2011 Salute To Leaders

Defining Ministry

Volume 7 | Issue 3 | Fall 2011

Salute to Leaders Review

salute to leaders2011

Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) honored three local business and community leaders at its third annual Salute to Leaders benefit dinner Thursday, September 22.

Over 600 persons attended the event, themed “Today’s Leaders and Tomorrow’s Teachers,” which sought to raise funds to renovate the facilities used by the growing and award-winning Early Childhood Education Department at CCU that trains preschool and early elementary teachers.

Ron and Mary Beshear of Montgomery and J. Donald Sams of Middletown shared the honors at CCU’s event that recognizes business and community contributions as well as strong Christian commitment.“We appreciate the support of business leaders and our community here in Cincinnati,” said CCU President Dr. David Faust, “and we are delighted to honor Ron and Mary Beshear and Donald Sams.


This year’s Salute to Leaders dinner focused on raising funds to further assist CCU’s award-winning 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. Watch the video to learn more about CCU award winning Education Department.


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. These educational resource areas are part of the Phyllis Rine women’s dorm which will also be renovated. Phyllis Rine graduated from CCU in 1961 and served as a teacher and missionary in Congo. She was shot by insurgent rebels during the Congo Crisis in 1964. She is remembered as the first female martyr from the Restoration Movement heritage. Watch the video to learn more about Phyllis Rine’s story.

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 Life Enriching Communities and Athletes in Action. His former board service includes Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Vineyard Community Church.

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.

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

Donald Sams, CEO of the Christian Benevolent Association, 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. He and his wife Nancy live in Middletown and have four grown children who are involved in Christian ministry.