I grew up in the Amish/Mennonite community in Montezuma, GA and was blessed with a great family, awesome parents and was able to grow up in a community of good folks.
I have 2 awesome children, Nicole is 28 years old, is married to an awesome fella (Nick Teal) and in September Nicole is due to deliver a baby and make me a grandpa! Caleb is 25 years old and graduated Valdosta State with a degree in Exercise Physiology.
Education: I attended and graduated from Montezuma Amish Mennonite School in Montezuma, GA.
International Sports Sciences as a Master Trainer: Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, Specialist in Exercise Therapy, Specialist in Strength and Conditioning, Specialist in Senior Fitness and Specialist in Youth Fitness
First jobs: my brother and I started working at a dairy that was next door to my dad’s store when I was around 10 years old. At 13 I got a job as a dishwasher at my uncle’s restaurant (Yoder’s Deitsch Haus) when he opened the restaurant in the early 80’s.When I was around 15 years old my Dad and Mom rented a small dairy and bought a small herd of around 70 dairy cows. My older brother, my younger brothers and myself operated the dairy and my dad operated the store. During this time I started a small herd of dairy cattle in the 80’s and sold them in the early 90’s.
Started managing my mom & dad’s store when I was 16: my Dad had to quit working at our family store for a while due to him losing his voice, so I managed the store temporarily, but then they let me continue to manage the store (Kountry Farm Center). This was from 16 & 1/2 years of age until 23, and was probably the most formative in helping me to learn how to operate and grow a small business. I’m very appreciative to my mom and dad for never giving me the feeling that they were looking over my shoulders during this time and that my dad trusted me to run a business that he had spent many years building.
The Garden Bowl Restaurant: my mom and dad were in the catering business for 25 years, and it was probably this and my uncle’s restaurant that inspired me to open a restaurant in Montezuma in 1992 called the Garden Bowl. I closed it in 1993 and put my focus on the gym business. Btw if I had as good cooking skills as my Mom and sisters, I would've probably lasted in the restaurant business! Health club business: I opened Montezuma Athletic Club in 1991 (closed it in 1994), opened Valley Athletic Club in 1992. I had to rebuild business after July 2000 (when the building I was leasing collapsed). With God’s grace and a lot of hard work, I started back from scratch and slowly rebuilt the business. In 2005 I sold the property that my 1st health club was built on in Montezuma so that I could purchase the property I was leasing for Valley Athletic Club here in Fort Valley. I live in a studio apartment in the back of my building and have lived there since 2005.
Wade Yoder Storage Buildings etc: started in 2007 and has grown into a pretty large business since then. It started out as storage buildings only but has expanded into greenhouses, gazebos, screen rooms, carports, enclosed metal buildings, garages, dog kennels and chicken coops. I’m really thankful for this business largely because of it bringing customers in from surrounding counties.
Plane crash 2007: this probably had the most impact on how I live out my days here on earth and increased my desire to leave a positive impact in the lives of my family, friends and community. You can get the full story on YouTube @ Yoder Family Plane Crash
Community service and outreach
Boards currently serving on Peach Regional Chamber of Commerce Board Member since 2012Middle Georgia Workforce Development BoardMiddle Georgia Clean Air CoalitionPeach County High School Local School Governance Team
Health and fitness columnist: for 5 middle GA newspapers with over 200 published articles since 2012.
Health and fitness columnist: for 5 middle GA newspapers with over 200 published articles since 2012. I enjoy doing this, in part because of the pharmaceutical industry's takeover of medical university student training and people need information on empowering the body's own wellness and healing mechanisms.
Peach County Commissioner Post 5: in 2016 I had the honor to be elected to the At-Large Commissioner Post here in Peach County, GA.