has always been to have a total person approach.  Currently, their passion for Haiti and Missions International of America (MIA), which they started in 2003, consumes much of their time. They have made well over 50 trips to Haiti. MIA maintains the Brad Reddick School, with 410 students K-10. Five wells and 16,000 feet of pipe provide clean water for the Savanette community. Solar panels provide power for the Christian radio station, guest house, conference center, sewing center, surgery center, and computer lab. The Circle of Life program provides income for people who make jewelry and other items from recycled paper to be sold here in the U.S.. Six acres of land allows farming education and agroforestry. They have shipped 14 containers, with two more to be shipped soon  containing wonderful surgery equipment and a used playground from Perrysburg.

Dr. Bill Zouhary

Meet our 2022 Winner

Dr. Bill Zouhary

Bill recently retired after practicing 50 years in family dentistry at Zouhary and Fisher, DDS, Inc., in Rossford, Ohio. He has served on the Toledo Christian School Board, Owens Community College Hygiene Advisory Board, Toledo Dental Society Board, and numerous committees both church and community. Bill asked Jesus to be his savior in 1973 at a Catholic men’s retreat.  The Lordship of Jesus evolved over a period of the next few years as he continued seeking, asking, knocking, and listening to the Holy Spirit.

Bill had a fear of failure that disappeared after his encounter with Jesus. He also developed a new love for his family, his patients, his neighbors, and people he met on the street. He knew it was a supernatural love, something he couldn’t explain.  Bill is amazed at the business wisdom he has gleaned from the Bible, especially the book of Proverbs, and he often almost feels like he has the answers to the test before he enters the room. As Bill surveys the world at large and the happenings globally, and as he reads the unfulfilled prophecies yet to come in Scripture, he is convinced that we are headed for a collision course. He believes Jesus is coming back sooner rather than later and that the world will never be the same. His passion is leading those who will listen to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Jim Oedy

Meet our 2021 Winner

Jim Oedy

Jim Oedy is the president & co-owner of Genesis Village senior living community. Jim has a smile that inspires and a voice that brings comfort. Jim Oedy started Genesis Village in 2012 as an award winning 170,000 square-foot five star living experience right here, nearby, off of Heatherdowns Boulevard. Prior to that, Jim has successfully operated several retirement communities in the 80s and 90s as well as founded our own YES FM and many other Christian businesses.

Jim Oedy Credits the servant hearts of his wife Cheryl and three daughters as well as his 11 inspiring grandchildren as the greatest impact on his life! They live their lives by Proverbs 3 versus 5-6 trusting God with all their heart and leaning not on their own understanding as he has made their path straight. This has put Jim and Cheryl in positions of leadership where grace has overcome their limitations! This is evident when Jim talks about his many relationships he has made through his side-by-side band serving seniors for over 40 years!

All of this Christian influence in the marketplace was indeed given by the grace of God as it was that Jim Oedy was pronounced dead on the scene of a tragic car accident nearly 20 years ago. Jim Oedy has prevailed in may ways!

Greg Shapiro

Meet our 2020 Winner

Greg Shapiro

President of H.O.T. Graphic Services. A regional commercial printing and graphics firm. H.O.T. is a family owned business started by his mother as a small home-based typesetting business. Now partnering with his brothers Myron and Norm for over 40 years Greg has served on the board of Good Samaritan Outreach Center, Cherry Street Mission Ministries, Toledo Christian Schools and Calvary Church, including the Finance Committee and Hospitality Team.

2019 Winner

Malcolm Richards

Founder, owner, CEO, Supplemental Staffing. Organizations influenced include: Toledo Chamber, Downtown Kiwanis, Employers Association, Toastmasters, UT’s Family Business Center, Sylvania Rotary, Ability Center and ProMedica PPCS Foundation

2018 Winner

Ed Reiter

Retired senior chairman Sky Financial Group. Board member involvement includes: BGSU Alumni and Foundation, COSI, Toledo Community Foundation, Toledo Symphony and the United Way.

2017 Winner

Bob Carson

Honoring nearly six decades of helping children and youth while modeling the joy of serving others.

2016 Winner

Dr. Clint Longenecker

Distinguished University Professor in The College of Business & Innovation at The University of Toledo.

2015 Winner

Tom Snow

Partner, Scheib-Snow & Co., LLC

2014 Winner

Al Caperna

2013 Winner

Gus Yeager

Our Misson
Marketplace leaders gathering and encouraging the body of Christ while sharing the good news of Jesus with those who do not know him.