CCU Recognizes Three Community Leaders

Ron and Mary Beshear with Nancy and J. Donald Sams

Honorees included Donald Sams, CEO of Christian Benevolent Association and Ron Beshear, Managing Partner (retired), Northwestern Mutual, and Mary Beshear, President, Beshear and Associates

Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) honored three local business and community leaders at its recent Salute to Leaders dinner and raised $200,000 for CCU’s growing and award-winning Early Childhood Education Department that trains preschool and early elementary teachers. More than 600 people attended the dinner held Sept. 22 at the Manor House in Mason, Ohio, to recognize local leaders for their business and community contributions as well as their strong Christian commitment.

Ron and Mary Beshear of Montgomery, Ohio, and Donald Sams of Middletown, Ohio, shared the honors at the event.

“We appreciate so much the support of business leaders and our community here in Cincinnati,” said CCU President Dr. David Faust, “and we were delighted to honor Ron and Mary Beshear and Donald Sams.”

President David Faust presenting award to J. Donald Sams

Sams, CEO of the Cincinnati-area Christian Benevolent Association (CBA), heads an organization that serves 600 residents at its Mason Christian Village/MCV Health Care Facility and the Mt. Healthy Christian Home. He also serves as chief administrator of CBA Construction and the CBA Foundation for the Aging, where he has led in raising more than $10 million to support the housing and care for retired missionaries and ministers and their spouses. Prior to his service at CBA, Sams served as a minister in Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. A graduate of CCU, he and his wife Nancy live in Middletown, Ohio. They have four grown children who serve in Christian ministry.

Ron Beshear served for 22 years as Managing Partner for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Cincinnati, and continues to be active in community organizations. A founding board member for Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (CHCA), he currently serves as a board member for local charities including Life Enriching Communities and Athletes in Action. His former board service includes Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati.

Mary Beshear, who completed a PhD at Marquette University, taught high school English and seminars on team building and time management in addition to providing community service. She is currently a support counselor at the Eve Center for Women’s Ministry in Cincinnati.

Together, the Beshears have also provided significant support to other Cincinnati-based nonprofits including Back2Back Ministries, The Healing Center, Answers in Genesis, and PUREHOPE as well as Cincinnati Christian University.

This year’s Salute to Leaders dinner, themed “Today’s Leaders and Tomorrow’s Teachers,” focused on raising funds to assist CCU’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program by renovating its aging space. The program offers degrees for early childhood education, preschool through third grade.  This year for the second time, CCU’s excellence in training early childhood educators was recognized as it again received the statewide Outstanding Field Experience Award from the Ohio Association of Teacher Educators (OATE), which also gave CCU this honor in 2006.

Funds are needed to expand and renovate the classrooms, offices and educational resource areas for the CCU ECE Center and create the technologically-advanced, state of the art educational facility with additional space needed to allow for more students in the growing program.

Sponsorship for the dinner was provided by Presenting Sponsor Northwestern Mutual, Inc. and Presidential Sponsor Great American Insurance with additional support provided by other local firms and individuals.